The bail is not to be withheld as a mode of punishment because guilt of an accused is established only at conclusion of trial, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh reiterated.
The bench comprised of Justice Sandeep Sharma while allowing the regular bail application of the Petitioner-accused who had joined the investigation as and when required, observed,
“object of the bail is to secure the attendance of the accused in the trial and the proper test to be applied in the solution of the question whether bail should be granted or refused is whether it is probable that the party will appear to take his trial. Otherwise, bail is not to be withheld as a punishment.”
The Supreme Court had observed in Sanjay Chandra v. Central Bureau of Investigation, (2012) 1 SCC 49, that,
“The object of bail is to secure the appearance of the accused person at his trial by reasonable amount of bail. The object of bail is neither punitive nor preventative. Deprivation of liberty must be considered a punishment, unless it can be required to ensure that an accused person will stand his trial when called upon. The Courts owe more than verbal respect to the principle that punishment begins after conviction, and that every man is deemed to be innocent until duly tried and duly found guilty.”
The bench allowed the bail plea, since the Additional Advocate General who appeared for the state informed the court that the Petitioner-accused had joined the investigation and was no longer required for custodial interrogation.
The factors laid down by the Supreme Court in Prasanta Kumar Sarkar v. Ashis Chatterjee &Anr., (2010) 14 SCC 496, for grant of bail were also highlighted and observed by the bench,
“normal rule is of bail and not jail. Court has to keep in mind nature of accusations, nature of evidence in support thereof, severity of the punishment which conviction will entail, character of the accused, circumstances which are peculiar to the accused involved in that crime.”
The Petitioner had to be enlarged on bail subject after furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs. 20,000/- each with one local surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of concerned Chief Judicial Magistrate/trial Court, ordered the Bench.
Case Title: Rajneesh Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh
Case No.: Cr. MP (M) No. 678/2020
Quorum: Justice Sandeep Sharma
Appearance: Advocate Nitin Thakur (for Petitioner); AAG SudhirBhatnagar
Read the Order here: