Antecedents of accused must be considered for grant of bail and the same can be rejected if accused is found to be a habitual offender

Karnataka High Court: A Single judge bench comprising of K.S. Mudagal, J. dismissed a criminal petition rejecting grant of bail to the accused petitioner who was a habitual offender and involved in around twenty other criminal cases.

The instant petition was preferred seeking an enlargement of petitioner on bail. The petitioner was caught by a few people while trying to steal a car; he was beaten by the public, admitted in hospital and arrested a few days later. The primary contention advanced on behalf of the petitioner was that arrest after three days of the incident and after his admission into the hospital raised doubts about his involvement in the theft. The respondent objected to the same contending that petitioner was caught by the public while committing the offence of theft and the report of investigating officer showed that he was involved in twenty-one other such criminal cases and was a habitual offender.

The Court observed that one of the factors to be considered in granting of bail is the antecedents of the accused. If the accused is found to be a habitual offender, then his bail application can be rejected. Since the materials on record prima facie showed the petitioner’s involvement in crime and the fact that he was a habitual offender, therefore the present case was held to be fit for refusal of bail.[Manikantan v. State of Karnataka,2018 SCC OnLine Kar 1822, decided on 02-11-2018]

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