Every man is innocent until duly tried and found guilty! It would be inappropriate to refuse bail simply to give him a taste of imprisonment as a lesson.

Sanjay Chandra Vs CBI

Supreme Court

23/11/2011

(2012) 1 SCC 40

About/from the judgment:

Ss. 437 and 439 - Bail - Conditional bail to balance competing considerations - Relevant considerations in granting such conditional bail - Gravity of alleged offence - Severity of punishment prescribed in law - Both parameters, held, ought to be taken into consideration simultaneously - Gravity alone cannot be decisive ground to deny bail - Competing factors to be balanced by court while exercising its discretion - Protection of personal liberty against securing attendance of accused at trial - Presumed innocence till a person is convicted - Hardship caused to individual on account of detention before conviction - Unnecessary burden on State to keep a person who is yet to be proved guilty - Constitutionally protected liberty, held, must be respected unless detention becomes a necessity - Bail is the rule and jail an exception - Each case however to be decided on its own merits - Apprehended tampering of evidence - Denial of bail on this count - Held, to be resorted to in most extraordinary circumstances only - Lengthy trial which may prolong beyond maximum sentence awardable under relevant law - Relevance of - 2G Spectrum Scam case - Charge-sheet already filed - Telecom licences under Unified Access Services (UAS) policy and radio spectrum alleged to have been obtained by indulging in cheating and forgery - Eligibility criteria manipulated - Public exchequer alleged to have suffered huge loss - Appellants charged for various economic offences under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and IPC - Seventeen persons booked for scam - Statement of witnesses running into several hundred pages - Other documentary evidence also too voluminous - Trial in these circumstances likely to take considerable time - Longest sentence that can be imposed is seven years' imprisonment under 1988 Act - No serious apprehension raised before Supreme Court that accused persons, if released on bail, would interfere with trial or tamper evidence - Balanced approach, held, is to grant bail subject to certain conditions, rather than to keep individuals under detention for an indefinite period - Liberty also given to CBI to seek cancellation/modification of bail if appellants violate conditions imposed on them - Trial court and High Court, further held, erred in denying bail solely by taking into account seriousness of offences, deep-rooted conspiracy involved and loss of public money, overlooking other relevant aspects, (2012) 1 SCC 40-A

Ss. 437 and 439 - Prejudices which may be avoided in deciding bail matters - Public scams, scandals and heinous offences - Public sentiments and disapproval of alleged misconduct - Bail, held, ought not be denied to teach lesson to a person whose offence is yet to be proved - Conditional bail, as a solution, (2012) 1 SCC 40-B

Ss. 437 and 439 - Bail - Relevant considerations depending on stage at which bail application is made - Pre-charge and post-charge stages - SLP already dismissed in a connected case where bail was refused before framing of charges - Appellants who were co-accused, seeking bail after framing of charges - Held, their cases stood on different footing - Earlier case was not an impediment in granting bail to appellants, (2012) 1 SCC 40-C

Read the Judgment

Knowledge and content of about almost all their respective descriptions are borrowed from law-related blogs and websites, we, therefore, wish to give proper credit to all the respective law-related blogs and websites like LiveLaw, Bar and Bench, LatestLaws, PathLegal, FirstLaw, Lawctopus, IndianKanoon, Manupatra, LegallyIndia etc.. Many of the judgments are also taken from them websites of Hon'ble Supreme Court and other respective Hon'ble High Courts!

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