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Court granting bail should examine if prima facie case against accused is made, it is not required to appreciate evidence: High Court of Delhi

Though at the time of consideration of bail amidst trial, in-depth analysis of testimonies of witnesses and scientific and medical evidence on record is not to be done, however, while considering an application for bail a prima facie opinion has to be formed and for doing so, a number of factors have to be borne in mind such like nature of the offense, the seriousness of the charge and whether continued detention of accused in judicial custody during trial shall meet or defeat the ends of justice. This was held in AKSHAY KANOTRA v. State NCT [BAIL APPLN. 1236/2021] in the High Court of Delhi by a single bench consisting of JUSTICE JYOTI SINGH.

The facts are that the present case has been registered on the statement of the injured/complainant, that the petitioner offered him a spiked drink and took him to a deserted place and attacked him with a paper cutter kind knife on his neck. The charge sheet for the offenses under Sections 307/328/392/397 IPC was filed against the petitioner. Petitioner is in judicial custody since his arrest and has approached this Court seeking bail.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the MLC of the complainant does not mention any symptoms or influence of sedatives. There is undue delay in obtaining the MLC and due to lack of scientific and medical evidence, the charge under Section 328 IPC cannot sustain against the petitioner. Testimony of the injured/complainant has contradictions and that he is not a reliable witness.

The counsel for the respondent submitted that the Additional Public Prosecutor appearing on behalf of respondent submitted that petitioner has committed a heinous crime of attempt to murder and his previous bail applications have been dismissed by the trial there is no change of circumstances and thus the petition deserves to be rejected. The urine report of the injured/complainant showed the presence of Barbiturates &. Benzodiazepine and if released on bail, there are chances of petitioner influencing and threatening the public witnesses.

The court made reference to the judgment by the Supreme Court in the case of  Mahipal Vs. Rajesh Kumar, wherein the following observations were made,“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.”

Considering the facts of the case and keeping in mind the provisions of law applicable the Court held that, Court cannot lose sight of the fact that out of 13 witnesses, only 05 witnesses have been examined so far and testimony of public witnesses is yet to be recorded and apprehension of influencing or threatening the witnesses has been expressed by the prosecution. Thus it held that it is not inclined to release the petitioner on bail while dismissing the petition.

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