Bail is rule and jail is exception

Bail - `Bail is rule and jail is exception’ -  There is no gainsaying that bail should not be granted or rejected in a mechanical manner as it concerns the liberty of a person - In peculiar circumstances of this case where closure report was filed twice, the High Court ought not to have declined bail only because the trial court was yet to accept the said report. (2020-2)198 PLR 157 (SC)



Cancellation of bail

Criminal P.C. (2 of 1974), S.439- Cancellation of bail – Above all, the Court must bear in mind that it is a settled principle of law that bail once granted should not be cancelled unless a cogent case, based on a supervening event has been made out. Held, Accused had the benefit of an order granting him anticipatory bail. The grant of anticipatory bail was cancelled principally on the ground that he had not disclosed the pendency of a prosecution against him in the 2G Spectrum case, the said prosecution has ended in an acquittal. Regular bail was granted by the High Court on 17 November 2017 in the present case. The second FIR which was lodged on 22 November 2017 is not, in our view, a supervening circumstance of such a nature as would warrant the cancellation of the bail which was granted by the High Court. Above all, the Court must bear in mind that it is a settled principle of law that bail once granted should not be cancelled unless a cogent case, based on a supervening event has been made out. We find that to be absent in the present case. Moreover, no supervening circumstance has been made out to warrant the cancellation of the bail. There is no cogent material to indicate that the accused has been guilty of conduct which would warrant his being deprived of his liberty. (2018)2 SCeJ 1196



Bail - Grant of  - Generally direct evidence may not be available to prove conspiracy, inasmuch as the act of conspiracy takes place secretly - Only the conspirators would be knowing about the conspiracy - However, the Court, while evaluating the material, may rely upon other material which suggests conspiracy -  Such material will be on record during the course of trial - That at the time of considering an application for bail, the Court must take into account certain factors such as the existence of a prima facie case against the accused, the gravity of the allegations, position and status of the accused, the likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice and repeating the offence, the possibility of tampering with the witnesses and obstructing the Courts as well as the criminal antecedents of the accused - It is also well settled that the Court must not go into deep into merits of the matter while considering an application for bail - However, at this stage, prima facie, the Court needs to take into consideration the overall material while considering the prayer for bail - All that needs to be established from the record is the existence of a prima facie case against the accused -  High Court was not justified in going into the evidence on record in such a depth which amounts to ascertaining the probability of the conviction of the accused. Held, High Court proceeded to grant bail to the respondent on the ground that there is no prima facie material against the respondent to establish his involvement in the conspiracy to murder the deceased, that the undated letter of the deceased addressed to the police showing apprehension to his life cannot be treated as a dying declaration; the material on record does not indicate any motive on the part of the respondent to conspire towards the commission of murder in question, and that the confessions of the co-accused cannot be made used of against the respondent at this stage, inasmuch as they are admissible only to the extent that they lead to recoveries under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act. Since the investigation is yet to complete and trial is yet to begin, it would not be proper for us to dwell upon the subject matter in detail at this stage, lest it may prejudice the case of either of the parties during trial. However, prima facie, it is brought on record by the State that there was severe animosity between the deceased and the respondent, as is evidenced by the fact that at one point an intervention by the district administration was necessitated to keep the peace. The statement of the family members of the deceased discloses that the respondent had given death threats to the deceased. A letter of the deceased was seized from the house of the deceased during the course of investigation which discloses that the deceased was under the apprehension of his death by the respondent due to business rivalry. The respondent fled to Thailand to avoid arrest and was arrested only on deportation pursuant to the issuance of a Look Out Circular, which probabilises the apprehension of the police regarding future attempts of the accused to escape. A recovery of weapon has been made pursuant to the statement made by the co-accused. The respondent has serious criminal antecedents, having five criminal cases registered against him, out of which two cases involve charges under Section 307, IPC and three under the Explosive Substances Act. Since the respondent is a powerful and influential person in his locality, the investigating officer apprehends that he may influence the witnesses by intimidating them and if the respondent continues to remain at large, his presence may influence the trial by creating fear in the minds of the witnesses.       (2018)2 SCeJournal 1447



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