‘Cryptic and Casual’: SC sets aside HC bail order in disabled man’s murder

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) The Supreme Court said a court deciding a bail application cannot completely divorce its decision from material aspects of the case, as it set aside a Rajasthan High Court order granting bail to a man who allegedly strangled a disabled man.

A bench of Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna said: “The High Court has lost sight of the aforesaid material aspects of the case and has, by a very cryptic and casual order, de hors coherent reasoning, granted bail to the accused. We find that the High Court was not right in allowing the application for bail filed by the respondent-accused.”

It said the present case is not fit for granting bail to the accused, against the backdrop of serious allegations against him. “Strangely, the State of Rajasthan has not filed any appeal against the impugned order,” it added.

The top court judgment came on a plea filed by Manoj Kumar Khokhar against the Rajasthan High Court, which granted bail to an accused who allegedly sat on the chest of his disabled father, Ram Swaroop Khokhar, and forcefully strangled him, causing his death at a bus stand.

The FIR was registered in December on 8, 2019 and the accused arrested on December 10.

The petitioner claimed that the accused is a person exercising significant political influence in the Bhopawaspachar village and the possibility of him threatening or otherwise influencing the witnesses, if on bail, cannot be ruled out. The high court granted bail to the accused in May 2020. The petitioner moved the apex court challenging the high court order.

The top court noted that it is not necessary for a court to give elaborate reasons while granting bail, particularly when the case is at the initial stage and the allegations of the offences by the accused would not have been crystallised as such.

“However, the court deciding a bail application cannot completely divorce its decision from material aspects of the case such as the allegations made against the accused, severity of the punishment if the allegations are proved beyond reasonable doubt and would result in a conviction..”.

The bench emphasised the court should exercise its discretion in a judicious manner and in accordance with the settled principles of law. “Thus, while elaborate reasons may not be assigned for grant of bail or an extensive discussion of the merits of the case may not be undertaken by the court considering a bail application, an order de hors reasoning or bereft of the relevant reasons cannot result in grant of bail,” it added.

“The respondent accused is on bail. His bail bond stands cancelled and he is directed to surrender before the concerned jail authorities within a period of two weeks from today.”

–IANS

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