Saturday, 23 January 2021

Supreme Court: High Court Exercising Bail Jurisdiction should not Pass Directions which will affect trial on merit

A perusal of the impugned order indicates that the

directions regarding the CCTV footage were made by the

High Court on submissions by the counsel for the

Respondents-accused before the High Court that they

wished to rely on the same to prove their nonparticipation

in the alleged incident. While the learned

counsel for the Respondents-accused have attempted to

submit before us that such an exercise is necessary, we

are not in agreement with the same. When only the limited

issue of grant of regular bail to

the accused is pending consideration before the High

Court, it was not appropriate for it to pass

the aforesaid directions which will have a direct bearing

upon the trial.

Thus, we are of the considered view that the

direction of the High Court directing the Investigating

Officer to examine the CCTV footage and to submit a

report, is not sustainable in the eyes of law and

deserves to be set aside.

 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.55-56/2021


PRASHANT DAGAJIRAO PATIL  VS  VAIBHAV@SONU ARUN PAWAR AND ANR.ETC

Dated: 19-01-2021

O R D E R

The Court is convened through Video Conferencing.

Leave granted.

The present appeals are filed by the Appellant–

complainant against the common impugned interim order

dated 28.08.2020 passed by the Bombay High Court Bench at

Aurangabad whereby, while hearing the bail application of

the Respondents-accused herein, the High Court directed

the Investigating Officer to examine CCTV footage and

submit his report before the Court. Aggrieved by the said

order, the Appellant-complainant has challenged the same

before this Court by way of Special Leave.

The learned counsel for the Appellant submits that

the High Court should not conduct a mini trial while

hearing a bail application. The defense of the

Respondents-accused would be examined in full detail

during the trial, and should not be pre-decided by the

High Court during bail proceedings. Any orders

passed by the High Court in relation to such an issue

would prejudice the trial. The learned counsel for

Respondent No. 2- State supported the submissions of the

Appellant and further submitted that such a course of

action would set a bad precedent.

On the other hand, the learned counsel for the

Respondents-accused submitted that they had been in jail

for nearly 2 years, and that an examination of the CCTV

footage would prove that they were not present at the

time of the incident. They further submitted that due to

the pendency of the proceedings before this Court, the

High Court has not decided their bail applications.

Heard the learned counsel for the parties.

A detailed conspectus of the facts of this case are

not necessary for the disposal of the present appeals.

However, for the sake of completeness, some facts might

be highlighted. The First Information Report regarding

the present incident was registered on 09.06.2018 against

eight individuals, including the respondents-accused

herein, under Sections 302, 307, 349, 120(B), 101, 143,

147, 148 and 149, IPC along with Sections 4 and 25 of the

Indian Arms Act and Sections 37(1)(3) and 135 of the

Maharashtra Police Act. The allegation is that the

accused persons threatened the Appellant-complainant and

his family two days prior to the incident, which took

place on 08.06.2018, in the evening. At the time of

the incident, the Appellant-complainant allegedly saw

some of the accused persons block the car of his elder

brother and his nephew. Then all the accused persons,

including the Respondents-accused herein, assaulted the

two persons with dangerous weapons. The Appellantcomplainant’s

elder brother and nephew allegedly passed

away due to the injuries sustained in the incident.

Subsequent to their arrest, the Respondents-accused

filed bail applications before the Trial Court which have

all seemingly been rejected on various grounds including

the nature of the allegations against them. The

Respondents-accused have therefore moved the High Court

for bail, in which proceedings the impugned interim order

has been passed.

A perusal of the impugned order indicates that the

directions regarding the CCTV footage were made by the

High Court on submissions by the counsel for the

Respondents-accused before the High Court that they

wished to rely on the same to prove their nonparticipation

in the alleged incident. While the learned

counsel for the Respondents-accused have attempted to

submit before us that such an exercise is necessary, we

are not in agreement with the same. When only the limited

issue of grant of regular bail to

the accused is pending consideration before the High

Court, it was not appropriate for it to pass

the aforesaid directions which will have a direct bearing

upon the trial.

Thus, we are of the considered view that the

direction of the High Court directing the Investigating

Officer to examine the CCTV footage and to submit a

report, is not sustainable in the eyes of law and

deserves to be set aside.

We, accordingly, set aside the common impugned

interim order of the High Court and request the said

Court to consider the bail applications of the

Respondents–accused pending before it, expeditiously, on

its own merits and in accordance with law. It is made

clear that we have not expressed anything on the merits

of the matter.

The appeals are allowed in the afore-stated terms.

……………………………J

(N.V.RAMANA)

…………………………J

(SURYA KANT)

………………………………J

(ANIRUDDHA BOSE)

NEW DELHI;

19TH JANUARY, 2021


Print Page

No comments:

Post a comment