Bail cancellation cannot be ordered merely due to perceived indiscipline on part of accused before granting bail: Supreme Court

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Court noted that if the Trial Court was satisfied that the appellant was entitled to be given the concession of bail while putting her to specific terms and conditions, the order so passed had neither been suffering from any fundamental error nor there was any other material factor for which the bail granted to the appellant was to be annulled.

The Supreme Court recently held that cancellation of bail cannot be ordered merely for any perceived indiscipline on the part of the accused before granting bail.

"In other words, the powers of cancellation of bail cannot be approached as if of disciplinary proceedings against the accused and in fact, in a case where bail has already been granted, its upsetting under Section 439(2) CrPC is envisaged only in such cases where the liberty of the accused is going to be counteracting the requirements of a proper trial of the criminal case", held a bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

Court further observed that power of cancellation of bail should be exercised with extreme care and circumspection.

These observations came to be made by the Top Court while setting aside an order whereby the bail granted to the mother-in-law of the deceased in a dowry death case was cancelled by the High Court.

In the case before Court where daughter-in-law of the appellant-accused died by committing suicide and charge-sheet for serious offence including Section 304B IPC had been filed, the Court noted unavailability of the accused to all the processes of law until the date of surrender/arrest could not be appreciated.

But, in the peculiar circumstances of the case, the bench noted, particularly for the fact that the deceased left a minor child and none except the appellant was available in the family to look after the child, it was equally difficult to say that the appellant had been an absconder or a fugitive who had been intentionally running away from the process of law.

Very cogent and overwhelming circumstances or grounds are required to cancel the bail already granted, said the Supreme Court.

It further observed that ordinarily, unless a strong case based on any supervening event is made out, an order granting bail is not to be lightly interfered with under Section 439(2) CrPC.