The Supreme Court observed that Holding High Office does not entitle one to anticipatory bail

The 3-Judge bench of Supreme Court comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Krishna Murari and Hrishikesh Roy observed that holding high office does not entitle one to anticipatory bail.

Anil Kumar Singh and others have been accused under Section 447 of the Bihar Nagar Palika Act, 2007 for professed disclosure of false information in nomination papers which were submitted for General Nagar Palika elections, 2007.  The State Election Commission had found that the allegation was correct as a result of which the commission declared the elections void. The commission also directed to lodge FIR against him under Section 447 of the Bihar Nagar Palika Act which is read with Section 420/34, Indian Penal Code

Regarding this, Anil Kumar Singh and others filed writ petition before the Supreme Court asking directions for the anticipatory bail applications pending before Patna High Court. The bench which was headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul told the petitioner that it is not possible to issue any such directions. The counsel then addressed the bench on merits of the case. The counsel submitted that the accused were willing to join the investigation and there is no need for custodial interrogation of the petitioner.

“We are unable to agree with the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners in view of the conduct of the petitioners and the greater the office held, the greater the responsibility of the person as in the case of the petitioners. It cannot be said that the petitioners held a high office, they are ipso facto entitled to anticipatory bail.”, the bench said.

Source: https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/holding-of-high-office-does-not-entitle-an-accused-to-anticipatory-bail-164267

Order: https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-382656.pdf

The Supreme Court observed that a court cannot refuse to hear a bail application on merits on the ground that the accused had failed to comply with the settlement offer made earlier.

The Supreme Court made a remark, “a court cannot refuse to hear a bail application on merits on the ground that the accused had failed to comply with the settlement offer made earlier.”

This was observed by the Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao. The court dismissed the order passed by the Madras High Court which set aside a bail application on the ground that the accused had gone back on the promise to settle.

The case of G Selvakumar vs State of Tamil Nadu emerged out of an FIR registered over allegations of criminal breach of trust, cheating etc. The accused had pursued for an interim bail by stating that he will settle the disputes relating to the payment of money once he is released. Based on this, the Court granted him interim bail.

The accused later told the court that he was facing difficulties to pay the money due to certain domestic circumstances. The High Court did not appreciate this response of the accused and dismissed his bail application.

Challenging this High Court order, the accused filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme court. Advocates for the petitioner side were Senior Advocate R Basant along with Advocates A Karthik and Sarath S Janardanan.

The SC observed that the HC should have considered the bail application on merits and should not have set it aside on the ground that he did not fulfil his promise. “In any event, the High Court ought to have heard the bail application on merits and ought not to have dismissed the same on the ground that the petitioner has gone back of the promise made to the High Court on 18.02.2020”, the SC observed.

The bench, also including Justice Ajay Rastogi, observed, that it was not planning to send the matter back to the HC for fresh consideration and ordered that the accused should be released on bail, subject to the satisfaction of the trial court.

 

Source: https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/court-cannot-refuse-to-hear-bail-application-on-merits-saying-accused-went-back-on-promise-to-settle-sc-163927

Order: https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/pdf_upload-382364.pdf