The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently cancelled the bail granted to an accused who was welcomed by a mob of a hundred people touching his feet and chanting his name on release [Smt Ramlesh Bai v. State of Madhya Pradesh].
Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia cancelled the bail of the accused who booked for cheating and other offences, while reasoning that the glorification of an accused by a mob would have an adverse effect on society.
"Glorification of an accused can never be in the interest of society as well as the justice dispensation system. Furthermore, the witnesses have also started turning hostile which may be the result of glorification or release on bail," observed the Court.
The Court also took note of the fact the accused clearly came out of jail projecting himself as a warrior. In one of the videos shown to the Court, the accused was seen firing a gun in the air after his release.
"It is clear that he welcomed by a mob of approximately 100 people who not only garlanded him and touched his feet but were also chanting slogans in his favour and thereafter the respondent No. 2 was taken in his house in a Jeep and in another video, respondent No. 2 is seen firing in air and one of his supporter was heard challenging the applicant," the order read.
The Court was hearing an application claiming that on his release, the accused was welcomed by a mob of more than a hundred people, who not only garlanded him and touched his feet, but also chanted slogans in his favour. On the next day, the accused fired gunshots in the air and his supporters raised slogans challenging the applicant.
The applicant argued that the release of the accused sent shockwaves in the society, and that the manner in which he came out of jail adversely affected the morale of witnesses in the case, who were turning hostile.
The accused on the other hand, argued that supporters welcoming him did not amount to demonstration of any authority or terror, and that blessing of an accused after release was a normal feature of Indian society.
However, the Court opined that bail could not be considered acquittal, and was only a temporary respite. It thus held that the actions of the accused amounted to misuse of his liberty and cancelled his bail, directing him to surrender before the trial court within a period of one month.
The applicant was represented by Advocate Gaurav Mishra while Advocate CP Singh appeared for the State. Advocate Rajesh Pathak appeared for the accused.