when the allegations are supported by material on record and there is a potential of trial being adversely influenced by grant of bail that would seriously jeopardising the interest of justice

Dr.Vinod Bhandari vs State Of M. P

(Supreme Court of India) (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 220 OF 2015)

  1. In Kalyan Chandra Sarkar (supra), it was observed : “8. It is trite law that personal liberty cannot be taken away except in accordance with the procedure established by law. Personal liberty is a constitutional guarantee. However, Article 21 which guarantees the above right also contemplates deprivation of personal liberty by procedure established by law. Under the criminal laws of this country, a person accused of offences which are non-bailable is liable to be detained in custody during the pendency of trial unless he is enlarged on bail in accordance with law. Such detention cannot be questioned as being violative of Article 21 since the same is authorised by law. But even persons accused of non-bailable offences are entitled to bail if the court concerned comes to the conclusion that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against him and/or if the court is satisfied for reasons to be recorded that in spite of the existence of prima facie case there is a need to release such persons on bail where fact situations require it to do so. In that process a person whose application for enlargement on bail is once rejected is not precluded from filing a subsequent application for grant of bail if there is a change in the fact situation. In such cases if the circumstances then prevailing require that such persons be released on bail, in spite of his earlier applications being rejected, the courts can do so.”

 

  1. In Amarmani Tripathi (supra), it was observed :
  2. It is well settled that the matters to be considered in an application for bail are (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 charge; (iii) severity of the punishment in the event of conviction; (iv) danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if released on bail; (v) character, behaviour, means, position and standing of the accused; (vi) likelihood of the offence being repeated; (vii) reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with; and (viii) danger, of course, of justice being thwarted by grant of bail [see Prahlad Singh Bhati v. NCT, Delhi[(2001) 4 SCC 280] and Gurcharan Singh v. State (Delhi Admn.) [(1978) 1 SCC 118]. While a vague allegation that the accused may tamper with the evidence or witnesses may not be a ground to refuse bail, if the accused is of such character that his mere presence at large would intimidate the witnesses or if there is material to show that he will use his liberty to subvert justice or tamper with the evidence, then bail will be refused. We may also refer to the following principles relating to grant or refusal of bail stated in Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan [(2004) 7 SCC 528]: (SCC pp. 535-36, para 11) “11. The law in regard to grant or refusal of bail is very well settled. The court granting bail should exercise its discretion in a judicious manner and not as a matter of course. Though at the stage of granting bail a detailed examination of evidence and elaborate documentation of the merit of the case need not be undertaken, there is a need to indicate in such orders reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted particularly where the accused is charged of having committed a serious offence. Any order devoid of such reasons would suffer from non-application of mind. It is also necessary for the court granting bail to consider among other circumstances, the following factors also before granting bail; they are:

(a) The nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence.

(b) Reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant.

(c) Prima facie satisfaction of the court in support of the charge. (See Ram Govind Upadhyay v. Sudarshan Singh [(2002) 3 SCC 598]] and Puran v. Rambilas [(2001) 6 SCC 338.)”

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  1. In the light of above settled principles of law dealing with the prayer for bail pending trial, we proceed to consider the present case. Undoubtedly, the offence alleged against the appellant has serious adverse impact on the fabric of the society. The offence is of high magnitude indicating illegal admission to large number of undeserving candidates to the medical courses by corrupt means. Apart from showing depravity of character and generation of black money, the offence has the potential of undermining the trust of the people in the integrity of medical profession itself. If undeserving candidates are admitted to medical courses by corrupt means, not only the society will be deprived of the best brains treating the patients, the patients will be faced with undeserving and corrupt persons treating them in whom they will find it difficult to repose faith. In these circumstances, when the allegations are supported by material on record and there is a potential of trial being adversely influenced by grant of bail, seriously jeopardising the interest of justice, we do not find any ground to interfere with the view taken by the trial Court and the High Court in declining bail.

 

  1. It is certainly a matter of serious concern that the appellant has been in custody for about one year and there is no prospect of immediate trial. When a person is kept in custody to facilitate a fair trial and in the interest of the society, it is duty of the prosecution and the Court to take all possible steps to expedite the trial. Speedy trial is a right of the accused and is also in the interest of justice. We are thus, of the opinion that the prosecution and the trial Court must ensure speedy trial so that right of the accused is protected. This Court has already directed that the investigation be finally completed and final charge sheet filed on or before March 15, 2015. We have also been informed that a special prosecutor has been appointed and the matter is being tried before a Special Court. The High Court is monitoring the matter. We expect that in these circumstances, the trial will proceed day to day and its progress will be duly monitored. Material witnesses may be identified and examined at the earliest. Having regard to special features of this case, we request the High Court to take up the matter once in three months to take stock of the progress of trial and to issue such directions as may be necessary. We also direct that if the trial is not completed within one year from today for reasons not attributable to the appellant, the appellant will be entitled to apply for bail afresh to the High Court which may be considered in the light of the situation which may be then prevailing.
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