Hindustan Times (East UP)
Courts can’t obviate duty to record reasons while deciding bail: SC
NEW DELHI: A court cannot “obviate its duty” to record reasons while deciding on bail as the matter implicates the liberty of accused, interest of the state and the victims in proper administration of criminal justice, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah made this observation in its verdict setting aside the Gujarat HC orders granting bail to six accused for their alleged involvement in a murder case.
The apex court said that consent of parties cannot obviate the duty of high court to indicate its reasons why it has either granted or refused bail as outcome of the application has a significant bearing on the liberty of accused on the one hand as well as public interest in due enforcement of criminal justice on the other.
“We disapprove of the observations of the High Court in a succession of orders in the present case recording that the counsel for the parties ‘do not press for a further reasoned order’.
The grant of bail is a matter which implicates the liberty of the accused, the interest of the state and the victims of crime in the proper administration of criminal justice,” the bench said.
The top court noted it is a well-settled principle that in determining as to whether bail should be granted, the high court and the sessions court deciding an application under section 439 of the CrPC would not launch upon a detailed evaluation of facts on merits since a criminal trial is still to take place. Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with special powers of the high court or sessions court regarding bail.
“These observations while adjudicating upon bail would also not be binding on the outcome of the trial. But the court granting bail cannot obviate its duty to apply a judicial mind and to record reasons, brief as they may be, for the purpose of deciding whether or not to grant bail,” the bench said.
“The consent of parties cannot obviate the duty of the high court to indicate its reasons why it has either granted or refused bail,” it said.