Supreme Court reaffirms parameters to be considered by High Courts while deciding bail pleas

While cancelling bail granted to an accused due to a high possibility of repeat offences, the Bench found it necessary to reaffirm guidelines to be taken into account by courts while deciding bail pleas.
Supreme Court reaffirms  parameters to be considered by High Courts while deciding bail pleas
Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reaffirmed the parameters to be considered by High Courts while considering the bail plea of an accused. (Harjit Singh v Inderpreet Singh)

A Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah emphasised that the following be taken into account by courts:

1. Whether there are prima facie or reasonable grounds to believe that the accused has committed the offence;

2. Nature and gravity of the accusation;

3. Severity of the punishment in the event of conviction;

4. Danger of the accused absconding, if released on bail;

5. Character, behaviour and standing of accused including his/ her antecedents;

6. Likelihood of the offence being repeated;

7. Reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced;

8. Danger of justice being affected for grant of bail.

These observations came in a judgement in which the Court cancelled the bail granted by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana to a person accused of murder under Sections 302 (murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 201 (disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 25 of Arms Act, 1959.

The Court held that if the accused is release on bail, he would pose a threat to the safety of the appellant and the probability of a repeat offence was also high.

Considering the overall facts and circumstances, we have held that the High Court has committed grave error in releasing the accused on bail. Consequently, the High Court order is quashed and set aside. Respondent No. 1 is directed to surrender and be taken back into custody,” the Court ordered.

The Court also relied on the fact that in a different case, the High Court had cancelled the bail of the accused after he had committed heinous crimes when out on bail.

"We have considered allegation, antecedents and other FIRs filed against the accused. From the material on record it is clear that as and when he is granted bail, he came out of jail, committed another offence and again went to jail. Even the High Court cancelled the bail in another case specifically observing that when on bail during the pendency of the appeal, there were involved in other cases of heinous crimes," the Supreme Court said while cancelling the bail granted to the accused.

[Read Judgement Here]

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