Non-appearance Of Accused Cannot Be Ground To Cancel Bail In Criminal Case — Supreme Court - Eastern Mirror
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Non-appearance of accused cannot be ground to cancel bail in criminal case — Supreme Court

By PTI Updated: Jan 29, 2024 9:53 pm

NEW DELHI — The mere non-appearance of an accused personally before a court cannot be a ground for cancellation of bail in a criminal case, the Supreme Court has held.

The ruling by a bench of Justices BR Gavai, Sanjay Karol and Sandeep Mehta came while hearing an appeal against a Calcutta High Court verdict dated September 6, 2023.

The high court had cancelled the bail of Krishna Sharma on the ground that he failed to appear before it despite the court’s direction.

“However, we find that merely because the appellant did not appear personally could not have been a ground for cancellation of bail,” the apex court said.

It said the parameters for grant of bail and its cancellation are totally different.

“The bail already granted may be cancelled if it is found that the person who has been granted the benefit of bail has violated any of the conditions or misused the liberty by influencing the witnesses or tampering with the evidence,” the bench said in its January 24 order.

The top court, while setting aside the high court verdict, said nothing of that sort has been recorded in the judgement .

The bench noted the submission of Sharma’s counsel that he could not attend the high court proceedings on the said date as there was a traffic jam due to VIP movement.

It noted that Sharma’s lawyer also could not be present in the high court as his Vakalatnama (power of attorney) stood withdrawn.

The high court had recorded in the judgement that neither Sharma nor his counsel was present in the court on the said date.

“This exposes an insolent stance of opposite party No.2 (Krishna Sharma) to evade the process of law,” the high court had said and ordered, “Accordingly, we are constrained to cancel the bail of opposite party No. 2 and direct non-bailable warrant to be issued for his apprehension. Trial court shall take necessary steps for issuance of such process and its execution in accordance with law.”

By PTI Updated: Jan 29, 2024 9:53:50 pm
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