Can’t Keep Accused in Custody Just Because the Offence Alleged Is of Serious Nature: Jammu & Kashmir HC

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The Jammu & Kashmir High Court in a recent case said that an accused cannot be detained purely in the custody on the basis that the crime claimed to have been committed by him is of a serious nature.

One Mr. Suraj Kumar has filed a bail petition and the hearing was happening before a Single Judge Bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar.

Facts of the Case

As per the facts of the case on November 26, 2020, a black coloured vehicle (Wagnor-R) intercepted by the officers from the Police Station Batote, its registration number JK02AV-3560, proceeding from Batote towards Nashri. Upon checking the vehicle, a plastic bag containing charas was found under the seat of the driver. The driver has also disclosed his identity as Suraj Kumar alias Sonu, son of Om Raj.

Suraj Kumar was booked under Sections 8/20 of the NDPS Act. The recovered ‘charas’ was found to be 500 gm during the investigation of the case and after investigation of the case, offences were found against the petitioner under Sections 8/20 of the NDPS Act and the charge sheet was laid before the Court of Special Judge. On 27 October 2020, the trial court has rejected the bail application filed by the petitioner.

Order of the High Court

The High Court said,

Allowing the petitioner to remain in custody because of the reason that the offences alleged to have been committed by him are serious in nature, would amount to inflicting pre-trial punishment upon him.”

Apart from this, the court also observed that nothing was reported by the respondents to indicate that the petitioner is a regular offender or that he has either already been accused or convicted of similar offences. The bench added,

It is not the case of the respondents that any further recovery is to be effected by the petitioner. If the petitioner is not enlarged on bail, it may also have an adverse impact on his preparation of defence against the charges that have been laid against him before the trial court.”

The bench also remarked, “The discretion regarding grant or refusal of bail cannot be exercised against the petitioner on the basis of public sentiments or to teach him a lesson as his guilt is yet to be proved.


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