Grant of bail to history sheeter showcases the non application of mind by the High Court

Supreme Court: In the present case, setting aside the bail order of the respondent, the Court berated the Allahabad High Court for granting bail to an accused charged with heinous crime, and with a long history in several criminal cases, and termed it as capricious which lacked the application of mind.

In the present appeal the appellant the wife of deceased, challenged the order of the High Court granting bail to the respondent who was charged under various Sections including Section 302 of IPC, on grounds of parity as a co-accused. The counsel for the appellant contested that the nature of accusation against the respondent and co-accused is not same and further, with regard to the criminal antecedents of the accused he can potentially influence the witnesses thereby altering the course of trial. Senior Counsel for the State of Uttar Pradesh Mr. Ratnakar Dash, filed a counter-affidavit listing the criminal cases pending against the accused. Counsel for respondent argued that the High Court was right in appreciating plea of parity and granting bail thereof based on it and that it would not be judicious of the Supreme Court to interfere with the order of the High Court. He further pleaded that the respondent has been acquitted in most of the cases pending against him.

Deepak Misra, J., elucidating in broad words the importance of liberty, referred to the guidelines laid down by the Court while granting bail in cases of Prahlad Singh Bhati v. NCT, Delhi,(2001) 4 SCC 280, and Prasanta Kumar Sarkar v. Ashis Chatterjee(2010) 14 SCC 496. It held that while granting or refusing to grant bail the High Court had a duty to apply its discretion cautiously. It should have taken into account the heinous nature of crime allegedly committed by respondent, his criminal antecedents and the reasonable likelihood of his affecting course of trial The Court commanded the accused to surrender to the custody of the investigating agency forthwith and further directed that this order annulling bail should have no effect on the original trial. Neeru Yadav v. State of U.P.2014 SCC OnLine SC 1009, decided on 16.12.2014

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