The Delhi High Court has observed that a case covered under High Powered Committee (HPC) guidelines doesn’t give one an indivisible right to claim that bail has to be granted while allowing a bail application against a charge under IPC Section 302 (murder).
Justice Rekha Palli noted, “Each case is required to be considered on its own merits by taking into consideration the guidelines laid down by the HPC.” The bail application was filed by a murder accused in jail for the last 2 years as an undertrial prisoner seeking suspension of sentence on the ground that his case falls in the category allowed for interim suspension of sentence as per HPC guidelines.
Advocate Birendra Kumar Pandey, appearing for the petitioner, submitted, “The petitioner is a young man of 27 years of age having clean antecedents and has never been involved previously in any case…already spent more than two years as an under-trial prisoner…maybe granted interim suspension of sentence for a period of 45 days in accordance with the guidelines issued by the High Powered Committee of this Court.”
The Additional Public Prosecutor countered, “The petitioner is charged with a heinous offence i.e. under Section 302 IPC and if released on bail, there is every likelihood that he will tamper with the ongoing investigation against the other four co-accused, who are stated to be still absconding.”
“Merely because the case of the petitioner falls in the additional criteria “xii” of the guidelines issued by the HPC on 11.05.2021, he does not have an indivisible right to be released on interim bail,” he added.
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However, the bench while allowing the suspension of sentence for 45 days accepted the contention of APP over the High Powered Committee stating that each case has to be considered on its own merits.