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Order of a High Court which does not contain reasons for prima facie concluding that a bail should be granted is liable to be set aside for non-application of mind: The High Court of Delhi

There is a need to indicate in the order, reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted particularly where an accused was charged of having committed a serious offence. The above mentioned has been the verdict in the case of Chaman Lal v. State of U.P. and the same vein has been the premise of the present case of  Nikhil Jain v. State [BAIL APPLN. 1668/2021] which was decided by a single member bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait on 4th June 2021.

In the present case, the petitioner had been in judicial custody since 23rd July 2020 due to a complaint filed by his wife. The facts of the case are as follows. The complainant’s marriage was scheduled to be held with petitioner’s brother, but on the incident of his suicidal death and with the mutual decision of both the families, a marriage alliance was solemnized between the petitioner (Nikhil) and the complainant. The allegations raised by the complainant were that she was forced by the petioner and his parents to enter into illicit relations with other men the names of whom were disclosed by the complainant in her statement. She was forced to enter into such relations even when she was pregnant and was coerced to do the same under constant threat by her husband to publish one of her obscene video on YouTube if she refused to indulge in the same. It is also alleged that on 05.04.2020, Nikhil (petitioner), on the pretext of taking her and their son for outing, took them to Rudrapur, Uttrakhand. Thereafter, petitioner took her to the residence of one Dinesh Khanna, where four five friends of Nikhil made her drink alcohol and thereafter, made sexual relations with her one by one.

The arguments presented by the learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that since petitioner is married to respondent No.2, no offence under Section 376 IPC is made out and Sections 323/506/109/34 IPC are bailable offences and so, petitioner deserves to be released on bail. On the other hand, learned Additional Public Prosecutor for State opposed the present petition and submitted that charge sheet in this case has been filed and FSL report regarding mobile and laptop of petitioner is still awaited. Further submitted that statement of complainant in this case is yet to be recorded and if petitioner is released on bail, there is strong possibility of his threating the complainant.

On perusal of the status report it was noticed that there were some discrepancies between the statements of the complainant u/s 164 CrPC. and the FIR. While deciding the verdict regarding the grant or refusal of the bail, the court relied on the judgment of Ramesh Bhavan Rathod v. Vishanbhai Hirabhai Makwana Makwana (Koli) and Another 2021 SCC Online SC 335 which stated that “The duty to record reasons is a significant safeguard which ensures that the discretion which is entrusted to the court is exercised in a judicious manner. The recording of reasons in a judicial order ensures that the thought process underlying the order is subject to scrutiny and that it meets objective standards of reason and justice.” After considering the matrimonial differences between the couple and the discrepancies between the statements of the complainant, “Accordingly, this Court is of the considered opinion that petitioner deserves to be released on bail. Consequently, without commenting on the merits of the case, the petitioner is directed to be released on bail forthwith upon his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs.20,000/- with one surety in the like amount, to the satisfaction of the Trial Court/ Duty Magistrate, while making it clear that any observation made herein shall not influence the prosecution case during trial.”

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