Gravity of offence be looked into by court while granting anticipatory bail: SC

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Gravity of an offence and specific allegations are the parameters that should be looked into by a court while granting anticipatory bail to an accused, the Supreme Court has said.

A bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna made the observations while setting aside an order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court granting anticipatory bail to two persons accused in a murder case.

The top court said it has to determine whether on the basis of the material available at this stage, the high court applied the correct principles in allowing the applications for anticipatory bail.

“Courts ought to be generally guided by considerations such as the nature and gravity of the offences, the role attributed to the applicant, and the facts of the case, while considering whether to grant anticipatory bail, or refuse it,” the bench said.

The top court was hearing appeals challenging anticipatory bail granted to two accused in connection with an offence registered under Sections 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) read with 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

The apex court said the offence is of a serious nature in which a person was murdered and the FIR and the statements indicate a specific role of the accused in the crime.

“The order granting anticipatory bail has ignored material aspects, including the nature and gravity of the offence, and the specific allegations against the accused.

Hence, a sufficient case has been made out for cancelling the anticipatory bail granted by the high court,” the bench said.

The apex court said that facts need not be examined in detail at the present stage and it would examine whether the high court had correct principles for the grant of anticipatory bail.

“The material at this stage cannot be examined with a fine tooth comb in the manner of a criminal trial. What needs to be determined is whether the parameters for the grant of anticipatory bail were correctly formulated and applied by the single judge,” the bench said.

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