Principles to be considered while deciding a bail petition discussed

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sandeep Sharma, J., decided a criminal petition filed under Section 439 of CrPC seeking to enlarge the petitioner on bail, wherein the prayer as sought by the petitioner was granted.

The petitioner was accused in a criminal case registered under Sections 452, 307, 323, 324, 325, 107, 147, 148, 149, 504, 506, 201 and 120B of IPC. It was alleged that he along with other co-accused trespassed into the house of the complainant and attacked her son whereby he was grievously injured. The petitioner submitted that the complainant nowhere mention him in her first statement under Section 154 CrPC, and it was only after a gap of seven days that his name was added as an accused in the FIR. He submitted that he was falsely implicated in the case. He further submitted that there was no material on record against him; he prayed that he may be granted bail and he was ready to abide by conditions to be imposed by the Court.

The High Court perused the record and found that the prosecution material was not sufficient to prove a prima facie case against the petitioner. The delay of more than six days in adding his name as an accused was unexplained. There was nothing on record to suggest that if enlarged on bail, he may flee from justice. The Court observed that gravity of the offence alone is not a ground to deny bail; the normal rule is of bail and not jail; the objective of bail is preventive not punitive. The Court also referred to a Supreme Court decision in Prasanta Kumar Sarkar v. Ashis Chatterjee, (2010) 14 SCC 496, wherein as many as nine principles to be kept in mind while deciding a bail petition were discussed. Looking at the entirety of the case, the material on record, and the principles discussed; the Court was of the view that it was fit case to exercise judicial discretion in favor of the petitioner.

Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the petitioner was enlarged on bail subject to the conditions imposed. [Javed v. State of H.P., 2018 SCC OnLine HP 119, order dated 19.1.2018]

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