Judicial Updates -
DELHI HIGH COURT - IMPRISONMENT AT THE TRIAL STAGE CANNOT BE PROLONGED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF TEACHING THE ACCUSED A LESSON.
In the case of 𝘚𝘩𝘢𝘩 𝘈𝘭𝘢𝘮 𝘷. 𝘕𝘊𝘛 𝘋𝘦𝘭𝘩𝘪 [Bail Application 1033 of 2023], a complaint was lodged by the Complainant, stating that her daughter had been lured by an unidentified individual and had not returned home. Subsequently, an FIR was registered u/s 365 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 ("IPC"). Additionally, the Complainant's husband informed the police that their daughter had been taken for ransom, with the kidnapper demanding 40 lakh rupees for her safe release, and threatening to harm her if the demand was not met. Following this, the investigating police discovered the victim in the custody of the Petitioner and one more accused.
The Petitioner was arrested under sections 364A, 365, 342, 323, 506, 102B, and 34 of IPC. Thereafter police filed their chargesheet before the Trial Court. Consequently, a bail application u/s 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (“CrPC”) was moved before the Delhi High Court.
The High Court observed that “𝘈𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭, 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘢 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘺𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭”.
The prosecution has not proven that any harm was done to the victim by the accused, according to the Court's further observation. It also found that even the victim's MLC shows "𝘯𝘰 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘩 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘯𝘫𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘢 𝘯𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘦𝘺𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯."
Thus, while granting conditional bail to the accused, the Court stated: “𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭, 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘯𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘢𝘪𝘭, 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴.
”The High Court reaffirmed that the seriousness of an offence is not the only factor in whether bail should be denied by holding that "𝘈 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘦 𝘬𝘦𝘱𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴. 𝘔𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘯 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘥.”