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State Vs. Sardool Singh and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtJammu and Kashmir High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1975CriLJ1348
AppellantState
RespondentSardool Singh and anr.
Cases ReferredState v. Captain Jagjit Singh
Excerpt:
- .....bail granted on the ground of sickness under the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 497 of the code of criminal procedure by the learned sessions judge, jammu, by his order dated november 2, 1974, to bhagwan singh respondent who has been committed to the court of sessions to stand his trial under sections 302, 307, 148 and 149 of the ranbir penal code,2. on the matter coming up before the hon'ble chief justice, his lordship directed that bhagwan singh be examined by a board of experts consisting of dr. n. s. pathania, dr, kulbushan and dr. s. l. verma. the board has accordingly examined the said respondent and has submitted its report which reads as under:mr. bhagwan singh, whose thumb impression is given below was examined to-day by a board consisting of dr. n. s. pathania, dr. s......
Judgment:
ORDER

Jaswant Singh, J.

1. This is an application by the State for cancellation of the bail granted on the ground of sickness under the proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 497 of the Code of Criminal Procedure by the learned Sessions Judge, Jammu, by his order dated November 2, 1974, to Bhagwan Singh respondent who has been committed to the court of Sessions to stand his trial under Sections 302, 307, 148 and 149 of the Ranbir Penal Code,

2. On the matter coming up before the Hon'ble Chief Justice, his Lordship directed that Bhagwan Singh be examined by a Board of Experts consisting of Dr. N. S. Pathania, Dr, Kulbushan and Dr. S. L. Verma. The Board has accordingly examined the said respondent and has submitted its report which reads as under:

Mr. Bhagwan Singh, whose thumb impression is given below was examined to-day by a Board consisting of Dr. N. S. Pathania, Dr. S. L. Verma, and Dr. Kulbushan Sharma. From the history given by the patient he appears to be a case of epilepsy of 10 to 14 years duration, in the opinion of the board his continuance in the Jail under medical treatment and care will not be harmful to his health. All the three members of the Board would like to point out that this person has consulted each one of them already at their private consultation rooms.

3. Appearing for the State Mr. Amar Chand contended that in view of the report of the Medical Experts and the facts that the respondent is a person of violent propensities and has abused his liberty by thrice trying to attack Wadawah Singh, a prosecution witness, and intimidating other prosecution witnesses as is apparent from the affidavit of the said Wadawah Singh, the aforesaid order of the learned Sessions Judge, should be vacated.

4. Mr. R. P. Sethi, has on the other hand, contended that since the learned Sessions Judge has not exercised the discretion vested in him under the proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 497 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in an arbitrary manner, and the law does not prescribe any standard for assessing the sickness of an accused person, and Bhagwan Singh is admittedly a case of epilepsy, the bail granted to him should not be cancelled. He has further urged that it is highly doubtful if the High Court possesses the power to cancel the bail of a person who has not been released by itself. The learned Counsel has also submitted that the affidavit filed by Wadawah Singh is entirely false.

5. Let me first of all deal with and dispel the doubt expressed by Mr. R. P. Sethi regarding the power of the High Court to cancel the bail of a person released by a Subordinate court. It seems that while advancing the aforesaid, contention relating to the power of the High Court to cancel bail Sub-section (5) of Section 497 of the Code of Criminal Procedure escaped the notice of the learned Counsel. The provision confers plenary power on the High Court and Court of Session to cancel the bail of a person who has been released not by itself but by a Subordinate court as well. This view receives support from a decision of this Court reported 1948 J & K LR 56. Again in another case reported as ILR (1966) Cut 679 (689) : 33 Cut LT 67, it was held that there is no legal bar for the High Court to deal with an application for cancellation of bail under Section 497 or 498 (2) apart from exercising its jurisdiction under its inherent powers under Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The contention of Mr. R. P. Sethi, regarding the power of the High Court to cancel bail, is, therefore, repelled.

6. I now proceed to the consideration of the second contention of Mr. Sethi regarding the standard for determining the sickness of an accused person. On a true construction of the proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 497 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, it appears to me that it is not every sickness that entitles an accused person to the grant of bail. The sickness contemplated by the proviso is a sickness which involves a risk or danger to the life of the accused person. I am fortified in this view by a decision of the Hyderabad High Court reported as AIR 1952 Hyd 30 : (1952 Cri LJ 873).

7. In the instant case although the Medical Board has, no doubt, stated that Bhagwan Singh respondent is a patient of epilepsy it has categorically opined that his continuance in Jail under medical treatment will not be harmful to his health. I am, therefore, of the view that the sickness from which Bhagwan Singh respondent is suffering is not of the kind envisaged by the aforesaid provision of law.

8. In view of my aforesaid finding regarding the sickness of Bhagwan Singh, respondent, it is not necessary to advert to the contention of Mr. Amar Chand, that the respondent has abused his liberty.

9. I would like at this stage to refer to the following observations made by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in the State v. Captain Jagjit Singh : [1962]3SCR622 regarding the matters to be considered in exercising discretion in matters of bail:

Where an offence is bailable, bail has to be granted under Section 496 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but if the offence is not bailable further considerations arise and the court has to decide the question of grant of bail in the light of those further considerations, such as, nature and seriousness of the offence, the character of the evidence, circumstances which are peculiar to the accused, a reasonable possibility of the presence of the accused not being secured at the trial, reasonable apprehension of witnesses being tampered with, the larger interests of the public or the State and similar other considerations, which arise when a court is asked to admit accused to bail in a non-bailable offence. Under Section 498 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the powers of the High Court in the matter of granting bail are very wide; even so, where the offence is non-bailable, various considerations such as those indicated above have to be taken into account before bail is granted in a non-bailable offence.

x x x x

Among other considerations, which a court has to take into account in deciding whether bail should be granted in a non-bailable offence, is the nature of the offence and if the offence is of a kind in which bail should not be granted considering its seriousness, the court should refuse bail even though it has a very wide powers under Section 498 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

10. Bearing in mind the above noted illuminating observations and taking into consideration the seriousness of the offences with which Bhagwan Singh respondent is charged, the larger interests of the public, and the report of the Medical Board, I cannot allow the said respondent to remain on bail. Accordingly I allow the application, cancel the bail of the respondent and direct him to surrender to his bail bond. It is hoped that the authorities in charge of the Judicial Lock-up will take due care of the accused and will provide proper medical treatment to him during the period of his detention as an under-trial prisoner.


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