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Nitesh Verma Vs. State of Himachal Pradesh - (High Court of Himachal Pradesh) (24 Nov 2020)

Bail decision must enter the cumulative effect of the variety of circumstances justifying the grant or refusal of bail



In present matter, based on a complaint, the police arrested the Petitioner in FIR registered under Section 304, 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860, (IPC), disclosing cognizable and non-bailable offences. The Counsel for the Petitioner contends that incarceration before the proof of guilt would cause grave injustice to the Petitioner and family. While opposing the bail, the alternative contention on behalf of the State is that if this Court grants bail, such order must be subject to conditions, especially of not repeating the criminal activities.

In Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia and others v. State of Punjab, a Constitutional bench of Supreme Court held that, the bail decision must enter the cumulative effect of the variety of circumstances justifying the grant or refusal of bail.

Pre-trial incarceration needs justification depending upon the offense's heinous nature, terms of the sentence prescribed in the statute for such a crime, probability of the accused fleeing from justice, hampering the investigation, criminal history of the accused, and doing away with the victim(s) and witnesses. The Court is under an obligation to maintain a balance between all stakeholders and safeguard the interests of the victim, accused, society, and State. However, while deciding bail applications, the Courts should discuss evidence relevant only for determining bail.

The investigation in this matter is almost complete and the police has filed the final report under Section 173(2) of CrPC. Learned Additional Advocate General states that, they had yet to received the report from Forensic Science Laboratory, however, based upon the investigation conducted till date, the police filed report under Section 304, 201 read with Section 34 IPC. In fact, filing of report under Section 304 of IPC would make out a case for bail, more so when the petitioner is in judicial custody, since 9th August, 2020.

An analysis of entire evidence does not justify further incarceration of the accused, nor is going to achieve any significant purpose. Without commenting on the merits of the case, the stage of the investigation and the period of incarceration already undergone would make out a case for bail.

The possibility of the accused influencing the course of the investigation, tampering with evidence, intimidating witnesses, and the likelihood of fleeing justice, can be taken care of by imposing elaborative conditions and stringent conditions. The Court is granting bail to the Petitioner, subject to strict terms and conditions, which shall be over and above and irrespective of the contents of the form of bail bonds in chapter XXXIII of CrPC, 1973.

Relevant : Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia and others v. State of Punjab, MANU/SC/0215/1980


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