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Ronu Kumar …… vs State Of H.P. ….. on 20 August, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH, SHIMLA

Cr.MP (M) No. 1030/2018 

.

Date of decision: 20.8.2018

Ronu Kumar          …… Petitioner
Vs.

State of H.P.           ….. Respondent

Coram

The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, Judge.

Whether approved for reporting?1 

For the petitioner: Mr.  B.R. Chandel  Ajay Chandel,
Advocates.

For the respondent: Mr. Vinod Thakur and Mr. Sudhir

Bhatnagar,   Additional   Advocate
Generals   with   Mr.   Bhupinder
Thakur, Deputy Advocate General.

ASI Baljeet Singh, Incharge, Police

Post   Sandhol,   Police   Station,
Dharampur, District Mandi.  

 Tarlok Singh Chauhan  (Oral)

The   petitioner   has   sought   anticipatory   bail   in   case

FIR No. 72/2018, dated 15.6.2018, registered at Police Station,

Dharampur, District Mandi, under Sections  376 and 506 IPC. 

1

Whether the reporters of the local papers may be allowed to see the Judgment?
Yes

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…2…

2 The respondent­State has produced the record of the

investigation and has filed the status report.

.

3 In brief, the prosecution story as revealed from the

record,   is   that   the   prosecutrix,     aged   about   52   years,   got

recorded   her   statement   under   Section   154   Cr.P.C.   that   the

petitioner,   who is aged about 27 years and serving in Indian

Army, on 7/8 March, 2018 had ravished her  in the open fields

and it is only when her son working in Ludhiana (Punjab) came

over to home on 9.5.2018 that she disclosed the entire incident

to   him,   upon   which   the   instant   FIR   came   to   be   registered

against the petitioner.  

4 I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and

have also gone through the record of the investigation carefully. 

5 Before proceeding further, it would be necessary to

bear in mind the law on the subject.

6 As early as in the year 1978, the Hon’ble Supreme

Court in  Gurcharan  Singh vs.State  (Delhi Administration)

(1978) 1 SCC 118  laid down the following criteria for grant of

bail:

“22. In other non­bailable cases the Court will exercise its
judicial   discretion   in   favour   of   granting   bail   subject   to

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subsection (3) of Section 437 Cr.P.C if it deems necessary
to   act   under   it.   Unless   exceptional   circumstances   are

.

brought to the notice of the Court which may defeat proper

investigation and a fair trial, the Court will not decline to
grant bail to a person w ho is not accused of an offence

punishable with death or imprisonment for life. It is also
clear that when an accused is brought before the Court of
a Magistrate with the allegation against him of an offence
punishable   with   death   or   imprisonment   for   life,     he   has

ordinarily no option in the matter but to refuse bail subject,
however, to the first proviso to Section 437(1) CrPC and in
a case where the Magistrate entertains a reasonable belief

on the materials that the accused has not been guilty of

such an offence. This will, however,  be an extraordinary
occasion since there will be some materials at the stage of
initial arrest, for the accusation or for strong suspicion of

commission by the person of such an offence.

******

24.   Section   439(1)   CrPC   of   the   new   Code,   on   the   other
hand,   confers   special   powers   on   the   High   Court   or   the

Court  of  Session  in  respect   of   bail.  Unlike  under  Section
437(1) there is no ban imposed under Section 439(1), CrPC

against granting of bail by the High Court or the Court of
Session to persons accused of an offence punishable with
death or imprisonment for life. It is, however, legitimate to
suppose that the High Court or the Court of Session will be
approached by an accused only after he has failed before
the Magistrate and after the investigation has progressed
throwing   light   on   the   evidence   and   circumstances
implicating   the   accused.   Even   so,   the   High   Court   or   the
Court of Session will have  to exercise its judicial discretion

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in   considering   the   question   of   granting   of   bail   under
Section   439(1)   CrPC   of   the   new   Code.   The   overriding

.

considerations   in   granting   bail   to   which   we   adverted   to

earlier and which are common both in the case of Section
437(1) and Section 439(1) CrPC of the new Code are the

nature   and   gravity   of   the   circumstances   in   which   the
offence   is   committed;   the   position   and   the   status   of   the
accused with reference to the victim and the witnesses; the
likelihood, of the accused fleeing from justice; of repeating

the offence; of  jeopardising his own life being faced with a
grim   prospect   of   possible   conviction   in   the   case;   of
tampering with witnesses; the history of the case as well

as of its investigation and other relevant grounds which, in

view of so many valuable factors, cannot be exhaustively
set out.”

7 The   Hon’ble     Apex   Court   in  Prasanta   Kumar

Sarkar   versus   Ashis   Chatterjee   and   another,   (2010)   14

SCC   496,     laid   down   the   following   principles   to   be   kept   in

mind, while deciding petition for bail:

(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, behavior, means, posit ion and standing of
the accused;

(vi)  likelihood of the offence being repeated;

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…5…

(vii)     reasonable   apprehension   of   the   witnesses   being
influenced; and

.

(viii)  danger, of course, of justice being thwarted by grant of

bail.

8 In   a   detailed   judgment,   the   Hon’ble   Supreme

Court   in  Siddharam   Satlingappa   Mhetre   versus   State   of

Maharashtra and others,   (2011) 1 SCC 694, while relying

upon   its   decision   rendered   by     its   Constitution   Bench   in

Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia vs. State of Punjab,   (1980) 2 SCC

565, laid down the following parameters for grant of bail:­

“111.   No   inflexible   guidelines   or   straitjacket   formula   can  be
provided for grant or refusal of anticipatory bail. We are

clearly of the view that no attempt should be made to
provide   rigid   and   inflexible   guidelines   in   this   respect

because   all   circumstances   and   situations   of   future
cannot be clearly visualized for the grant or refusal  of

anticipatory   bail.   In   consonance   with   the   legislative
intention the grant or refusal of   anticipatory bail should

necessarily depend on facts and circumstances of each
case.   As   aptly   observed   in   the   Constitution   Bench
decision in Sibbia’s case (supra) that the High Court or
the Court of Sessions to exercise their jurisdiction under
section 438 Cr.P.C. by a wise and careful use of their
discretion  which  by  their   long   training   and   experience
they are ideally suited to do. In any event, this is the
legislative mandate which we are bound to respect and
honour.

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…6…

112. The following factors and parameters can be taken into
consideration while dealing with the anticipatory bail:

.

(i)     The   nature   and   gravity   of   the   accusation   and   the

exact   role   of   the   accused   must   be   properly
comprehended before arrest is made;

(ii)   The antecedents of the applicant including the fact
as   to   whether   the     accused   has   previously
undergone imprisonment on conviction by a Court in
respect of any cognizable offence;

(iii)   The possibility of the applicant to flee from justice;

(iv)   The possibility of the accused’s likelihood to repeat
similar or the other offences.

(v)  Where the accusations have been made only with the

object   of   injuring   or   humiliating   the   applicant   by
arresting him or her.

(vi)     Impact   of   grant   of   anticipatory   bail   particularly   in

cases   of   large   magnitude   affecting   a   very   large
number of people.

(vii)   The   courts   must   evaluate   the   entire   available
material   against   the   accused   very   carefully.   The

court must also clearly comprehend the exact role of
the   accused   in   the   case.   The   cases   in   which

accused is implicated with the help of sections 34
and 149 of the Indian Penal Code, the court should
consider   with   even   greater   care   and   caution
because over implication in the cases is a matter of
common knowledge and concern;

(viii)   While   considering   the   prayer   for   grant   of
anticipatory   bail,   a   balance   has   to   be   struck
between two factors namely, no prejudice should be
caused   to   the   free,   fair   and   full   investigation   and

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there   should   be   prevention   of   harassment,
humiliation   and   unjustified   detention   of   the

.

accused;

(ix) The court to consider  reasonable e apprehension of
tampering of the witness or apprehension of threat

to the complainant;

(x)   Frivolity in prosecution should always be considered
and it is only the element of genuineness that shall
have to be considered in the matter of grant of bail

and in the event of there being some doubt as to the
genuineness   of   the   prosecution,   in   the   normal
course of events, the accused is entitled to an order
r of bail.

113.Arrest   should   be   the   last   option   and   it   should   be
restricted   to   those   exceptional   cases     where
arresting the accused is imperative in the facts and

circumstances of that case. The court must carefully
examine the entire available record and particularly
the allegations which have been directly attributed

to   the   accused   and   these   allegations   are

corroborated   by   other   material   and   circumstances
on record.

114.These are some of the factors which should be taken

into   consideration   while   deciding   the   anticipatory
bail   applications.   These   factors   are   by   no   means
exhaustive   but   they   are   only   illustrative   in   nature
because   it   is   difficult   to   clearly   visualize   all
situations   and   circumstances   in   which   a   person
may pray for anticipatory bail. If a wise discretion is
exercised   by   the   Judge       concerned,   after
consideration of entire material on record then most
of the grievances in favour of grant of or refusal of

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bail   will   be   taken   care   of.   The   legislature   in   its
wisdom   has   entrusted   the   power   to   exercise   this

.

jurisdiction only to the judges of the superior courts.

In   consonance   with   the   legislative   intent   ion   we
should accept the fact that the discretion would  be

properly   exercised.   In   any   event,   the   option   of
approaching the superior court against the court of
Sessions or the High Court is always available.”

        (Emphasis supplied)

9

    In      Sanjay   Chandra   vs.   Central   Bureau   of

Investigation   (2012)   1  SCC  40,   the   Hon’ble   Supreme   Court

made the following pertinent observations in paras 21, 22, 23,

and 40 as under:­

“21.   In   bail   applications,   generally,   it   has   been   laid   down
from the earliest times t hat 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 is 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. 

22.  From the earliest times, it was appreciated that detention
in custody pending completion of trial could be a cause
of great hardship. From time to time, necessity demands
that   some   un­convicted   persons   should   be   held   in
custody pending trial to secure their attendance at the

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trial but in such cases, `necessity’ is the operative test.
In this country, it would be quite contrary to the concept

.

of   personal   liberty   enshrined   in   the   Constitution   that

any person should be punished in respect of any matter,
upon which, he has not been convicted  or that  in any

circumstances, he should be deprived of his liberty upon
only the belief that he will tamper with the witnesses if
left   at   liberty,   save   in   the   most   extraordinary
circumstances.

 23. Apart from the question of prevention being the object of
a refusal of bail, one must not lose sight of the fact that
any   imprisonment   before   conviction   has   a   substantial

punitive content and it would be improper for any Court

to refuse bail as a mark of disapproval of former conduct
whether the accused has been convicted for it or not or
to refuse bail to an un ­convicted person for the purpose

of giving him a taste of imprisonment as a lesson. 

40.     The   grant   or   refusal   to   grant   bail   lies   within   the
discretion of the Court. The grant or denial is regulated,

to a large extent, by the facts and circumstances of each

particular case. But at the same time, right to bail is not
to   be   denied   merely   because   of   the   sentiments   of   the
community against the accused. The primary purposes

of bail in a criminal case are to relieve the accused of
imprisonment,   to   relieve   the   State   of   the   burden   of
keeping him, pending the trial, and at the same time, to
keep   the   accused   constructively   in   the   custody   of   the
Court, whether before or after conviction, to assure that
he will submit to the jurisdiction of the Court and be in
attendance thereon whenever his presence is required.” 

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…10…

10. Adverting   to   the   present   case,   it   would   be   noticed

.

that     grave  and serious allegations  have  been levelled  against

the petitioner by the prosecutrix, however, these allegations for

the time being cannot be taken on the face value and in fact

have   to   be   taken   with   pinch   of   salt   as   the   silence   of   the

prosecutrix for such a long period of time cannot be attributed

to any threat perception for the simple reason that the petitioner

is serving in Indian Army, where he is posted as Sepoy.

11. That   apart,     there   are   many   other   attending

circumstances, which create serious doubt   on the entire story

put­forth by the prosecutrix. Not only this, if the statement of

the   prosecutrix   under   Section   164   Cr.P.C.   is   taken   into

consideration,   even   then     the   prosecutrix   may   have   a   lot   to

explain.

12 Be   that   as   it   may,   the   allegations   levelled   by   the

prosecutrix     for   the   present  cannot   be   taken   to   be   such   that

may   be   sufficient   to   deprive     the   petitioner   as   to   liberty   and

shall  have   to   be  proved  by  the   prosecution,   more  particularly

the prosecutrix, during the course of the trial. Moreover, since

the petitioner is serving in Indian Army, obviously there is no

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…11…

question of his absconding or not associating with the trial, if

ordered to be released on bail.  

.

13 Having said so, I find this to be a fit case where the

petitioner   ought   to   be   released   on   bail.   Accordingly,   the   bail

petition is allowed and the petitioner is ordered to be released

on bail, in case FIR No. 72/2018, dated 15.6.2018, registered at

Police Station, Dharampur, District Mandi, under Sections  376

and 506 IPC, on his furnishing personal bonds in the sum of

Rs.50,000/­   with   one   surety   of   the   like   amount,   to   the

satisfaction   of   the   Arresting   Officer   with   the   following

conditions:­

(i) He shall make himself available for the purpose of
interrogation,  if so required  and regularly attend

the trial Court on each and every date of hearing

and   if   prevented   by   any   reason   to   do   so,   seek
exemption   from   appearance   by  filing   appropriate

application;

(ii) He shall not tamper with the prosecution evidence
nor   hamper   the   investigation   of   the   case   in   any
manner whatsoever;

(iii)He   shall   not   make   any   inducement,   threat   or
promise to any person acquainted with the facts of
the   case   so   as   to   dissuade   him/her   from

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…12…

disclosing   such   facts   to   the   Court   or   the   Police
Officer;

.

(iv)He   shall   not   leave   the   territory   of   India   without

prior permission of the Court.

14 Any   observation   made   here­in­above   shall   not   be

taken as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case and

the   trial   Court   shall   decide   the   matter   uninfluenced   by   any

observation   made   here­in­above.   The   petition   stands   disposed

of.

Copy dasti.

 20th August, 2018                   (Tarlok Singh Chauhan)
     (pankaj)           Judge

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