The gravity of the offence, conduct of the accused and societal impact of an undue indulgence by Court, are also amongst a few situations, where a Superior Court can interfere in an order of bail : Supreme Court

Bail can be revoked where the court has considered irrelevant factors or has ignored relevant material available on record which renders the order granting bail legally untenable as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court through the bench lead by Justice Surya Kant in the case of Vipin Kumar Dhir v. State of Punjab and Anr. [CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.1161­1162 OF 2021] (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CRL.) NOS. 5404­5405 OF 2021).

Brief facts of the case are that the appellant who is the father of the deceased, lodged an FIR dated 02.10.2017 against 7 accused persons, 4 of whom are members of the in-laws family of the deceased including the Respondent­Accused. The Complainant has alleged that his daughter was married to the son of Respondent on 28­07­2017. Soon thereafter, the accused family members started to harass and physically torture the deceased on the pretext of dowry demands. His daughter died an unnatural death on 02­10­2017 in suspicious circumstances. There are specific allegations vis­a­vis Respondent alleging that she exploited the deceased and deprived her of any chance to recuperate from the arduous domestic chores. The Complainant accused the respondent to have allegedly administered poison to the deceased on 01.10.2017, which led to her unfortunate demise the following morning. The factum of poisoning is supported by medical evidence gathered by the Investigating Agency.

Soon after the FIR was lodged, the Respondent­ Accused moved ananticipatory bail application before the Sessions Court, which was rejected on 21.12.2017. Discontented, the Respondent­Accused approached the High Court for a similar relief, but the petition was dismissed as withdrawn on 08.03.2018. Meanwhile, on account of non-cooperation with the ongoing investigation, arrest warrants were issued against the Respondent­Accused. However, the arrest warrant could not be executed as the Respondent­Accused had been on the run and she was thus declared an absconder on 23­04­2018 under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Respondent­Accused continued to evade her arrest until this Court granted anticipatory bail to her younger son on 22.10.2019. Thereafter, taking advantage of this subsequent event and presenting the same as a material change in circumstance, Respondent­Accused filed two petitions before the High Court, seeking quashing of the order that declared her a ‘proclaimed offender’ and further sought the relief of anticipatory bail.

The High Court granted interim bail to the Respondent­Accused on 03.12.2020 and pursuant thereto, she joined the investigation on 07.12.2020. Thereafter, vide the impugned order, High  Court allowed both the petitions and set aside  the order declaring the Respondent­Accused as an absconder and also granted her anticipatory bail. These  reliefs  were  primarily  allowed  on  two grounds ­ firstly that  the  Respondent­Accused had  joined  the investigation and undertook to remain present at each date of trial proceedings; secondly she was entitled to seek parity with the co accused Daksh Adya whom this Court granted anticipatory bail. The aggrieved Complainant approached the Hon’ble Court contending inter­alia, that the High Court has committed a grave error of law in over­looking the principles in granting anticipatory bail.

The Hon’ble Court after considering the cases of Daulat Ram  and others vs. State  of  Haryana and X vs. State of Telangana and Another, held that, “In the case at hand, Respondent­Accused remained absconding for more than two years after being declared a proclaimed offender on 23.04.2018. She chose to join investigation only after securing interim bail from the High Court. The High Court went   on   a   wrong   premise   in   granting   anticipatory   bail   to   the Respondent­Accused. Without expressing any views on merit, we set aside the impugned order of the High Court dated 28.01.2021 and direct the Respondent­Accused to surrender before the Trial Court within a period of one week.”

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Judgment Reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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