Read Order: Manish Singh @ Golu v. 

State of UT Chandigarh

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 16,2022: While dealing with a bail plea filed by a person accused of gruesomely injuring an unarmed middle aged man with the aid of a screwdriver leading to perpetration of permanent damage to the eye and skull of the injured-victim, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that ‘cruelty’ is one of the factors in deciding on bails. 

The Bench of Justice Anoop Chitkara asserted, “Once the courts form a prima facie opinion that the accused acted with cruelty, then such an accused ordinarily should not be granted bail, and if the courts deem it appropriate to grant, then it must be after specifying the reasons for such an indulgence.”

Essentially, the petitioner in this case was  arrayed as an accused in an FIR registered under Sections 323, 379, 452, 511 & 34 of Indian Penal Code and Sections 307 & 397 IPC added later on. He approached the High Court with a petition under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) seeking bail in respect of the above mentioned FIR. 

The FIR was a result of a complaint made by the petitioner owing to the injuries suffered by her husband (victim) at the instance of two boys who were  stealing copper wires from her roof. 

On being confronted, they hit her husband, and he got severe injuries and was hospitalized.

The case of the petitioner’s counsel was that the pre-trial incarceration would cause an irreversible injustice to the petitioner and his family.

On the other hand, while opposing the bail plea, the State Counsel argued that the accused gave multiple blows of face and head of the victim and also gruesomely penetrated screwdriver in his eye, leading to his loss of vision from an eye. 

The Counsel referred to the medical records  to establish that the victim lost his eye, skull and entire jaw had to be resurrected, and  had to be given food through a tube inserted through his neck.

After considering the rival submissions, the Court opined at the very outset that the petitioner brutally assaulted an unarmed middle-aged person. And, in light of this factual position, the Court opined that ‘cruelty’ is one of the factors in deciding on bails. 

A cruel person, Justice Chitkara added, is more likely to create a lot of insecurity in any society, and thus, once the courts form a prima facie opinion that the accused acted with cruelty, then such an accused ordinarily should not be granted bail, and if the courts deem it appropriate to grant, then it must be after specifying the reasons for such an indulgence. 

Coming to the present case, the Court observed that in the present case, an analysis of the allegations and evidence  collected did not warrant the grant of bail to the petitioner.

Further, highlighting the need to consider variety of factors while dealing with a bail plea, the bench made a reference to the Supreme Court in Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia v State of Punjab, wherein it was held that the bail decision must enter the cumulative effect of the variety of circumstances justifying the grant or refusal of bail. 

In the light of ratio of the judicial precedent mentioned above, the Court was of the opinion that the petitioner’s case was not covered within the category of cases where bail ought to be granted.

In the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court dismissed the petition. 

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