Bail is a general rule and jail is an exception : Himachal Pradesh High Court

Grant of bail is general rule and putting a person in jail or in a prison or in correction home during trial is an exception and presumption of innocence. The High Court bench consisting of J. Vivek Singh Thakur, in the matter of Harwinder Chauhan Ors. v. State of Himachal Pradesh [Cr.M.P(M) No. 1628 of 2020 along with Cr.M.P.(M) Nos. 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 of 2020], enumerated upon the various principles and relevant factors before granting of bail.

A Police station received a telephonic information on 02.06.2020, regarding a person injured in a quarrel  who had been brought for treatment to Community Health Centre (CHC). The statement of the complainant, an eye witness was recorded under Section 154 Cr.PC., wherein she stated that the accused approached her father-in-law (now deceased) and abused and dragged him outside the house where they started beating him. Thereafter an FIR was registered, the injured expired, a Special Investigating Team was constituted and Section 302 IPC was also added in the FIR.

The Counsel for the petitioners/accused argued that the complainant party was the aggressor in the present case and substantiated this by stating that the accused had approached the Police Station immediately after the incident and had lodged an FIR. Further that the accused never had an intention to kill the deceased and that thus, the accused should be entitled to bail. The Additional Advocate General submitted that the weapons carried by the accused could easily be visualised by any prudent man as something that could cause death if used to injury someone.

The High Court relying on Sandeep v. State of Himachal Pradesh [2019 (1) Shim. LC 263], held that keeping in mind the nature and gravity of offence, the impact thereof on the society, the balance of public interest was heavier than personal interest and thus, four of the accused were not entitled to bail. Three of the accused were ordered to be enlarged on bail on furnishing personal bonds in the sum of Rs. 50,000 each with one surety to the satisfaction of the Trial court. Further the court added that if the petitioner enlarged on bail violated any conditions of the same, the bail shall be cancelled.

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