HP HC | Gravity of offence not the sole decisive ground to deny bail – object of bail not punitive or, but to secure the presence of accused at trial

Bail Application

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Sandeep Sharma, J. allowed the bail petition of the appellants who were charged for intentional insult to provoke breach of peace and criminal intimidation with threat to cause death or grievous hurt under Sections 504 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3(1)(s) of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The learned Additional Advocates General for the respondent, Sudhir Bhatnagar and Sanjeev Sood, contended that the appellants herein were fully cooperating with the investigation and nothing remained to be recovered from them. Also, the reports suggested that despite several attempts by the investigating authority the complainant was not coming forward to associate with the investigation.

High Court relied on Dataram Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2018) 3 SCC 22 and held that a person is presumed to be innocent unless found guilty and hence his freedom cannot be curtailed for an indefinite period. Further reliance was placed on Sanjay Chandra v. Central Bureau of Investigation, (2012) 1 SCC 40 and it was held that gravity of the offence cannot be a decisive ground to deny bail, and the object of bail is just to secure the appearance of the accused, and the objective thereof is neither punitive nor preventive.

The Court after considering the cooperation of the appellants in the investigation and other relevant facts ordered the appellants to produce bail bonds of 25,000 each and allowed the bail petition. [Jagdish Sharma v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 1403, decided on 30-08-2019]

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