Bail Factors Unveiled: Supreme Court Sets Guidelines for Serious Offence Cases

Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah presided over an appeal challenging an order from the Allahabad High Court. The case involved a harrowing incident where the appellant-complainant and his two sons, Abdul Khaliq and Abdul Majid, along with others, were attacked while preparing to break their fast and offer prayers at home.

The assailants, identified as Nazim, Abubakar, Waseem, Aslam, Gayyur, Nadeem, Hamid, Akram, Qadir, and Danish, arrived and began firing indiscriminately, resulting in the deaths of Abdul Khaliq and Abdul Majid, and severe injuries to their cousin Asjad. The appellant attributed the attack to an ongoing feud between the parties.

Here’s the full story:

  • Niyaz Ahmed, Waseem’s father, was not initially named in the FIR but was later included as a co-accused during the police investigation.
  • A chargesheet was filed against eight accused, including Abubakar, Niyaz Ahmad, Aslam, and Nazim.
  • Niyaz Ahmad’s bail order, granted by the High Court, was overturned by the Supreme Court following a criminal appeal by the appellant-complainant.
  • Waseem was initially granted bail by the High Court, but this decision was later canceled by the Supreme Court due to procedural reasons.
  • Counsel for the appellant-complainant argued that the accused parties were the aggressors in the incident, forcibly entering the appellant’s house and firing indiscriminately.
  • The defense argued that any delay in completing the trial could not be attributed to the respondents and highlighted specific instances regarding witness availability and trial proceedings.
  • The main issue before the bench was whether the High Court was justified in granting bail to the respondents under Section 439(1) of the Cr.P.C.
  • The Supreme Court noted the findings of the post-mortem report, indicating the cause of death for one of the deceased victims.
  • Relevant factors considered by the Court in bail matters include the nature and gravity of the offense, the accused’s criminal history, and the likelihood of interference with the trial process.
  • The Court stressed the importance of considering supervening circumstances and the conduct of the accused while on bail when reviewing bail orders.
  • It emphasized that bail orders should reveal the factors considered by the Court and avoid prejudicing the accused by delving into the merits of the case.
  • The Supreme Court criticized the High Court for overlooking crucial principles governing bail decisions and ignoring the consistent testimony of the appellant-complainant and eyewitnesses.

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About the Author: Payal Singh