The Supreme Court of India, through learned judges, Justices Indira Banerjee and V Ramasubramanium in the case of Indresh Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 938 OF 2022) held that Statements under Section 161 of Cr.P.C. are relevant in considering the prima facie case against an accused in an application for grant of bail in case of grave offence.
BRIEF FACTS: This appeal was against an order passed by the High Court of Allahabad granting bail to the respondent-accused who was arrested in connection with Crime Case No. 08 of 2019 under Sections 302, 201, 376 read with 120B of the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 5 and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) for alleged rape and murder of an eleven year old child being the daughter of the appellant.
FINDINGS OF THE COURT: The apex court observed that the High Court had ignored the materials on record including incriminating statements of witnesses under Section 164/161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It remarked that statements under Section 161 of Cr.P.C. may not be admissible in evidence, but are relevant in considering the prima facie case against an accused in an application for grant of bail in case of grave offence. It further observed that the High Court had granted the respondent-accused bail, without considering the heinous nature of the allegations against him, the gravity of the offence alleged and severity of the punishment in the event of ultimate conviction, only because a co accused had also been granted bail by the High Court. The order by the High Court that granted bail was accordingly set aside.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K