Apex Court does not interfere with Bail order of HC. But, where the discretion of HC to grant bail has been exercised without due application of mind or in contravention of directions of apex Court, granting bail is liable to be set aside.
Post Conviction Bail Cancelled-Observed: The courts comprised in the district judiciary are the first point of interface with citizens. If the faith of the citizen in the administration of justice has to be preserved, it is to the district judiciary that attention must be focused as well as the 'higher' judiciary.
Public trust and confidence in the judicial system is more important, it being the last resort. They may have a feeling that it is not rule of law which prevails but it is a mob which has an upper hand and especially in a case where it is led by the Chief Minister of the State in the office of CBI and by the Law Minister of the State in the Court Complex. If the parties to a litigation believe in Rule of Law such a system is not followed. The idea was different.
Over and above when the purpose of investigation has already been completed as against the arrested persons Sir Madan Mitra, Firhad Hakim @ Bobby Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Sovan Chatterjee and where there is no prayer for C.B.I custody for further interrogation, mere prayer for judicial custody can not be the ground for detention of the arrest persons. I think what ever prayer has been made by the I.O in respect of the present case should not be entertained on the other hand what ever prayer has been made in respect of bail of the accused Sir Madan Mitra, Firhad Hakim @ Bobby Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Sovan Chatterjee should be allowed.
We make it clear that we have not directed the States/ Union Territories to compulsorily release the prisoners from their respective prisons. The purpose of our aforesaid order was to ensure the States/Union Territories to assess the situation in their prisons having regard to the outbreak of the present pandemic in the country and release certain prisoners and for that purpose to determine the category of prisoners to be released.
It appears that the High Court has completely misappreciated the object, scope and ambit of the directions issued by this Court from time to time in In Re : Contagion of Covid 19 Virus In Prisons. This Court did not direct release of all under-trial prisoners, irrespective of the severity of the offence. After hearing the learned Attorney General of India, Mr. Venugopal, the Amicus Curiae appointed by this Court, Mr. Dushyant Dave and other Learned Counsel, the States and Union Territories were directed to constitute a High Powered Committee to determine which class of prisoners could be released on parole or interim bail for such period as might be thought appropriate.
The considerations being: (a) While granting bail the court has to keep in mind not only the nature of the accusations, but the severity of the punishment, if the accusation entails a conviction and the nature of evidence in support of the accusations. (b) Reasonable apprehensions of the witnesses being tampered with or the apprehension of there being a threat for the complainant should also weigh with the court in the matter of grant of bail.
The materials available do not justify arriving at the conclusion that the order impugned suffers from non-application of mind or the reason for granting bail is not borne out from a prima-facie view of the evidence on record. The offence alleged no doubt is grave and serious and there are several criminal cases pending against the accused. These factors by themselves cannot be the basis for refusal of prayer for bail.
Sections 437(5) and 439(2) of Cr.P.C. Sub-section (5) of Section 437 of Cr.P.C-The question, as to whether when an accused is bailed out in a criminal case, in which new offences have been added, whether for arresting the accused, it is necessary to get the bail cancelled, has arisen time and again, there are divergent views of different High Courts on the above question.
FIR has been lodged/filed by the brother of the deceased after a period of almost 29 years from the date of incident and after a period of 9 years from the date of decision of this Court in the case of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar (supra) and nothing is on record that in between he had taken any steps to initiate criminal proceedings and/or lodged an FIR, we are of the opinion that at least a case is made out by the appellant for grant of anticipatory bail under Section 438, Cr.P.C. Many a time, delay may not be fatal to the criminal proceedings. However, it always depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. However, at the same time, a long delay like 29 years as in the present case can certainly be a valid consideration for grant of anticipatory bail.
Shaheen Welfare Association v. Union of India (1996) 2 SCC 616. and Hussain v. Union of India, (2017) 5 SCC 702 it was argued that such protracted incarceration violates the respondent’s right to speedy trial and access to justice; in which case, Constitutional Courts could exercise their powers to grant bail, regardless of limitations specified under special enactments.
Habeas corpus-Constitution of India, 1950—Articles 32 and 22(5)—Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974—Section 3(3)— It is also necessary to point out that in case of an application for a writ of habeas corpus, the practice evolved by this Court is not to follow strict rules of pleading nor place undue emphasis on the question as to on whom the burden of proof lies. Even a postcard written by a detenu from jail has been sufficient to activise this Court into examining the legality of detention—Once the rule is issued it is the bounden duty of the Court to satisfy itself that all the safeguards provided by the law have been scrupulously observed and the citizen is not deprived of his personal liberty otherwise than in accordance with law.