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Recording of reasons for grant of bail by the High Court of the Sessions Court


AIR 2022 SC 2514

26. The importance of assigning reasoning for grant or denial of bail can never be undermined. There is prima facie need to indicate reasons particularly in cases of grant or denial of bail where the accused is charged with a serious offence. The sound reasoning in a particular case is a reassurance that discretion has been exercised by the decision maker after considering all the relevant grounds and by disregarding extraneous considerations.

27. A two-Judge Bench of this Court in Ramesh Bhavan Rathod (Supra) held that the duty to record reasons is a significant safeguard which ensures that the discretion which is entrusted to the court, is exercised in a judicious manner. The operative portion of the judgment reads as under : –

“35. We disapprove of the observations of the High Court in a succession of orders in the present case recording that the Counsel for the parties “do not press for a further reasoned order”. The grant of bail is a matter which implicates the liberty of the accused, the interest of the State and the victims of crime in the proper administration of criminal justice. It is a well-settled principle that in determining as to whether bail should be granted, the High Court, or for that matter, the Sessions Court deciding an application under Section 439 of Cr.P.C would not launch upon a detailed evaluation of the facts on merits since a criminal trial is still to take place. These observations while adjudicating upon bail would also not be binding on the outcome of the trial. But the Court granting bail cannot obviate its duty to apply a judicial mind and to record reasons, brief as they may be, for the purpose of deciding whether or not to grant bail . The consent of parties cannot obviate the duty of the High Court to indicate its reasons why it has either granted or refused bail. This is for the reason that the outcome of the application has a significant bearing on the liberty of the accused on one hand as well as the public interest in the due enforcement of criminal justice on the other. The rights of the victims and their families are at stake as well. These are not matters involving the private rights of two individual parties, as in a civil proceeding. The proper enforcement of criminal law is a matter of public interest. We must, therefore, disapprove of the manner in which a succession of orders in the present batch of cases has recorded that counsel for the “respective parties do not press for further reasoned order”. If this is a euphemism for not recording adequate reasons, this kind of a formula cannot shield the order from judicial scrutiny.

36. Grant of bail under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C is a matter involving the exercise of judicial discretion . Judicial discretion in granting or refusing bail – as in the case of any other discretion which is vested in a court as a judicial institution – is not unstructured. The duty to record reasons is a significant safeguard which ensures that the discretion which is entrusted to the court is exercised in a judicious manner. The recording of reasons in a judicial order ensures that the thought process underlying the order is subject to scrutiny and that it meets objective standards of reason and justice.”

28. Similarly, this Court in Ram Govind Upadhyay (below), observed that :-

“3. Grant of bail though being a discretionary order but, however, calls for exercise of such a discretion in a judicious manner and not as a matter of course. Order for Bail bereft of any cogent reason cannot be sustained. Needless to record, however, that the grant of bail is dependent upon the contextual facts of the matter being dealt with by the Court and facts however do always vary from case to case. While placement of the accused in the society, though may be considered but that by itself cannot be a guiding factor in the matter of grant of bail and the same should and ought always be coupled with other circumstances warranting the grant of bail. The nature of the offence is one of the basic consideration for the grant of bail more heinous is a crime, the greater is the chance of rejection of the bail, though, however, dependent on the factual matrix of the matter.”

29. A two-Judge Bench of this Court in Mahipal Vs. Rajesh Kumar Alias  Polia And Another [below] observed :-

“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.”

Dataram Singh v. State of U.P., (2018) 3 SCC 22
Ramesh Bhavan Rathod v. Vishanbhai Hirabhai Makwana(Koli), (2021) 6 SCC 230
Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan @ Pappu Yadav, (2004) 7 SCC 528
Babu Singh  v. State of U.P., (1978) 1 SCC 579
Dataram Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2018) 3 SCC 22
Prahlad Singh Bhati v. NCT of Delhi, (2001) 4 SCC 280
Prasanta Kumar Sarkar v. Ashish Chatterjee, (2010) 14 SCC 496
Ash Mohammad v. Shiv Raj Singh alias Lalla Babu, (2012) 9 SCC 446
Ranjit Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2013) 16 SCC 797
Neeru Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2014) 16 SCC 508
Virupakshappa Gouda v. State of Karnataka, (2017) 5 SCC 406
State of Orissa v. Mahimananda Mishra, (2018) 10 SCC 516
‘Y’ v. State of Rajasthan, Criminal Appeal No. 649 of 2022 decided on 19.04.2022
Ram Govind Upadhyay v. Sudarshan Singh, (2002) 3 SCC 598
Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan @ Pappu Yadav, (2004) 7 SCC 528
Mahipal v. Rajesh Kumar @ Polia, (2020) 2 SCC 118
Dolat Ram v. State of Haryana, (1995) 1 SCC 349
Neeru Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2014) 16 SCC 508
Prakash Kadam v.  Ram Prasad Vishwanath Gupta, (2011) 6 SCC 189

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