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Bail Cancellation in Serious Offense: Understanding Supreme Court’s Stand on Allegations Against the Accused

Supreme Court: Bail Can Be Cancelled If There Are Serious Allegations Against the Accused

Bail Cancellation in Serious Offense: Understanding Supreme Court's Stand on Allegations Against the Accused


In a recent landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of India held that a court that has granted bail to an accused can cancel it if there are serious allegations against him, even if the bail has not been misused. This decision underscores the judiciary’s commitment to ensuring that the gravity of offenses and the potential impact on society are thoroughly considered in bail matters.


The case, titled AJWAR Versus WASEEM AND ANOTHER, involved the appeal against the bail granted to several accused individuals in a double murder case. The High Court had granted bail without considering critical material evidence presented by the prosecution, prompting the appellant to seek redress from the Supreme Court.

Key Observations Regarding Bail Cancellation in Serious Offense Cases

1. Distinction Between ‘Reasons for Arrest’ and ‘Grounds of Arrest’

The Supreme Court clarified the significant difference between the ‘reasons for arrest’ and ‘grounds of arrest’. While the reasons for arrest are general and can apply to anyone accused of a crime, the grounds of arrest are specific to the individual and the details that necessitated their arrest.

2. Grounds for Bail Cancellation Against Serious Offence

The Court noted that even if an accused has not misused bail, the presence of serious allegations can justify the cancellation of bail. The judgment, authored by Justice Hima Kohli, emphasized:

“If there are serious allegations against the accused, even if he has not misused the bail granted to him, such an order can be cancelled by the same Court that has granted the bail. Bail can also be revoked by a superior Court if it transpires that the courts below have ignored the relevant material available on record or not looked into the gravity of the offence or the impact on the society resulting in such an order.”

3. Relevant Factors for Granting Bail

The Court outlined several factors that must be considered when deciding on bail for an accused alleged to have committed a serious offense:

– The nature of the accusations.

– The manner in which the crime was committed.

– The gravity of the offense.

– The role attributed to the accused.

– The criminal antecedents of the accused.

– The probability of tampering with witnesses or repeating the offense.

– The likelihood of the accused being unavailable if bail is granted.

– The possibility of obstructing the proceedings and evading justice.

– The overall desirability of releasing the accused on bail.

4. Material Evidence and Criminal History

The Court found that the High Court had overlooked significant material evidence and the criminal history of the accused. The appellant highlighted that the prosecution had provided detailed evidence showing the involvement of the accused in the crime, which was not adequately considered by the High Court.

“The High Court has ignored the fact that the appellant-complainant has stuck to his version as recorded in the FIR and that even after entering the witness-box, the appellant-complainant and three eyewitnesses have specified the roles of the accused/respondents in the entire incident.”

5. Duration of Custody

The Court also noted the relatively short duration of custody for such a grave offense. The accused had spent less than three years in custody for a double murder, which the Court deemed insufficient given the seriousness of the crime.

“Furthermore and most importantly, the High Court has overlooked the period of custody of the respondents-accused for such a grave offence alleged to have been committed by them.”

Conclusion: Implications of Bail Cancellation in Serious Offense Cases

Based on the collective examination of all factors, the Supreme Court concluded that the accused did not deserve the concession of bail. The appeal was allowed, and the bail granted by the High Court was canceled.

Legal Implications

This judgment reaffirms the importance of thoroughly considering the severity of accusations and the potential societal impact when granting bail in serious offences. It ensures that courts remain vigilant and do not overlook critical evidence, thereby upholding the principles of justice and fairness.



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