Read Judgment: Mamta & Anr v. The State (NCT of Delhi) & Anr 

Tulip Kanth

New Delhi, May 27, 2022: Criticizing the conduct of the Delhi High Court in granting bail to the accused, who has been facing trial in connection with the alleged murder of a young boy for ransom, the Supreme Court has stated that the High Court failed to notice crucial aspects which have a bearing on whether or not a case for the exercise of the jurisdiction to grant bail under Section 439 of CrPC was established.

While considering the appeal filed by the parents of the deceased boy against the judgment of the Single Judge of the Delhi High Court, the Division Bench of Justice D.Y.Chandrachud and Justice Bela M. Trivedi was of the opinion that the exercise of the discretion by the High Court in the present case was improper.

The factual matrix of this case was such that the deceased, a 13 year old Class VIII student, was kidnapped for a ransom of Rs 1 crore and his dead body was recovered one day after his kidnapping. The second respondent-accused was arrested and was in custody, except for the period when he was released on interim bail, until March 2,2022.This appeal arose from the order dated March 2, 2022 of a Single Judge of the Delhi High Court granting bail to the accused.

Directing that the trial be completed preferably within a period of one year, the Bench held that an important circumstance which should have, but was not taken into consideration by the High Court was that crucial witnesses are yet to be examined. The release of the second respondent on bail, at this stage, would run a grave risk of impeding a fair trial, noted the Bench.

Observing that the apprehension of the appellants and of the prosecution that the witnesses may be tampered with couldnot be regarded as lacking in substance and considering various factors such as gravity of the offence, the role attributed to the second respondent and the crucial witnesses which remained to be examined, the Bench allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned order granting bail.

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