Grant of Bail – Factors to be considered

In Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan, (2004) 7 SCC 528, it was held as under:

“The law in regard to grant or refusal of bail is very well settled. The court granting bail should exercise its discretion in a judicious manner and not as a matter of course. Though at the stage of granting bail a detailed examination of evidence and elaborate documentation of the merit of the case need not be undertaken, there is a need to indicate in such orders reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted particularly where the accused is charged of having committed a serious offence. Any order devoid of such reasons would suffer from non-application of mind. It is also necessary for the court granting bail to consider among other circumstances, the following factors also before granting bail; they are:

  • The nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence.
  • Reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant.
  • Prima facie satisfaction of the court in support of the charge.

The Hon’ble Apex Court in Rajesh Ranjan Yadav v. CBI, (2007) 1 SCC 70, balanced the fundamental right to individual liberty with the interest of the society in the following terms:

“While it is true that Article 21 is of great importance because it enshrines the fundamental right to individual liberty, but at the same time a balance has to be struck between the right to individual liberty and the interest of society. No right can be absolute and reasonable restrictions can be placed on them. While it is true that one of the considerations in deciding whether to grant bail to an accused or not is whether he has been in jail for a long time, the court has also to take into consideration other facts and circumstances, such as the interest of the society.”

In Ash Mohammad v. Shiv Raj Singh, (2012) 9 SCC 446, the Hon’ble Apex Court in the same vein had observed that though the period of custody is a relevant factor, the same has to be weighed simultaneously with the totality of the circumstances and the criminal antecedents. That these are to be weighed in the scale of collective cry and desire and that social concern has to be kept in view in juxtaposition to individual liberty, was underlined. Chandrakeshwar Prasad v. State of Bihar, (2016) 9 SCC 443.