Independent Overt Act Is No Ground To Release Accused Once Found To Be Part Of Unlawful Assembly: SC
The Supreme Court has observed that the independent overt act cannot be a ground to release the accused once they are found to be part of the unlawful assembly.
The two-Judge Bench comprising Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar held, “Except narrating the submissions made on behalf of the accused and the State, no further independent reasons have been given by the High Court while releasing the respective accused on bail. It is to be noted that in one of the impugned orders, the High Court has noted the reason of overcrowding of jails. However, for the serious offences like this, the aforesaid cannot be the consideration to release the respective accused on bail. All the three accused were part of the unlawful assembly and the independent overt act cannot be a ground to release the accused on bail, once they are found to be part of the unlawful assembly.”
The Bench said that when the accused persons are facing the trial under Sections 147, 148, 307, 302, and other offences of the IPC, which can be said to be very serious offences, the High Court ought to have given cogent reasons while releasing the respective accused on bail.
Advocate Amita Singh Kalkal represented the appellant while Advocates Sanchit Garga and Madhav Anand represented the respondents.
In this case, the orders were passed by the Allahabad High Court wherein it directed the release of the respective accused persons, on bail in connection to the offences punishable under Sections 147, 148, 149, 324, 427, 441, 323, 506, 447, 307, 302, and 34 of the IPC. The appellant being aggrieved with this approached the Apex Court.
The Supreme Court after hearing the arguments of the counsel noted, “… the land dispute between the father of the accused, namely, Mehtab and the complainant side is the motive. It is alleged in the FIR that on the earlier night they ran over the tractor on the standing crop and the accused persons tried to take over the possession. That thereafter when the informant and others gathered at the spot, the accused persons named in the FIR attacked them and in the said incident brother of the informant died and other persons were seriously injured. The aforesaid aspect has not at all been considered by the High Court, while releasing the respective accused on bail. As such, no reasons whatsoever have been given by the High Court while releasing the respective accused on bail.”
The Court further said that when the nature of allegations and the seriousness and gravity of the offences have not at all been considered and no cogent reasons have been assigned by the High Court while releasing the respective accused, the judgment and orders passed by the High Court directing to release them on bail are unsustainable.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment of the High Court.
Cause Title- Yashpal Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another