Bail App No.253/2020
Sohan Singh v. Union Territory of J&K
Decided on: 24 June, 2021
Hon’ble High Court of Jammu & Kashmir while dismissing a Bail application observed that case where gravity of offence alleged against an accused is severe, the bail cannot be granted only on the ground of long incarceration. The Petitioner in this case was incarcerated since 31st December, 2012 for allegedly committing an offence under Section 302 of RPC. He was charged by the Trail Court in February 2014 and subsequent developments pertaining to impleadment of more persons as accused led to stay of Trial by the Supreme Court in December 2016. According to the petitioner, there has been unexplained and unreasonable delay in completion of the trial of the case, which entitles him to the grant of bail. The High Court opined that nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in case of conviction has to be kept in mind before granting bail. Referring to case law case of Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav and another, (2004) 7 SCC 528, the Bench observed that the conditions laid down in Section 437(1)(i) of Cr. P. C are sine qua non for granting bail even under Section 439 of the Code, meaning thereby that in a case where a person is alleged to be involved in a offence punishable with death sentence or imprisonment for life, he cannot be released on bail if there appear reasonable grounds for believing that he has been guilty of such an offence. It was also observed that as per case law State of UP through CBI v. Amaramani
Tripathi, (2005) 8 SCC 21, a detailed examination of the evidence is to be avoided while considering the question of bail, to ensure that there is no pre-judging and no prejudice. The Bench further held that: “It is true that some delay in completion of trial has taken place on account of restrictions in physical hearing of cases due to COVID-19 pandemic but that is an eventuality beyond the control of everybody. The same cannot be the sole ground for enlarging an accused on bail,
particularly in a heinous offence like murder. Even otherwise, the Supreme Court in Kalyan Chandra Sarkar’s case (supra) has clearly laid down that in a case where gravity of offence alleged against an accused is severe, the bail cannot be granted only on the ground of long incarceration.”
With these observations, the petition was dismissed.