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The Supreme Court on 29th July, has reiterated the requirements for a judgment on bail petition. Court has demanded that all bail applications, must be followed with a reasoned judgment; a mute grant or rejection of an application is not enough in law.

Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Indu Malhotra in Mauji Ram v State of Uttar Pradesh have set aside the Allahabad High Court judgment granting bail to the accused, facing trial for commission of offences punishable under Sections 147,148, 149, 302, 120­B, 307, 323, 506 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The accused persons were refused bail in the Sessions Court. Aggrieved, they approached the High Court and were subsequently directed for release on furnishing security and bail bonds to the satisfaction of the Sessions Judge. The relevant portion of the impugned order read:

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, I find it a fit case for bail….”

Supreme Court has held the High Court in jurisdictional error in passing an order that did not assign any reason whatsoever as to on what grounds, even though of a prima facie nature, it considered just and proper to grant bail to the respondents.

Supreme Court said:

“Though it may not be necessary to give categorical finding while granting or rejecting the bail for want of full evidence adduced by the prosecution as also by the defence at that stage yet it must appear from a perusal of the order that the Court has applied its mind to the relevant facts in the light of the material filed by the prosecution at the time of consideration of bail application. It is unfortunate that neither the law laid down by this Court, nor the material filed by the prosecution was taken note of by the High Court while considering the grant of bail to the respondents.”

The instant case was not fit for grant of bail, looking into the prima facie facts. All the accused persons have been directed to surrender in the concerned Sessions Court for being taken into custody as under trial.

Court has however, clearly stated that this judgment will not affect the Trial Court’s observations in the trial of these accused and the case be judged expeditiously on its merits alone.

–India Legal Bureau

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