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Grant of bail in a heinous crime by ignoring material and evidence on record is against principles of law: High Court of Delhi

Once bail has been granted it should not be cancelled unless there is evidence that the conditions of bail are being infringed. The grounds for cancellation of bail broadly are interference or attempt to interfere with the due course of administration of justice or evasion or attempt to evade the due course of justice or abuse of the concession granted to the accused in any manner. One such ground for cancellation of bail would be where ignoring material and evidence on record a perverse order granting bail is passed in a heinous crime of this nature and that too without giving any reasons. Such an order would be against principles of law and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE MUKTA GUPTA in the case of X vs. STATE (NCT OF DELHI) & ANR. [CRL.M.C. 2946/2021] on 04.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that the petition has been filed through the father/ legal guardian of the victim who is a female aged 37 years, suffering from bipolar mental disorder episodic mania and psychotic features and was diagnosed to be suffering from the mental disorder in 2015 with mania shortly after her marriage. The same has also resulted in initiation of divorce proceedings between the victim and her husband.

The plaintiff’s counsel contended that respondent was living in the neighbourhood of the prosecutrix and thus as a neighbourer he knew the medical condition of the prosecutrix. It was submitted that the respondent took undue advantage of her medical condition by luring her and took her away to Nainital, where he committed the offence of rape on her. Thus, it was contended that while granting bail to the respondent Court failed to consider the legal principles applicable for grant of bail i.e. seriousness of offence, likelihood of the witness being intimidated, tampering with the evidence and the conduct of the accused.

The respondent’s counsel contended that the prosecutrix is a major and had been married. She entered into a settlement with her husband for seeking divorce by mutual consent which shows her cognitive faculties.

Considering the fact that the impugned order granting bail to the respondent suffers from gross-illegality as seriousness of the offence and the fact that respondent is likely to influence the prosecutrix by luring her again and/or intimidating her has not been considered, therefore, the Court set aside the impugned order. The bail granted to the respondent was cancelled.

The Court observed, “Once bail has been granted it should not be cancelled unless there is evidence that the conditions of bail are being infringed. The grounds for cancellation of bail broadly are interference or attempt to interfere with the due course of administration of justice or evasion or attempt to evade the due course of justice or abuse of the concession granted to the accused in any manner. One such ground for cancellation of bail would be where ignoring material and evidence on record a perverse order granting bail is passed in a heinous crime of this nature and that too without giving any reasons. Such an order would be against principles of law.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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