SC expresses surprise after Guj HC grants bail to murder accused; sets aside order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has recently expressed its surprise after the Gujarat High Court granted bail to a murder accused on the basis of a settlement with the complainant — the victim’s son.

Justices Hima Kohli and Rajesh Bindal of the Supreme Court said that it was surprising that the Gujarat government did not challenge the order of the High Court which was passed last year in February.

Noting that the accused in the case had a criminal history, the apex court said he had been in custody for only six months.

The Supreme Court said: “Strangely enough one of the considerations that has weighed with the learned single judge includes the fact that the respondent number 2 has filed a settlement arrived at with the original complainant, that too in respect of an offence under Section 302 (murder). To our mind, this was a fit case where the respondent number 1 — the state ought to have approached this court against the order of bail granted by the high court in favour of the respondent number 2 but surprisingly, no steps were taken.”

The apex court also cancelled bail and ordered the accused to surrender immediately.

The case pertains to an incident in 2021 wherein two persons were accused of murdering an individual following a scuffle.

The trial court had twice denied granting regular bail to one of the accused, after which he approached the Gujarat High Court, which granted him bail.

A person who was injured in the scuffle filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the bail order of the Gujarat High Court.

The top court then expressed its surprise after finding that the high court relied on a settlement between the accused and the victim’s son to grant bail to the accused person.

Besides, the Supreme Court also found that the high court had wrongly stated that the accused had no criminal antecedents.

Later, the top court set aside the 2022 bail order of the high court.

The top court has also asked the relevant authorities to forward the latest order to the Gujarat Home Secretary for review and appropriate action.

Related Articles