Supreme Court: Liberty is important even of a person charged with crime but it is important to recognise potential threat to life & liberty of victim

Criminal appeal was filed against the order of Allahabad High Court for granting bail to the accused who was arrested with respect to the offence punishable under Section 3 (1) of the U.P. Gangster and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986.

The accused was booked under Sections 120-B and 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 3 and 25 of the Arms Act 1959.

After hearing the matter Allahabad High court granted bail to the accused on very liberal terms, such as the execution of a personal bond to the satisfaction of the jail Authorities & the furnishing of sureties within a month of his release. The High court has simply ignored the antecedents of the accused & the potential to repeat his acts by organising his criminal

Supreme Court stated that There is no doubt that liberty is important, even that of a person charged with crime but it is important for the courts to recognise the potential threat to the life and liberty of victims/witnesses, if such accused is released on bail.

Factors laid down by the court are:

1. Whether there was a prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the offence;

2. Nature and gravity of accusations;

3. Severity of punishment in event of a conviction;

4. Danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if granted bail;

5. Character, behaviour, means, position & standing of the accused;

6. Likelihood of repetition of the offence;

7. Reasonable apprehension of witnesses being influenced; &

8. Danger of justice being thwarted by grant of bail.

Appeal was allowed and Allahabad High Court order was set aside.

Sudha Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh and Others.

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