Read Order: RISHIPAL @ RISHIPAL SINGH SOLANKI Vs. RAJU &ANR.
New Delhi, April 6, 2022: Setting aside the order of the Allahabad High Court granting bail to a co-accused in a criminal case, the Supreme Court has expressly stated that the reasons which have weighed with this Court in cancelling the bail which was granted to the co-accused would equally apply to the case of the other co-accused arising out of the same first information report and incident.
The Division Bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant opined that the approach of the High Court in the present appeal was beyond their comprehension as the High Court in its order itself had held that the facts of the first accused pertaining to the case of grant of bail were not prima facie distinct to the case of the co-accused in matter of grant of bail.
Brief facts of the case were that the respondent was charged under Sections 147,148,149,323,302,307 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. While the trial was still pending, the respondent sought bail under Section 483 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The same was allowed by the High Court.
It is pertinent to note that prior to the judgment of the High Court pronounced on November 9,2021, the Apex Court by its judgment dated March 5, 2021 had occasion to consider the correctness of an order granting bail to the co-accused, Amardeep and Bhushan arising out of the same FIR. By the judgment of this Court dated March 5, 2021, the order of the High Court granting bail was set aside.
Thus, the present appeal was filed against the order of the Single Judge of the Allahabad High Court sanctioning the grant of bail.
The Top Court disagreed with the approach adopted by the High Court in approving the bail application of the respondent despite the fact that the order of this Court dated March 5, 2021 was brought to the attention of the High Court.
The Division Bench said, “We are unable to accept the approach of the High Court in granting bail to the first respondent despite the judgement of this Court dated 5 March 2021 having been specifically drawn to its notice. The High Court has not held that the case of the first respondent was distinguishable prima facie on facts for evaluating the case for the grant of bail. As a matter of fact, the reasons which have weighed with this Court in cancelling the bail which was granted to the co-accused would equally apply to the case of the first respondent which also arises out of the same first information report and incident.
Thus, the appeal was allowed and the application of bail of the first respondent was rejected by setting aside the impugned order and judgment of the High Court dated November 9, 2021.
Further directions were issued to the respondent to surrender within a week from the date of this order. The Court concluded this matter by remarking that if the trial is not concluded within a reasonable period, the first respondent will be at liberty to pursue the remedies which are available in law.