Manoj Kumar Khokhar vs State of Rajasthan

Manoj Kumar Khokhar vs State of Rajasthan - Supreme Cour Case 2022

NON­REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.36 OF 2022
(ARISING OUT OF SLP(CRL.) NO.4062 OF 2020)
MANOJ KUMAR KHOKHAR            …..APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
STATE OF RAJASTHAN & ANR.           ….RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
NAGARATHNA J. 
This   appeal   has   been   preferred   by   the
informant­appellant   assailing   Order   dated   7th  May,   2020
passed   by   the   High   Court   of   Judicature   of   Rajasthan,   at
Jaipur, in S.B. Criminal Miscellaneous Bail Application No.
3601/2020, whereby bail has been granted to the accused
who   is   the   second   respondent   in   the   instant   appeal,   in
connection with FIR No. 407/2019 Police Station Kalwar. 
2.  According to the appellant, he is the son of the deceased,
Ram Swaroop Khokhar and is the person who lodged the First
Information Report being FIR No. 407/2019 on 8th December,
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2019 for the offence of murder of his father, under Section
302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1980 (hereinafter referred to as
“IPC” for the sake of brevity) against the second respondentaccused herein viz. Ram Narayan Jat.
3. The said FIR dated 8th December, 2019 had been lodged by
the appellant herein between 23:00 hrs and 23:30 hrs in the
night stating that earlier on that day, at about 16:00 hrs, his
father, aged about 55 years, was attacked by the respondentaccused, at the Lalpura Pachar bus stand, with the intention
of   killing   him.   That   the   respondent­accused   pinned   the
deceased   to   the   ground,   sat   on   his   chest   and   forcefully
strangled him, thereby causing his death. Some associates of
the respondent­accused who were present at the spot of the
incident, helped him in attacking and killing the deceased.
The informant­appellant further stated in the FIR that there
was a pre­existing rivalry between the respondent­accused,
his brothers namely, Arjun, Satyanarayn and Okramal and
the deceased. That the deceased had previously informed the
appellant and certain family members about such rivalry and
had communicated that he was apprehensive about his safety
owing to the same. That even on the day of the incident, the
respondent­accused along with one of his brothers, Okramal
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had gone to the appellant’s house in the morning and had
abused   the   deceased.   The   report   of   the   post­mortem
examination conducted on 9th December, 2019 has recorded
that the deceased had died as a result of “asphyxia due to
ante mortem strangulation.”
4.  The respondent­accused was arrested in connection with
the said FIR No. 407/2019 on 10th December, 2019 and was
sent to judicial custody. The respondent­accused remained
under judicial custody for a period of nearly one year and five
months   till   he   was   granted   bail   by   the   High   Court   vide
impugned order.
5.   A charge sheet was submitted by the police before the
Court of the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate, Jaipur after
conducting an investigation in relation to the aforesaid FIR.
The Additional Metropolitan Magistrate by Order dated 12th
March, 2020 took cognizance of the offence and committed
the   case   to   the   District   and   Sessions   Court   for   trial   and
adjudication.
6.  The respondent­accused had earlier preferred applications
seeking   bail,   under   Section   437   of   the   Code   of   Criminal
Procedure, 1973 (for short, the “CrPC”) before the Court of
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Additional Metropolitan Magistrate No.9, Jaipur Metropolitan,
Jaipur, on two occasions. The same came to be rejected by
orders dated 23rd  January, 2020 and 6th  March, 2020. The
accused had also preferred a bail application under Section
439   of   the   CrPC   which   was   rejected   by   the   Additional
Sessions Judge No.5, Jaipur Metropolitan by order dated 12th
March,   2020   having   regard   to   the   gravity   of   the   offences
alleged   against   the   accused.   The   respondent­accused
preferred another bail application before the High Court and
by the impugned order dated 7th May, 2020, the High Court
has enlarged him on bail. Being aggrieved by the grant of bail
to   the   respondent­accused,   the   informant­appellant   has
preferred the instant appeal before this Court.
7. We have heard Sri. Basant R., learned Senior Counsel for
the   appellant   and   Sri.   Aditya   Kumar   Choudhary,   learned
Counsel   for   respondent­accused   and   have   perused   the
material on record.
8. Learned Senior Counsel for the appellant submitted that
the   deceased   had   been   elected   in   2015   as   the   Deputy
Sarpanch   of   Mandha   Bhopawaspachar   village,   Jhotwara
Tehsil, Jaipur, Rajasthan. That he was elected to such post
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despite opposition from the accused and his family. That the
family of the accused exercised significant influence in the
village   and   were   trying   to   dissuade   the   deceased   from
contesting the election to the post of Sarpanch, to be held in
February   2020.   Owing   to   such   political   enmity,   the
respondent­accused   along   with   his   brothers   Arjun,
Satyanarayn and Okramal had gone to the appellant’s house
in   the   morning   on   8th  December,   2019   and   abused   the
deceased and later on the same day, the deceased was killed.
According to the appellant, the deceased was suffering from
54% permanent physical impairment of both his legs and had
therefore been overpowered by the respondent­accused who
had pinned him to the ground, sat on his chest and throttled
his neck, resulting in his death.
9.  Further it was urged that the High Court has not exercised
its discretion judiciously in granting bail to the respondentaccused.   That   the   High   Court   has   not   taken   into
consideration the gravity of the offence alleged and the grave
manner in which the offence was committed against a person
incapable of defending himself owing to physical impairment.
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10.   It   was   submitted   that   the   factum   of   previous   enmity
between the family of the accused and the deceased has not
been   taken   into   consideration   by   the   High   Court   in   the
context of the allegations against the accused with regard to
the grant of bail. That the possibility of respondent­accused, a
person exercising high political influence in Bhopawaspachar
village, absconding or threatening the witnesses or the family
of   the  deceased,   thereby  having  a  bearing  on   the  trial,  if
released on bail could not be ruled out. That the police were
initially   reluctant   to   even   register   an   FIR   against   the
respondent­accused. In fact, the accused was arrested by the
police on 10th December, 2019 only as a result of the protest
(dharna) carried out by the family members of the deceased
outside the police station. It was contended that the accused,
being a very influential person in the village, could influence
the course of trial by tampering with evidence and influencing
the witnesses. 
According   to   the   learned   Senior   Counsel   for   the
appellant, the High Court has not assigned reasons for grant
of bail in the instant case wherein commission of a heinous
crime has been alleged against the accused, for which, the
accused, if convicted, could be sentenced to life imprisonment
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or even death penalty. That the High Court in a very cryptic
order,  de   hors  any   reasoning   has   granted   bail   to   the
respondent­accused. It was urged that the grant of bail to the
respondent­accused was contrary to the settled principles of
law and the judgments of this Court. It was submitted on
behalf of the appellant, who is the son of the deceased, that
this appeal may be allowed by setting aside the impugned
order. 
11. In support of his submissions, learned Senior Counsel for
the   appellant   placed   reliance   on   certain   decisions   of   this
Court which shall be referred to later.
12.   Per   contra,   Sri.   Aditya   Kumar   Choudhary,   learned
counsel for respondent­accused submitted that the impugned
order   does   not   suffer   from   any   infirmity   warranting   any
interference by this Court. That the informant­appellant has
narrated   an   untrue   version   of   events   in   order   to   falsely
implicate the accused. Existence of past enmity between the
families   of   the   deceased   and   the   accused   has   been
categorically denied. It has been stated that the two families
maintained cordial relations, which fact is evidenced by the
findings in the charge sheet dated 7th February 2020, which
records   that   the   deceased   and   the   respondent­accused
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belonged to the same village and they used to play cards
together   at   the   Lalpura   bus   stand   every   day   since   their
retirement and there is no evidence which is suggestive of
enmity between them. That the sudden scuffle between the
deceased and the accused on 8th  December, 2019 was an
isolated   incident   and   was   not   in   connection   with   or   in
continuation of any pre­existing dispute between them. 
It was further submitted that there was a considerable
and unexplained delay by the informant­appellant in lodging
the FIR which is proof of the fact that the same was lodged as
an afterthought and therefore does not bring out the true
narration of facts. In support of his submission as to the false
nature   of   the   appellent’s   version   of   the   incident,   learned
counsel   for   the   respondent­accused   has   relied   on   the
statements of the eye­witnesses to the incident stating that
there was a sudden scuffle between the deceased and the
respondent­accused   on   the   date   of   the   incident   and   the
accused   throttled   the   neck   of   the   deceased.   After   being
separated, the deceased sat on a bench in the bus­stop but
later became unconscious and was immediately taken to the
hospital where he died. It has further been stated by an eye8
witness, namely, Mangalchand that the brothers of accused
were not present at the time of the incident. 
Learned counsel for the respondent­accused referred to
Niranjan Singh and Anr. vs. Prabhakar Rajaram Kharote
and Ors, [1980] 2 SCC 559 to contend that a court deciding
a bail application should avoid elaborate discussion on merits
of the case as detailed discussion of facts at a pre­trial stage
is bound to prejudice fair trial. 
Further, learned counsel for the respondent­accused
submitted   that   the   investigation   in   relation   to   FIR   No.
407/2019 is complete in all respects and charge sheet has
been   submitted.   Therefore,   there  arises   no  question   as   to
influencing any witness or tampering with the evidence. That
the accused has deep roots in society and will therefore not
attempt   to   abscond.   Also,   the   accused   has   no   criminal
antecedents and the incident in question occurred as a result
of a sudden scuffle and therefore, prima facie, offence under
section 300 of the IPC has not been made out against the
accused.   Hence,   the   impugned   order   granting   bail   to   the
respondent­accused   does   not   call   for   interference   by   this
Court.
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13. Having regard to the contention of Sri. Basant R., learned
Senior Counsel for the informant­appellant that the impugned
order granting bail to the respondent­accused is bereft of any
reasoning   and   that   such   order   is   casual   and   cryptic,   we
extract the portion of the impugned order dated 7th May, 2020
passed by the High Court which is the “reasoning” of the
Court for granting bail, as under: 
“I   have   considered   the   submissions   and
perused   the   challan   papers   and   the   postmortem   report,   but   without   expressing   any
opinion on the merits and demerits of the case,
I deem it appropriate to enlarge the accusedpetitioner on bail.
Therefore, this bail application is allowed and it
is directed that accused­petitioner namely, Ram
Narayan   Jat   S/o   Shri   Bhinva   Ram   shall   be
released on bail under section 439 Cr.P.C. in
connection   with   aforesaid   FIR,   provided   he
furnishes a personal bond in the sum of Rs.
50,000/­ together with one surety in the like
amount   to   the   satisfaction   of   the   concerned
Magistrate   with   the   stipulation   that   he   shall
comply with all the conditions laid down under
Section 437 (3) Cr.P.C.”
14. Before  proceeding  further, it would be useful to refer to
the judgments of this Court in the matter of granting bail to
an accused as under:
a) In  Gudikanti   Narasimhulu   &   Ors.   vs.   Public
Prosecutor, High Court of Andhra Pradesh ­­  (1978) 1
SCC 240, Krishna Iyer, J., while elaborating on the content
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of Article 21 of the Constitution of India in the context of
liberty   of   a   person   under   trial,   has   laid   down   the   key
factors   that   have   to   be   considered   while   granting   bail,
which are extracted as under:
“7. It is thus obvious that the nature of the
charge is the vital factor and the nature of the
evidence also is pertinent. The punishment to
which the party may be liable, if convicted or
conviction   is   confirmed,   also   bears   upon   the
issue.
8. Another relevant factor is as to whether the
course of justice would be thwarted by him who
seeks the benignant jurisdiction of the Court to
be freed for the time being.
9.   Thus   the   legal   principles   and   practice
validate the Court considering the likelihood of
the applicant interfering with witnesses for the
prosecution or otherwise polluting the process
of justice. It is not only traditional but rational,
in this context, to enquire into the antecedents
of   a   man   who   is   applying   for   bail   to   find
whether he has a bad record – particularly a
record   which   suggests   that   he   is   likely   to
commit serious offences while on bail. In regard
to habituals, it is part of criminological history
that a thoughtless bail order has enabled the
bailee   to   exploit   the   opportunity   to   inflict
further   about   the   criminal   record   of   a
defendant,   is   therefore   not   an   exercise   in
irrelevance.”
b) In  Prahlad   Singh   Bhati   vs.   NCT   of   Delhi   &   ORS  –
(2001)   4   SCC   280  this   Court   highlighted   the   aspects
which are to be considered by a court while dealing with an
application seeking bail. The same may be extracted as
follows: 
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“The   jurisdiction   to   grant   bail   has   to   be
exercised on the basis of well settled principles
having regard to the circumstances of each case
and not in an arbitrary manner. While granting
the  bail,  the  court   has  to  keep  in  mind   the
nature of accusations, the nature of evidence in
support thereof, the severity of the punishment
which   conviction   will   entail,   the   character,
behavior, means and standing of the accused,
circumstances   which   are   peculiar   to   the
accused, reasonable possibility of securing the
presence of the accused at the trial, reasonable
apprehension of the witnesses being tampered
with, the larger interests of the public or State
and similar other considerations. It has also to
be   kept   in   mind   that   for   the   purposes   of
granting the bail the Legislature has used the
words   "reasonable   grounds   for   believing"
instead of "the evidence" which means the court
dealing with the grant of bail can only satisfy it
as to whether there is a genuine case against
the accused and that the prosecution will be
able to produce prima facie evidence in support
of the charge.”
c) This  Court  in  Ram   Govind   Upadhyay   vs.   Sudarshan
Singh – (2002) 3 SCC 598, speaking through Banerjee, J.,
emphasized that a court exercising discretion in matters of
bail, has to undertake the same judiciously. In highlighting
that bail cannot be granted as a matter of course, bereft of
cogent reasoning, this Court observed as follows: 
“3. Grant of bail though being a discretionary
order — but, however, calls for exercise of such
a discretion in a judicious manner and not as a
matter of course. Order for bail bereft of any
cogent reason cannot be sustained. Needless to
record,   however,   that   the   grant   of   bail   is
dependent   upon   the   contextual   facts   of   the
matter being dealt with by the court and facts,
however,   do   always   vary   from   case   to   case.
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While placement of the accused in the society,
though  may  be  considered   but   that   by  itself
cannot   be   a   guiding   factor   in   the   matter   of
grant of bail and the same should and ought
always to be coupled with other circumstances
warranting the grant of bail. The nature of the
offence is one of the basic considerations for the
grant of bail — more heinous is the crime, the
greater is the chance of rejection of the bail,
though,   however,   dependent   on   the   factual
matrix of the matter.”
d) In  Kalyan   Chandra   Sarkar   vs.   Rajesh   Ranjan   alias
Pappu  Yadav  &  Anr.  –   (2004)  7  SCC  528, this Court
held   that   although   it   is   established   that   a   court
considering a bail application cannot undertake a detailed
examination of evidence and an elaborate discussion on
the merits of the case, the court is required to indicate the
prima facie reasons justifying the grant of bail. 
e) In  Prasanta Kumar   Sarkar   vs.   Ashis   Chaterjee  ­­
(2010) 14 SCC 496 this Court observed that where a High
Court has granted bail mechanically, the said order would
suffer from the vice of non­application of mind, rendering it
illegal.   This   Court   held   as   under   with   regard   to   the
circumstances under which an order granting bail may be
set aside. In doing so, the factors which ought to have
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guided the Court’s decision to grant bail have also been
detailed as under: 
“It is trite that this Court does not, normally,
interfere   with   an   order   passed   by   the   High
Court granting or rejecting bail to the accused.
However, it is equally incumbent upon the High
Court   to   exercise   its   discretion   judiciously,
cautiously and strictly in compliance with the
basic   principles   laid   down   in   a   plethora   of
decisions of this Court on the point. It is well
settled that,
among other circumstances, the factors to be
borne in mind while considering an application
for bail are: (i) whether there is any prima facie
or   reasonable   ground   to   believe   that   the
accused had committed the offence; (ii) nature
and gravity of the accusation; (iii) severity of the
punishment   in   the   event   of   conviction;   (iv)
danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if
released   on   bail;   (v)   character,   behaviour,
means, position and standing of the accused;
(vi) likelihood of the offence being repeated; (vii)
reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being
influenced;   and   (viii)   danger,   of   course,   of
justice being thwarted by grant of bail.”
f) Another factor which should guide the courts’ decision in
deciding   a   bail   application   is   the   period   of   custody.
However,   as   noted   in  Ash   Mohammad   vs.   Shiv   Raj
Singh  @  Lalla  Bahu  &  Anr.  –  (2012)  9  SCC  446, the
period of custody has to be weighed simultaneously with
the   totality   of   the   circumstances   and   the   criminal
antecedents   of   the   acused,   if   any.   Further,   the
circumstances which may justify the grant of bail are to be
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considered in the larger context of the societal concern
involved   in   releasing   an   accused,   in   juxtaposition   to
individual liberty of the accused seeking bail. 
g) In Neeru Yadav vs.  State of UP & Anr. – (2016) 15 SCC
422, after referring to a catena of judgments of this Court
on   the   considerations   to   be   placed   at   balance   while
deciding to grant bail, observed through Dipak Misra, J.
(as His Lordship then was) in paragraphs 15 and 18 as
under: 
“15. This being the position of law, it is clear as
cloudless sky that the High Court has totally
ignored   the   criminal   antecedents   of   the
accused. What has weighed with the High Court
is   the   doctrine   of   parity.   A   history­sheeter
involved in the nature of crimes which we have
reproduced hereinabove, are not minor offences
so that he is not to be retained in custody, but
the   crimes   are   of   heinous   nature   and   such
crimes, by no stretch of imagination, can be
regarded   as   jejune.   Such   cases   do   create   a
thunder   and   lightening   having   the   effect
potentiality of torrential rain in an analytical
mind. The law expects the judiciary to be alert
while admitting these kind of accused persons
to be at large and, therefore, the emphasis is on
exercise of discretion judiciously and not in a
whimsical manner. 
x x x 
18. Before parting with the case, we may repeat
with   profit   that   it   is   not   an   appeal   for
cancellation of bail as the cancellation is not
sought because of supervening circumstances.
The annulment of the order passed by the High
Court is sought as many relevant factors have
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not   been   taken   into   consideration   which
includes   the   criminal   antecedents   of   the
accused and that makes the order a deviant
one.   Therefore,   the   inevitable   result   is   the
lancination of the impugned order.”
h) In Anil Kumar Yadav vs. State (NCT of Delhi) – (2018)
12 SCC 129, this Court, while considering an appeal from
an order of cancellation of bail, has spelt out some of the
significant   considerations   of   which   a   court   must   be
mindful, in deciding whether to grant bail. In doing so,
this   Court   has   stated   that   while   it   is   not   possible   to
prescribe an exhaustive list of considerations which are to
guide a court in deciding a bail application, the primary
requisite of an order granting bail, is that it should result
from   judicious   exercise   of   the   court’s   discretion.   The
findings of this Court have been extracted as under: 
“17.   While   granting   bail,   the   relevant
considerations are: (i) nature of seriousness of
the offence; (ii) character of the evidence and
circumstances   which   are   peculiar   to   the
accused;   and   (iii)   likelihood   of   the   accused
fleeing   from   justice;   (iv)   the   impact   that   his
release may make on the prosecution witnesses,
its impact on the society; and (v) likelihood of
his   tampering.   No   doubt,   this   list   is   not
exhaustive.   There   are   no   hard­and­fast   rules
regarding grant or refusal of bail, each case has
to be considered on its own merits. The matter
always calls for judicious exercise of discretion
by the Court.”
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i) In  Ramesh  Bhavan  Rathod  vs.  Vishanbhai  Hirabhai
Makwana Makwana (Koli) and Ors., (2021) 6 SCC 230
this   Court   after   referring   to   a   catena   of   judgments
emphasized   on   the   need   and   importance   of   assigning
reasons  for the grant of bail. This  Court categorically
observed that a court granting bail could not obviate its
duty to apply its judicial mind and indicate reasons as to
why bail has been granted or refused. The observations of
this Court have been extracted as under: 
“35. We disapprove of the  observations of  the
High   Court   in   a   succession   of   orders   in   the
present case recording that the Counsel for the
parties   "do   not   press   for   a   further   reasoned
order".   The   grant   of   bail   is   a   matter   which
implicates the liberty of the Accused, the interest
of   the   State   and   the   victims   of   crime   in   the
proper administration of criminal justice. It is a
well settled principle that in determining as to
whether bail should be granted, the High Court,
or for that matter, the Sessions Court deciding
an application Under Section 439 of the Code of
Criminal   Procedure   would   not   launch   upon   a
detailed evaluation of the facts on merits since a
criminal   trial   is   still   to   take   place.   These
observations while adjudicating upon bail would
also not be binding on the outcome of the trial.
But the Court granting bail cannot obviate its
duty   to   apply   a   judicial   mind   and   to   record
reasons, brief as they may be, for the purpose of
deciding   whether   or   not   to   grant   bail.   The
consent of parties cannot obviate the duty of the
High Court to indicate its reasons why it has
either  granted  or  refused  bail.  This  is  for  the
reason that the outcome of the application has a
significant bearing on the liberty of the Accused
on one hand as well as the public interest in the
due enforcement of criminal justice on the other.
The rights of the victims and their families are at
17
stake as well. These are not matters involving the
private rights of two individual parties, as in a
civil   proceeding.   The   proper   enforcement   of
criminal law is a matter of public interest. We
must,   therefore,   disapprove   of   the   manner   in
which   a   succession   of   orders   in   the   present
batch of cases has recorded that counsel for the
"respective   parties   do   not   press   for   further
reasoned order". If this is a euphemism for not
recording   adequate   reasons,   this   kind   of   a
formula   cannot   shield   the   order   from   judicial
scrutiny. 
36. Grant of bail Under Section 439 of the Code
of Criminal Procedure is a matter involving the
exercise of judicial discretion. Judicial discretion
in granting or refusing bail­as in the case of any
other discretion which is vested in a court as a
judicial institution­is not unstructured. The duty
to   record   reasons   is   a   significant   safeguard
which   ensures   that   the   discretion   which   is
entrusted to the court is exercised in a judicious
manner. The recording of reasons in a judicial
order   ensures   that   the   thought   process
underlying the order is subject to scrutiny and
that it meets objective standards of reason and
justice.”
j) Recently in  Bhoopendra Singh vs. State  of Rajasthan
& Anr. (Criminal Appeal No. 1279 of 2021), this Court
made observations with respect to the exercise of appellate
power to determine whether bail has been granted for valid
reasons   as   distinguished   from   an   application   for
cancellation of bail. i.e. this Court distinguished between
setting   aside   a   perverse   order   granting   bail   vis­a­vis
cancellation of bail on the ground that the accused has
misconducted   himself   or   because   of   some   new   facts
18
requiring such cancellation. Quoting Mahipal vs. Rajesh
Kumar ­   (2020)   2   SCC   118,  this   Court   observed   as
under:
“16. The considerations that guide the power of
an appellate court in assessing the correctness
of an order granting bail stand on a different
footing from an assessment of an application for
the cancellation of bail. The correctness of an
order   granting   bail   is   tested   on   the   anvil   of
whether   there   was   an   improper   or   arbitrary
exercise of the discretion in the grant of bail.
The test is whether the order granting bail is
perverse,   illegal   or   unjustified.   On   the   other
hand, an application for cancellation of bail is
generally examined on the anvil of the existence
of supervening circumstances or violations of
the conditions of bail by a person to whom bail
has been granted.” 
k) Learned   counsel   for   the   accused­respondent   has   relied
upon   the   decision   of   this   Court   in  Myakala
Dharmarajam   and   Ors.   vs.   The   State   of   Telangana
and Ors.  – (2020) 2 SCC 743 to contend that elaborate
reasons need not be assigned for the grant of bail. What is
of essence is that the record of the case ought to have
been perused by the court granting bail. The facts of the
said case are that a complaint was lodged against fifteen
persons for offences under Sections 148, 120B, 302 read
with Section 149 of  the Indian Penal  Code, 1860. The
accused therein moved an application seeking bail before
the Principal Sessions Judge, who, after perusal of the
19
case diary, statements of witnesses and other connected
records, released the accused on bail through an order
which did not elaborately discuss the material on record.
The High Court cancelled the bail bond on the ground that
the   Principal   Sessions   Judge   had   not   discussed   the
material on record in the order granting bail. In an appeal
preferred   by   the   accused   before   this   Court,   the   order
granting bail was restored and the following observations
were made as to the duty of the court to record reasons
and discuss the material on record before granting bail:
“10. Having perused the law laid down by this
Court on the scope of the power to be exercised
in   the   matter   of   cancellation   of   bails,   it   is
necessary to examine whether the order passed
by the Sessions Court granting bail is perverse
and suffers from infirmities which has resulted
in   the   miscarriage   of   justice.   No   doubt,   the
Sessions Court did not discuss the material on
record in detail, but there is an indication from
the orders by which bail was granted that the
entire material was perused before grant of bail.
It  is not  the case of either the complainantRespondent No. 2 or the State that irrelevant
considerations have been taken into account by
the Sessions Court while granting bail to the
Appellants. The order of the Sessions Court by
which the bail was granted to the Appellants
cannot be termed as perverse as the Sessions
Court   was   conscious   of   the   fact   that   the
investigation was completed and there was no
likelihood of the Appellant tampering with the
evidence.
11. The petition filed for cancellation of bail is
both on the grounds of illegality of the order
passed by the Sessions Court and the conduct
of the Appellants subsequent to their release
20
after bail was granted. The complaint filed by
one   Bojja   Ravinder   to   the   Commissioner   of
Police,   Karimnagar   is   placed   on   record   by
Respondent No. 2. It is stated in the complaint
that the Appellants were roaming freely in the
village   and   threatening   witnesses.   We   have
perused   the   complaint   and   found   that   the
allegations made therein are vague. There is no
mention  about   which   Accused   out   of  the   15
indulged in acts of holding out threats to the
witnesses or made an attempt to tamper with
the evidence.
12. After considering the submissions made on
behalf of the parties and examining the material
on record, we are of the opinion that the High
Court was not right in cancelling the bail of the
Appellants. The orders passed by the Sessions
Judge   granting   bail   cannot   be   termed   as
perverse.   The   complaint   alleging   that   the
Appellants were influencing witnesses is vague
and   is   without   any   details   regarding   the
involvement of the Appellants in threatening the
witnesses. Therefore, the Appeals are allowed
and   the   judgment   of   the   High   Court   is   set
aside.”
However, we are of the view that the said decision is
not   applicable   to   the   facts   of   the   instant   case   for   the
following reasons:
Firstly, this Court in the aforecited decision restored
the order granting bail to the accused on the ground that
although no discussion was made by the Sessions Court as
to the material on record, in the order granting bail, it was
apparent in the order of the Sessions Court whereby bail
was granted, that the decision to grant bail was arrived at
after perusal of the entire material on record. While the
21
material   may  not  have   been   specifically  referred  to,   the
order granting bail was indicative of the fact that it had
been   arrived   at   after   thorough   consideration   thereof.
However, in the instant case, no such indication can be
observed in the impugned orders of the High Court which
would be suggestive of the fact that the material on record
was perused before deciding to grant bail.
Secondly,   the   case   referred   to   by   the   accused
concerned an  offence which was allegedly committed by
fifteen   persons.   The   complainant   therein   had   not
specifically assigned roles to each of such fifteen persons. It
was thus found that the allegations being vague, no prima
facie case could be made out, justifying the grant of bail to
the accused therein. However, in the instant case, only one
accused has been named by the appellant­informant and
the role attributed to him is specific. Therefore, the facts of
the case relied upon, being significantly different from the
one before us, we find that the judgment relied upon by the
learned counsel for the respondent­accused would be of no
assistance to his case.
l) The most recent judgment of this Court on the aspect of
application of mind and requirement of judicious exercise
22
of discretion in arriving at an order granting bail to the
accused   is   in   the   case   of  Brijmani   Devi   vs.   Pappu
Kumar   and   Anr.  –   Criminal   Appeal   No.   1663/2021
disposed   of   on   17th  December,   2021,   wherein   a   threeJudge   Bench   of   this   Court,   while   setting   aside   an
unreasoned and casual order of the High Court granting
bail to the accused, observed as follows: 
“While   we   are   conscious   of   the   fact   that
liberty of an individual is an invaluable right, at
the same time while considering an application
for bail Courts cannot lose sight of the serious
nature of the accusations against an accused
and the facts that have a bearing in the case,
particularly, when the accusations may not be
false, frivolous or vexatious in nature but are
supported   by   adequate   material   brought   on
record so as to enable a Court to arrive at a
prima   facie  conclusion.   While   considering   an
application   for   grant   of   bail   a  prima   facie
conclusion must be supported by reasons and
must be arrived at after having regard to the
vital facts of the case brought on record. Due
consideration must be given to facts suggestive
of the nature of crime, the criminal antecedents
of   the   accused,   if   any,   and   the   nature   of
punishment that would follow a conviction visà­vis the offence/s alleged against an accused.”
15.  On the aspect of the duty to accord reasons for a decision
arrived at by a court, or for that matter, even a quasi­judicial
authority, it would be useful to refer to a judgment of this
Court in  Kranti   Associates   Private   Limited  &   Anr.   vs.
Masood Ahmed Khan & Ors. – (2010) 9 SCC 496, wherein
23
after   referring   to   a   number   of   judgments   this   Court
summarised   at   paragraph   47   the   law   on   the   point.   The
relevant principles for the purpose of this case are extracted
as under: 
“(a) Insistence on recording of reasons is meant
to   serve   the   wider   principle   of   justice   that
justice   must   not   only   be   done   it   must   also
appear to be done as well.
(b)  Recording   of   reasons   also   operates   as   a
valid   restraint   on   any   possible   arbitrary
exercise of judicial and quasi­judicial or even
administrative power.
(c)  Reasons reassure that discretion has been
exercised   by   the   decision­maker   on   relevant
grounds   and   by   disregarding   extraneous
considerations.
(d)   Reasons   have   virtually   become   as
indispensable   a   component   of   a   decisionmaking   process   as   observing   principles   of
natural  justice  by  judicial,  quasi­judicial and
even by administrative bodies.
(e)  The ongoing judicial trend in all countries
committed   to   rule   of   law   and   constitutional
governance is in favour of reasoned decisions
based on  relevant  facts.  This  is  virtually  the
lifeblood of judicial decision­making justifying
the principle that reason is the soul of justice.
(f)  Judicial   or   even   quasi­judicial   opinions
these days can be as different as the judges and
authorities   who   deliver   them.   All   these
decisions serve one common purpose which is
to   demonstrate   by   reason   that   the   relevant
factors have been objectively considered. This is
important for sustaining the litigants' faith in
the justice delivery system.
(g)  Insistence on reason is a requirement for
both judicial accountability and transparency.
24
(h)  If a judge or a quasi­judicial authority is not
candid enough about his/her decision­making
process then it is impossible to know whether
the person deciding is faithful to the doctrine of
precedent or to principles of incrementalism.
(i)  Reasons  in  support  of  decisions must  be
cogent,   clear   and   succinct.   A   pretence   of
reasons or “rubber­stamp reasons” is not to be
equated with a valid decision­making process.
(j)  It cannot be doubted that transparency is
the   sine   qua   non   of   restraint   on   abuse   of
judicial   powers.   Transparency   in   decisionmaking   not   only   makes   the   judges   and
decision­makers less prone to errors but also
makes them subject to broader scrutiny. (See
David   Shapiro   in Defence   of   Judicial
Candor [(1987) 100 Harvard Law Review 731­
37)
(k)  In all common law jurisdictions judgments
play a vital role in setting up precedents for the
future.   Therefore,   for   development   of   law,
requirement of giving reasons for the decision is
of the essence and is virtually a part of “due
process”.
Though   the   aforesaid   judgment   was   rendered   in   the
context of a dismissal of a revision petition by a cryptic order
by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,
reliance could be placed on the said judgment on the need to
give reasons while deciding a matter.
16. The Latin maxim “cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex”
meaning “reason is the soul of the law, and when the reason
25
of any particular law ceases, so does the law itself”, is also
apposite. 
17. We have extracted the relevant portions of the impugned
order above.  At  the  outset,  we  observe  that  the  extracted
portions are the only portions forming part of the “reasoning”
of   the   High   court   while   granting   bail.   As   noted   from   the
aforecited judgments, 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 crystalised as such.
There   cannot   be   elaborate   details   recorded   to   give   an
impression   that   the   case   is   one   that   would   result   in   a
conviction or, by contrast, in an acquittal while passing an
order on an application for grant of bail. 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;   reasonable
apprehension   of   the   witnesses   being   influenced   by   the
accused; tampering of the evidence; the frivolity in the case of
the prosecution; criminal antecedents of the accused; and a
26
prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge
against the accused. 
18.  Ultimately, the Court considering an application for bail
has   to   exercise   discretion   in   a   judicious   manner   and   in
accordance with the settled principles of law having regard to
the crime alleged to be committed by the accused on the one
hand and ensuring purity of the trial of the case on the other. 
19. 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. In such a case
the prosecution or the informant has a right to assail the
order before a higher forum. As noted in Gurcharan Singh
vs.  State  (Delhi  Admn.)  ­  1978  CriLJ  129,  when bail has
been   granted   to   an   accused,   the   State   may,   if   new
circumstances have arisen following the grant of such bail,
approach the High Court seeking cancellation of bail under
section 439 (2) of the CrPC. However, if no new circumstances
have cropped up since the grant of bail, the State may prefer
an appeal against the order granting bail, on the ground that
27
the  same   is  perverse  or illegal  or  has  been  arrived  at  by
ignoring material aspects which establish a prima­facie case
against the accused. 
20. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we shall now consider
the   facts   of   the   present   case.   The   allegations   against
respondent­accused as well as the contentions raised at the
Bar have been narrated in detail above. On a consideration of
the same, the following aspects of the case would emerge: 
a) The allegation against the respondent­accused is under
section 302 of the IPC with regard to the murder of the
deceased  Ram   Swaroop   Khokhar,   the   father   of   the
informant­appellant who was a disabled person. Thus, the
offence   alleged   against   the   respondent­accused   is   of   a
grave nature. 
b) The accusation against the accused is that he overpowered
the deceased who was suffering from impairment of both
his   legs,   pinned   him   to   the   ground,   sat   on   him   and
throttled his neck. As per the postmortem report, the cause
of death was ante­mortem strangulation.
c)   It is also the case of the appellant that the respondentaccused   is   a   person   exercising   significant   political
influence in the Bhopawaspachar village and that owing to
28
the same, the informant found it difficult to get an FIR
registered against him. That the accused was arrested only
following a protest outside a police station demanding his
arrest.  Thus, the possibility of the accused threatening or
otherwise influencing the witnesses, if on bail, cannot be
ruled out. 
d) That   the   respondent­accused   had   earlier   preferred
applications seeking bail, under section 437 of the CrPC
before the Court of the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate,
Jaipur, on two occasions. The same came to be rejected by
orders dated 23rd January, 2020 and 6th March, 2020. The
accused had also preferred a bail application under section
439   of   the   CrPC   which   was   rejected   by   the   Additional
Sessions   Judge,   Jaipur   Metropolis   by   order   dated   12th
March, 2020 having regard to the gravity of the offences
alleged against the accused.
e) The High Court in the impugned order dated 7th May, 2020
has not considered the aforestated aspects of the case in
the context of the grant of bail.
21. Having considered the aforesaid facts of the present case
in light of the judgments cited above, we do not think that
this case is a fit case for grant of bail to the respondent29
accused, having regard to the seriousness of the allegations
against him. Strangely, the State of Rajasthan has not filed
any appeal against the impugned order. 
22. 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   respondentaccused. Hence the impugned order dated 7th  May, 2020 is
set aside. The appeal is allowed. 
23. 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. 
……………………………J 
M.R. SHAH 
……………………….…..J
B.V. NAGARATHNA
NEW DELHI;
11th JANUARY, 2022. 
30

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