The Madras High Court recently emphasised that orders concerning bail or cancellation of bail should not be passed mechanically or in a routine manner (Stella Mary v. The State and anr).
Justice K Murali Shankar underscored that bail once granted should only be cancelled either if the grant of bail was perverse or if the bailed accused has misused his liberty after the grant of bail.
An order passed last week by the judge said that the concept of bail is a necessary implication flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution (right to life and personal liberty). He added that liberty is not an absolute abstract concept and that it must be governed by law.
“…. It is settled law that cancellation of bail should not be done in a routine manner and that the bail once granted, should not be cancelled in a mechanical manner. Generally, bail can be cancelled by resorting to in the two situations and the first situation is that granting of bail being perverse, passed without due application of mind or in violation of any substantive or procedural law and in the second category, can be cancelled on the ground of misuse of liberty after the grant of bail or other supervening circumstances,” the Court observed.
The Court was dealing with a criminal revision petition challenging the cancellation of bail granted to a woman accused of cheating and criminal breach of trust. The complainant alleged that the accused had been given an advance amount of Rs. 2,70,000 for the construction of a house, following which the house was not constructed. The complainant lodged the complaint after allegedly coming to know that the accused had similarly cheated 10 other persons.
After the accused was granted bail by a Magistrate, the complainant challenged the same, contending that bail had been granted without any condition to deposit the amount involved. The District Judge proceeded to cancel the bail citing this aspect.
The High Court, however, noted that the Supreme Court has cautioned against bail courts imposing such conditions for the deposit of amounts allegedly due from the accused for the grant of bail in Dilip Singh Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and another.
Opining that Dilip Singh’s case is squarely applicable to the present case, Justice Shankar ultimately set aside the order cancelling bail.
“As per the dictum of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, no such condition can be imposed. Considering the above, this Court has no hesitation to hold that the impugned order cancelling bail is liable to be set aside and is set aside accordingly,” the Court ruled.