Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a murder case where the Allahabad High Court had granted bail to the main accused only on the basis of parity, the 3-judge bench of  NV Ramana, Krishna Murari* and Hima Kohli, JJ has cancelled the bail after observing that the High Court should have taken into consideration factors like the criminal history of the accused, nature of crime, material evidences available, involvement of accused in the said crime, recovery of weapon from his possession, etc.

Holding that the Supreme Court has the inherent powers and discretion to cancel the bail of an accused even in the absence of supervening circumstances, the Court laid down the following illustrative circumstances where the bail can be cancelled :-

a) Where the court granting bail takes into account irrelevant material of substantial nature and not trivial nature while ignoring relevant material on record.

b) Where the court granting bail overlooks the influential position of the accused in comparison to the victim of abuse or the witnesses especially when there is prima facie misuse of position and power over the victim.

c) Where the past criminal record and conduct of the accused is completely ignored while granting bail.

d) Where bail has been granted on untenable grounds.

e) Where serious discrepancies are found in the order granting bail thereby causing prejudice to justice.

f) Where the grant of bail was not appropriate in the first place given the very serious nature of the charges against the accused which disentitles him for bail and thus cannot be justified.

g) When the order granting bail is apparently whimsical, capricious and perverse in the facts of the given case.

It was further observed that,

“There is certainly no straight jacket formula which exists for courts to assess an application for grant or rejection of bail but the determination of whether a case is fit for the grant of bail involves balancing of numerous factors, among which the nature of the offence, the severity of the punishment and a prima facie view of the involvement of the accused are important. This Court does not, normally interfere with an order passed by the High Court granting or rejecting bail to the accused. However, it is equally incumbent upon the High Court to exercise its discretion judiciously, cautiously and strictly in compliance with basic principles laid down in a catena of judgments by this Court.”

In the case at hand,

  • Respondent was charged under Sections 302 and 34 IPC and was the main assailant who had a weapon in his hand.
  • He had allegedly opened fire at the deceased due to which the bullet hit his right cheek and made its exit through the other side.
  • There was previous enmity between him and the deceased with regard to some land which Respondent threatened to grab.
  • Respondent has clearly been named by the deceased and he was actively involved in opening fire which caused the death of the deceased.
  • Respondent’s statement was recorded by the then IO under Section 161 Cr.P.C in which he admitted to having committed the offence.
  • Respondent has a criminal history and several criminal matters have been lodged against him.

Noting the above-mentioned principles and facts of the case, the Court was of the opinion that this was not a fit case for grant of bail to the accused.

[Deepak Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 672, decided on 20.05.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice Krishna Murari


Counsels

For Appellant: Advocate Awanish Sinha

For Respondent: Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: H.P. Sandesh J. allowed the petition and set aside the bail granted by the Trial Court on the file of V Additional District and Sessions Judge.

 The facts of the case are such that accused 1 has been prosecuted for the offence punishable under Sections 376(2), 506 and 384 Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC and Sections 4, 5(f), 6, 8 and 14 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (i.e. ‘POCSO Act’) and Section 67(b) of the Information Technology Act. Based on the complaint, case was registered against both respondent 2 and his wife, who was arraigned as accused 2. During the crime stage, respondent 2 herein filed an application for grant of bail and the Trial Court enlarged him on bail. Hence, the instant petition was filed under Section 439(2) of Criminal Procedure Code i.e. Cr.PC for cancellation of the bail.

Counsel for petitioners submitted that allowing the bail application is illegal, perverse and without application of mind. It was also contended that the Trial Court without considering the presumption enunciated in the POCSO Act, granted bail. It was submitted that the incident took place when the victim girl was below 16 years of age, which makes it mandatory on the Court to issue notice to the informant/complainant/victim.

Counsel for the respondents submitted that the Trial Court has observed that the complainant/victim girl and the Investigating Officer even the learned Special Public Prosecutor have ample opportunity to seek the cancellation of the bail of accused 1 in the event of collecting incriminating materials or violation of condition of bail by accused 1. When such an observation is made and detailed order has been passed, this Court cannot invoke Section 439(2) of Cr.P.C.

The Court observed that The reasons assigned by the Trial Court is nothing but perverse and though elaborately discussed in the order, but the very approach in exercising the discretion under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. it is nothing but capricious order

The Court observed that it is specific in the case on hand that accused 1 called the victim girl and subjected for sexual act and also taken the photographs and subsequently blackmailed the victim girl and collected an amount of Rs.10,000/-. It is important to note that when serious allegations are made and no doubt two letters are addressed in favour respondent 2, but whether those letters are addressed by the victim girl or not is a matter of trial and while considering the bail application those documents also cannot be relied upon and the same is subject to proof, but the fact is that she was subjected to sexual act and when the same is alleged and filing of complaint after two and half years cannot be a ground when specific allegation is made in the complaint that he had caused life threat and also taken photographs of subjecting her for sexual act.

The Court observed that it is not the case of the petitioner that respondent 2 has violated the conditions of the bail order, but the observation of the Trial Court is that if incriminating material is collected, the option is open to the victim.

The submission of the learned counsel is that this Court can give an opportunity to the petitioner to approach the Trial Court and the said situation does not arise when the order has been passed in noncompliance with the mandatory provisions of Section 439(1A) of Cr.P.C. and Section 376(3) of IPC and amended provision is brought into force in 2018. Apart from that, an exercise is made to analyze the evidence available on record and hurriedly passed the order. When such being the factual aspects of the case, it is nothing but perverse order is passed by the Trial Court while enlarging him on bail. The learned counsel for respondent No.2 submits that as on the date of lodging the complaint, the victim girl was aged about 17 years and the said contention cannot be accepted for the reason that the Court has to take note of subjecting the minor girl for sexual act and not the date of complaint.

Hence, the Court held it appropriate to invoke Section 439(2) of CrPC to cancel the bail granted by the Trial Court. It further held The accused be arrested and commit him to custody under Section 439(2) of CrPC. [Lalitha v State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 7143 of 2021, decided on 14-01-2022]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearances

For petitioner: Mr. Sachin BS

For respondents: Mr. V S Hegde, Mr. Krishnakumar and Mr. Chandrashekhar RP

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where a scrap picker was beaten to death and the Gujarat High Court had released one of the accused on bail despite the entire incident been recorded in the CCTV footages and the mobile phone, the bench of MR Shah and BV Nagarathna, JJ has cancelled the bail and has observed that by not filing the appeals by the State against the impugned judgments and orders releasing the accused on bail in such a serious matter, the State has failed to protect the rights of the victim.

Factual Background

The complainant, her aunt Savitaben and her husband Mukeshbhai (deceased) went to collect scrap from the open space outside a factory. When they were picking scrap on the backside of the factory area, five persons (accused) came there and started abusing them and thereafter initially started beating all three of them outside the factory. They then tied Mukeshbhai to the gate of the factory and started beating him.  The complainant and her aunt were asked to leave. They left and thereafter informed their relatives and friends and when they returned, they found Mukeshbhai unconscious and seriously injured. He was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead.

The High Court had released one of the accused by observing that so far as the said accused except the fact that he was found standing near the place of incident there is no further material against him.

Analysis

Cancellation of Bail

Looking to the gravity of the offences and considering the statements of eye witnesses and that the entire incident has been recorded in the CCTV footages and the mobile phone, the Court noticed that the High Court has committed a grave error in releasing the accused on bail. Hence, the judgments and orders passed by the High Court releasing the accused on bail were found to be unsustainable both, on facts as well as on law.

“The High Court has not at all considered the gravity of the offences alleged and the evidence collected during the investigation, which are forming part of the charge sheet.”

The Court also rejected the submissions that after the accused are released on bail by the impugned judgments and orders passed by the High Court, more than two and a half years have passed and there are no allegations of misuse of liberty and therefore, the bail may not be cancelled.

“As per the settled preposition of law, cancellation of bail and quashing and setting aside the wrong order passed by the High Court releasing the accused on bail stand on different footings. There are different considerations while considering the application for cancellation of bail for breach of conditions etc., and while considering an order passed by the Court releasing the accused on bail.”

Hence, once, it is found that the order passed by the High Court releasing the accused on bail is unsustainable, necessary consequences shall have to follow and the bail has to be cancelled.

State’s failure in filing appeal

The Court noticed that the present was the fit case where the State ought to have preferred the appeals challenging the orders passed by the High Court releasing the accused on bail.

“In criminal matters the party who is treated as the aggrieved party is the State which is the custodian of the social interest of the community at large and so it is for the State to take all the steps necessary for bringing the person who has acted against the social interest of the community to book.”

Director of Prosecution’s duty

The Court noticed that in the State there is a Director of Prosecution. Even the Director of Prosecution has failed to perform his duties in the instant case. The post of Director of Prosecution is a very   important post in so far as the administration of justice in criminal matters is concerned. It is the duty of the Director of Prosecution to take prompt decision. Given that crimes are treated as a wrong against the society as a whole, the role of the Director of Prosecution in the administration of justice is crucial.  He is appointed by the State Government in exercise of powers under Section 25A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. That his is a crucial role is evident from conditions such as in Section 25A (2) of the Code, which stipulates a minimum legal experience of not less than ten years for a person to be eligible to be Directorate of Prosecution and that such an appointment shall be made with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court.

“It takes time to take a decision whether to prefer an appeal or not”

The Court rejected the contention that it takes time to take a decision whether to prefer an appeal or not. The State ought to have been very serious even to maintain the rule of law in a serious matter like this where a person was brutally murdered/killed while he was just collecting scrap outside the factory with his wife and aunt. It is the duty of the Director of Prosecution and the State to ensure that the guilty are booked and punished.

The Court, hence, observed that in future the State Government/legal department of State Government and the Director of Prosecution shall take prompt decision in matters such as this and challenge the order passed by the trial court and/or the High Court as the case may be where it is found that the accused are released on bail in serious offences like the present.

“We hope and trust that our observations will reach the State Government/legal department of the State of Gujarat and the Director of Prosecution of State of Gujarat.”

[Jayaben v. Tejas Kanubhai Zala, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 24, decided on 10.01.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah


Counsels

For Appellant: Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves

For Accused: Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi and Advocate Purvish Jitendra Malkan

For State: Advocate Aastha Mehta

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Subramonium Prasad, J., while explaining the facets of cancellation of bail and rejection of an application for bail, made an observation that,

Personal liberty is one of the cherished constitutional freedoms. Once granted to an accused pending completion of the Trial, it must only be retracted in the face of grave and exacerbating circumstances.

An application was filed under Section 439(2) of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 read with Section 482 CrPC for cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to respondents 2 to 5 passed by the Patiala House Court for the offence under Sections 354, 354A, 354B, 406, 498A, 506, 509, 34 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Complainant had given a complaint against her husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law for offences under Sections 354, 354A, 354B, 406, 498A, 506, 509, 34 IPC.

Apprehending arrest, respondents filed an application under Section 438 CrPC seeking a grant of anticipatory bail.

Additional Sessions Judge found that the grievance of the complainant, that the matter had not been investigated fairly or that the investigating agencies acted in connivance with the accused could be addressed by moving the Metropolitan Magistrate and it is for the Metropolitan Magistrate to order further investigation under Section 173(8) CrPC.

The above-said order had been assailed by the complainant.

Trial Court granted anticipatory bail to the accused after considering the statements of the accused. Status Report noted that the respondents had joined the investigation and were cooperative, both before and after being granted protection from arrest by the Trial Court.

Difference between: Rejection of application for Bail v. Cancellation of Bail

Rejection of application for Bail

Cancellation of Bail

An order rejecting a plea for bail in non-bailable offences is in the discretionary domain of the Court and such a case can be decided without delving into details, it can be rejected simpliciter on the gravity of the offence and the perception that liberty, if granted, will be abused by the accused.

In the case of cancellation, the Court is called upon to extinguish the liberty that has been formerly granted.

When can a Court seize the liberty of an accused undertrial?

Stating that a Court must tread with the utmost circumspection, and only after an in-depth examination of the situation and new emergent facts and on finding supervening circumstances and overwhelming evidence that the accused has been abusing the liberty granted to him by the Court, Bench explained when a Court can exercise its jurisdiction in seizing the liberty of an accused undertrial.

Supreme Court in the decisions of Delhi Admn. V. Sanjay Gandhi, (1978) 2 SCC 411 and Dolat Ram v. State of Haryana, (1995) 1 SCC 349, expounded the position in law vis a vis cancellation of bail.

The power conferred under Section 439(2) CrPC has to be exercised in a discreet fashion, without dwelling on the merits of whether bail should have been granted or not and only upon viewing the subsequent conduct of an accused. The power is coupled with the reserve and caution, akin to the usage of the High Court’s inherent powers given under Section 482 CrPC.

Application for Cancellation of Bail and Grant of bail are different from each other, Bench added that High Court will not exercise its jurisdiction to interfere with an order of bail granted by Special Judge if there is no serious infirmity in it.

In the present matter, Court found the order of the ASJ to be well reasoned requiring no interference.

Lastly, the Court dismissed the petition noting that Court has not made any observation on the nature/manner of investigation, and if an application challenging the nature/manner of investigation is filed by the complainant, the Trial Court is requested to consider the same. [Charu Soneja v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2022 SCC OnLine Del 5, decided on 3-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Mr K. K. Manan, Senior Advocate with Ms Uditi Bali and Ms Komal Vashist, Advocates

For the Respondent:  Ms Kusum Dhalla, APP for the State with SI Ravinder Kumar, PS Naraina Ms Kamlesh Mahajan, Advocate for R-2 to R-5

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and Surya Kant* and Hima Kohli, JJ has explained the principles governing cancellation of bail and has held that it is necessary that ‘cogent and overwhelming reasons’ are present for the cancellation of bail.

“Conventionally, there can be supervening circumstances which may develop post the grant of bail and are non-conducive to fair trial, making it necessary to cancel the bail.”

Principles governing the cancellation of bail

Daulat Ram v. State of Haryana, (1995) 1 SCC 349

“Rejection of bail in a non¬bailable case at the initial stage and the cancellation of bail so granted, have to be considered and dealt with on different basis. Very cogent and overwhelming circumstances are necessary for an order directing the cancellation of the bail, already granted. Generally speaking, the grounds for cancellation of bail, broadly (illustrative and not exhaustive) are: interference or attempt to interfere with the due course of administration of Justice or evasion or attempt to evade the due course of justice or abuse of the concession granted to the accused in any manner. The satisfaction of the court, on the basis of material placed on the record of the possibility of the accused absconding is yet another reason justifying the cancellation of bail. However, bail once granted should not be cancelled in a mechanical manner without considering whether any supervening circumstances have rendered it no longer conducive to a fair trial to allow the accused to retain his freedom by enjoying the concession of bail during the trial.”

Adding to the abovementioned position, the Court, in the present case, said that

“… bail can also be revoked where the court has considered irrelevant factors or has ignored relevant material available on record which renders the order granting bail legally untenable. The gravity of the offence, conduct of the accused and societal impact of an undue indulgence by Court when the investigation is at the threshold, are also amongst a few situations, where a Superior Court can interfere in an order of bail to prevent the miscarriage of justice and to bolster the administration of criminal justice system.”

What was the case about?

The Court was hearing the case wherein the mother-in-law of the deceased was charged under Sections 304B, 302 read with 120B fter the deceased’s father alleged that, just two months into her marriage with the accused, his daughter died an unnatural death in suspicious circumstances . In these twi months, the accused family members harassed and physically tortured the deceased on the pretext of dowry demands.

After two failed failed attempts of seeking anticipatory bail, the mother-in-law went on a run and was declared an absconder. She continued to evade arrest until Supreme Court granted bail to her younger son i.e. deceased’s brother-in-law.

Taking advantage of this subsequent event and presenting the same as a material change in  circumstance, she filed two petitions before the High Court, seeking quashing of the order that declared her a ‘proclaimed offender’ and further sought the relief of anticipatory bail on the ground of parity.

The Supreme Court noticed that

“… the High   Court   seems   to   have   been primarily swayed by the fact that the Respondent-Accused was ‘co-operating’ with investigation. This is, however, contrary to the record as the Respondent¬Accused remained absconding for more than two years after being declared a proclaimed offender on 23.04.2018. She chose to join investigation only after securing interim bail from the High Court. She kept on hiding from the Investigating Agency as well as Magistrate’s Court till she got protection against arrest from the High Court in the 2nd round of bail proceedings.”

On procedural irregularity in declaring the deceased’s mother-in-law as an absconder

The Court held that even if there was any procedural irregularity in declaring the Respondent-Accused   as an absconder, that by itself was not a justifiable ground to grant pre-arrest bail in a case of grave offence save where the High Court on perusal of case-diary and other material on record is, prima facie, satisfied that it is a case of false or overexaggerated accusation. Such being not the case here, the High Court went on a wrong premise in granting anticipatory bail to the Respondent-Accused.

On ground of parity with the deceased’s brother in law

The allegations in the FIR against the Respondent¬Mother¬in-Law and her younger son are materially different. While some of the allegations against all the family members are common but there are   other specific allegations accusing the Respondent¬ Mother¬in-Law of playing a key role in the alleged offence.

“The conduct of the Respondent¬Accused in absconding for more than two years without any justifiable reason should have weighed in mind while granting her any discretionary relief. These facts put her on a starkly different pedestal than the co0accused with whom she seeks parity.”

Conclusion

“The offence alleged in the instant case is heinous and protrudes our medieval social   structure which   still wails for reforms despite multiple efforts made by Legislation and Judiciary.”

The Court noticed that it has to be borne in mind that the deceased met with a tragic end within three   months of her marriage and a young life came to an abrupt end befor realizing any of her dreams which were grimly shattered.   She having died an unnatural death in her matrimonial home, the Investigating Agency, deserves a free hand to investigate the role of the Respondent-Mother-in-law, if any, in the unnatural and untimely death of her daughter in-law.

[Vipin Kumar Dhir v. State of Punjab,  2021 SCC OnLine SC 854, decided on 04.10.2021]


*Judgment by: Justice Surya Kant

Know Thy Judge | Justice Surya Kant

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has elaborately discussed the principles governing the grant of bail, especially in cases under the NDPS Act and has held that,

“… the test which the High Court and this Court are required to apply while granting bail is whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused has not committed an offence and whether he is likely to commit any offence while on bail. Given the seriousness of offences punishable under the NDPS Act and in order to curb the menace of drug-trafficking in the country, stringent parameters for the grant of bail under the NDPS Act have been prescribed.”

Under Section 37(1)(b)(ii), the limitations on the grant of bail for offences punishable under Sections 19, 24 or 27A and also for offences involving a commercial quantity are :

  1. The Prosecutor must be given an opportunity to oppose the application for bail; and
  2. There must exist ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ that

(a) the person is not guilty of such an offence; and

(b) he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

Important rulings

Union of India v. Shiv Shanker Kesar, (2007) 7 SCC 798

Holding that bail may be cancelled if it has been granted without adhering to the parameters under Section 37 of the NDPS Act, the Court observed,

“7. The expression used in Section 37(1)(b)(ii) is “reasonable grounds”. The expression means something more than prima facie grounds. It connotes substantial probable causes for believing that the accused is not guilty of the offence charged and this reasonable belief contemplated in turn points to existence of such facts and circumstances as are sufficient in themselves to justify recording of satisfaction that the accused is not guilty of the offence charged.

8. The word “reasonable” has in law the prima facie meaning of reasonable in regard to those circumstances of which the actor, called on to act reasonably, knows or ought to know. It is difficult to give an exact definition of the word “reasonable”.

[…]

10. The word “reasonable” signifies “in accordance with reason”. In the ultimate analysis it is a question of fact, whether a particular act is reasonable or not depends on the circumstances in a given situation. (See Municipal Corpn. of Greater Mumbai v. Kamla Mills Ltd. [(2003) 6 SCC 315]

11. The court while considering the application for bail with reference to Section 37 of the Act is not called upon to record a finding of not guilty. It is for the limited purpose essentially confined to the question of releasing the accused on bail that the court is called upon to see if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty and records its satisfaction about the existence of such grounds. But the court has not to consider the matter as if it is pronouncing a judgment of acquittal and recording a finding of not guilty.”

Union of India v. Prateek Shukla, (2021) 5 SCC 430

Non-application of mind to the rival submissions and the seriousness of the allegations involving an offence under the NDPS Act by the High Court are grounds for cancellation of bail.

Prasanta Kumar Sarkar v. Ashis Chatterjee, (2010) 14 SCC 496

“9. … this Court does not, normally, interfere with an order passed by the High Court granting or rejecting bail to the accused. However, it is equally incumbent upon the High Court to exercise its discretion judiciously, cautiously and strictly in compliance with the basic principles laid down in a plethora of decisions of this Court on the point. It is well settled that, among other circumstances, the factors to be borne in mind while considering an application for bail are:

  • whether there is any prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the offence;

  • nature and gravity of the accusation;

  • severity of the punishment in the event of conviction;

  • danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if released on bail;

  • character, behaviour, means, position and standing of the accused;

  • likelihood of the offence being repeated;

  • reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced; and

  • danger, of course, of justice being thwarted by grant of bail.”

Mahipal v. Rajesh Kumar @ Polla, (2020) 2 SCC 118

“14. The provision for an accused to be released on bail touches upon the liberty of an individual. It is for this reason that this Court does not ordinarily interfere with an order of the High Court granting bail. However, where the discretion of the High Court to grant bail has been exercised without the due application of mind or in contravention of the directions of this Court, such an order granting bail is liable to be set aside. The Court is required to factor, amongst other things, a prima facie view that the accused had committed the offence, the nature and gravity of the offence and the likelihood of the accused obstructing the proceedings of the trial in any manner or evading the course of justice. The provision for being released on bail draws an appropriate balance between public interest in the administration of justice and the protection of individual liberty pending adjudication of the case. However, the grant of bail is to be secured within the bounds of the law and in compliance with the conditions laid down by this Court. It is for this reason that a court must balance numerous factors that guide the exercise of the discretionary power to grant bail on a case-by-case basis. Inherent in this determination is whether, on an analysis of the record, it appears that there is a prima facie or reasonable cause to believe that the accused had committed the crime. It is not relevant at this stage for the court to examine in detail the evidence on record to come to a conclusive finding.

[…]

16. Where a court considering an application for bail fails to consider relevant factors, an appellate court may justifiably set aside the order granting bail. An appellate court is thus required to consider whether the order granting bail suffers from a non-application of mind or is not borne out from a prima facie view of the evidence on record. It is thus necessary for this Court to assess whether, on the basis of the evidentiary record, there existed a prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the crime, also taking into account the seriousness of the crime and the severity of the punishment.”

[Union of India v. Md. Nawaz Khan, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 782, decided on 22.09.2021]

___________________________________________________________

Counsels:

For appellants: SV Raju, Additional Solicitor General

For respondent: Advocate Rakesh Dahiya


*Judgment by: Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud

Know Thy Judge| Justice Dr. DY Chandrachud

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Supreme Court of Pakistan: The Five-Judge Bench of Mian Saqib Nisar, Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Gulzar Ahmed, Mushir Alam and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, JJ.,  refused to interfere with the Judgment of Division Bench of Islamabad High Court granting bail to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif and son-in-law Capt. (Retd) Muhammad Safdar.

The Court took note of certain shortcomings in the impugned judgment such as commenting on the merits of the case, making premature conclusions at the stage of bail/ suspension of sentence, recording of a lengthy bail order in contravention of this Court’s guidelines. However, despite the said deficiencies, it was observed that considerations for grant of bail and those for its cancellation are entirely different. 

It was opined that no allegation had been levelled regarding any misuse or abuse of the concession of bail by respondents. One of the said respondents was already in jail after having been convicted and sentenced in connection with another criminal case, another of the said respondents was a woman and the law envisaged concession for her in the matter of bail, and the sentence of imprisonment passed by the trial Court against yet another of the said respondents was quite short. Thus, the Court concluded that there was no occasion for interference with the jurisdiction and discretion exercised by the High Court in the matter of the said respondents’ bail upon suspension of their sentences during the pendency of their appeals. Thus, the appeal was dismissed.[National Accountability Bureau v. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Civil Appeal No. 1340 of 2018, decided on 14-01-2019]