Courts should enquire into the antecedents of an accused to find out if he has a bad record and is likely to commit serious offenses while out on bail, the Supreme Court has observed.
New Delhi: A bench comprising justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and MR Shah made the remarks while setting aside the bail granted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to a man facing a murder and criminal conspiracy case. The nature of the charge and the evidence are also vital factors while deciding on bail pleas, the bench said, adding the severity of the punishment in case of conviction also bears upon the issue. Referring to its earlier decisions, the bench said the deprivation of freedom by the refusal of bail is not for punitive purposes but the bifocal interests of justice. The top court said that while granting bail, the factors among other circumstances which are required to be considered are — the nature of the accusation, the severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence, reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witness or the apprehension of threat to the complainant; and prima facie satisfaction of the court in support of the charge.
The observations came while it was hearing an appeal against Punjab & Haryana High Court granting bail to an accused in connection with an FIR. The apex court said that in the facts and circumstances of the case, the HC has committed a grave error in releasing Singh on bail .