Distinction between bail and suspension of sentence

In Anil Ari Versus State of WEST BENGAL [AIR 2009 SC 1564 ]

There is a distinction between bail and suspension of sentence. One of the essential ingredients of Section 389 is the requirement for the appellate Court to record reasons in writing for ordering suspension of execution of the sentence or order appealed. If he is in confinement, the said court can direct that he be released on bail or on his own bond. The requirement of recording reasons in writing clearly indicates that there has to be careful consideration of the relevant aspects and the order directing suspension of sentence and grant of bail should not be passed as a matter of routine.

The appellate Court is duty bound to objectively assess the matter and to record reasons for the conclusion that the case warrants suspension of execution of sentence and grant of bail.

The mere fact that during the trial, they were granted bail and there was no allegation of misuse of liberty, is really not of much significance. The effect of bail granted during trial loses significance when on completion of trial, the accused persons have been found guilty. The mere fact that during the period when the accused persons were on bail during trial there was no misuse of liberties, does not per se warrant suspension of execution of sentence and grant of bail. What really is necessary to be considered by the High Court is whether reasons existed to suspend the execution of sentence and thereafter grant bail.

In Vijay Kumar v, Narendra and others (2002) 9 SCC 364) and Ramji Prasad v. Rattan Kumar Jaiswal and another (2002) 9 SCC 366), it was held by this Court that in cases involving conviction under Section 302, IPC, it is only in exceptional cases that the benefit of suspension of sentence can be granted. In Vijay Kumar’s case (supra) it was held that in considering the prayer for bail in a case involving a serious offence like murder punishable under Section 302 IPC, the Court should consider the relevant factors like the nature of accusation made against the accused, the manner in which the crime is alleged to have been committed, the gravity of the offence, and the desirability of releasing the accused on bail after they have been convicted for committing the serious offence of murder.

The above position was highlighted in Kishori Lal v. Rupa and Others (2004) 7 SCC 638), Vasant Tukaram Pawar v. State of Maharashtra (2005) 5 SCC 281) and Gomti v. Thakurdas and others (2007) 11 SCC 160).

Read also :

  1. Sentencing system
  2. Stage of trial
  3. Interlocutory application
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