Bail should be granted or rejected on the basis of prima face conclusions and not detailed examinations: High Court of Delhi

The Court need not conduct detailed examinations before granting or rejecting a bail petition, it must be done on the basis on prima facie indications of whether the accused is likely to influence the course of investigation or threaten the witnesses. This was held in the judgement passed by a single member bench of the High Court of Delhi consisting of Justice Subramonium Prasad in the case of Amit Kansal v The State [Bail Application No. 2659/2021] pronounced on 16th August 2021.

The petitioner filed a petition for the grant of regular bail under Section 439 Cr.P.C after having an FIR filed against him for kidnapping for ransom and criminal conspiracy under Sections 364A, 120B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. According to the complainant Laxmi Kumar, the petitioner along with his associates kidnapped her husband Mukesh Kumar then called her demanding Rs. 2,00,000 in either cash, cheque or jewellery and meet them at Shahdara Metro Station. The complainant and her daughter handed over all their family jewellery and Mukesh Kumar’s cheque book to one of the petitioner’s associates at the aforesaid location. However the next morning, the petitioner forced the complainant’s husband to call the complainant and ask for Rs. 3-4 lakhs, as a result the complainant filed an FIR at the Prasad Nagar Police Station.

The police were able to trace the phone calls made to the complainant and the petitioner, his brother and other associates were caught and arrested. The complainant’s husband stated in court that the petitioner’s brother had lured him in the guise of a prospective business client, kidnapped him, forcefully took him to a hotel room and photographed him in compromising positions and then forced him to call his wife asking for money and jewellery to be sent to the petitioner. It was added that the petitioner’s brother with the assistance of the petitioner and other associates, took Mukesh Kumar to a warehouse in Transport Nagar, Meerut and brutally battered him when he initially refused to arrange for the money. The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner was only assisting his brother who was the brains behind the operation and that he was not even fully aware of the plan, it was further contended that the petitioner had never physically attacked the complaint’s husband. On these grounds the petitioner requested the Court for the grant of bail.

Justice Subramonium Prasad can be quoted as saying that “The Supreme Court has time and again stated that at the stage of granting bail, a detailed examination of evidence and elaborate documentation of the case need not be undertaken but the Court must indicate in its orders reasons for prima facie concluding why the bail is being granted or indicate as to why bail is being rejected.” The High Court came to the conclusion that “As stated earlier, the petitioner is accused of a very heinous offence, namely, Section 364A IPC for which the punishment is life imprisonment or death which is the maximum provided for in the Penal Code. The petitioner is the brother of the main accused. The call detail records shows that the petitioner and the main accused were in regular touch. The possibility of the petitioner coming out and tampering with evidence or threatening the witnesses cannot be ruled out. The petitioner is therefore not entitled to bail at least till the victim/Mukesh Kumar is examined.”

Click here for the judgement

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