Supreme Court: In a case where Rajasthan High Court had granted bail by merely “keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case”, the bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna, JJ has held that such orders cannot pass muster.
Noticing that there was absolutely no reasoning in the order of the High Court granting bail, after recording the submissions of the first respondent’s counsel apart from noting that the public prosecutor had opposed the bail, the Court said,
“The duty to record reasons cannot be obviated by recording submissions, followed by an omnibus “in the facts and circumstances” formula. Brief reasons which indicate the basis for granting bail are essential, for it is the reasons adduced by the court which indicate the basis of the order.”
The Matter pertained to the alleged murder of a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste. The offence is alleged to be committed by the deceased’s brother-in-law on June 8, 2018.
While granting bail to the first respondent, the High Court in its order dated 7 November 2019 only recorded the submission of counsel for the first respondent that spouse of the deceased, had in the course of her statement recorded during the trial, stated that the deceased had gone with her brother Kishan Lal; that Kishan Lal had obtained an insurance policy in the name of the deceased and that the murder had been committed by Kishan Lal to obtain the proceeds of the insurance policy, with the help of his friends.
However, the final report submitted on 6 September 2018 Section 173 CrPC contains a detailed analysis of the call data records of the accused who were in continuous contact with each other, as well as of their location in close proximity to the date and time of the incident. This report was placed before the High Court.
The Court noticed that the bail order does not make any mention of factors that are relevant for the grant of bail, which are
- the seriousness and gravity of the offence; and
- the role attributed to the first respondent in the commission of the crime.
“The Single Judge of the High Court by the impugned order dated 8 June 2021 simply reiterated that the bail was granted on the basis of the statement of the wife of the deceased.”
In this backdrop, the Court held that the order of the High Court in granting bail cannot pass muster as there has been no application of mind by the Single Judge of the High Court to the considerations that govern the grant of bail.
[Hariram Bhambhi v. Satyanarayan, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1010, decided on 29.10.2021]
For appellant: Advocate Ajit Kumar Thakur,
For first respondent: Advocate Manish Sharma
For State: Advocate Chetanya Singh
*Judgment by: Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud