HP HC | Freedom of a person cannot be curtailed for indefinite period when his guilt is yet to be proved – Bail granted to a person accused under SC-ST Act

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Sandeep Sharma, J. allowed bail application of the a person accused of the offence of abusing a member of SC-ST community in public view. 

An FIR was filed against the petitioners under Sections 504 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3 (1)(s) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and they were taken into custody. Aggrieved thereby, the instant bail petition was filed.

Sanjeev Sood, learned Additional Advocate General for respondents informed the court that the complainant after filing the FIR did not cooperate with the further investigation. The investigating agency after several attempts to contact the complainant concluded the investigation.

The Court allowed the instant petition for grant of bail placing reliance on Dataram Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2018) 3 SCC 22 which held that a person is believed to be innocent until found guilty. It was observed that if the guilt of a person is yet to be proved then he cannot be imprisoned for an indefinite period. The court also referred to Sanjay Chandra v. CBI, (2012) 1 SCC 40 which held that the basic aim of bail is to ensure the presence of the accused in the trial.

The Court relied on the principles for the deciding a bail petition by placing reliance on Prashant Kumar Sarkar v. Ashis Chatterjee, (2010) 14 SCC 496 and opined that the present case was fit for grant of bail. Thus, the petition for bail was allowed. [Jagdish Sharma v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 1403, decided on 30-08-2019] 

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