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Directions Having Direct Bearing on Trial Can Not Be Passed While Exercising Bail Jurisdiction: SC

In the recent judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of PRASHANT DAGAJIRAO PATIL vs. VAIBHAV @ SONU ARUN PAWAR [CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.55-56/2021], the Bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose observed that while exercising bail jurisdiction, the High Court cannot issue directions which will have a direct bearing upon the trial.

The Bench set aside the direction of the High Court in which the High Court had directed the Investigating Officer to examine a CCTV footage and to submit a report.

In the present case, the murder accused approached the High Court seeking grant of bail and for that matter the accused submitted that a CCTV footage would prove their non-participation in the alleged offence. Thus, the Court directed the Investigating Officer to examine CCTV footage and submit his report before the Court. The complainant filed an appeal before the apex court against the High Court’s order.

Counsel for the Appellant submitted that the High Court should not conduct a mini trial while hearing a bail application. The defense of the Respondents-accused would be examined in full detail during the trial, and should not be pre-decided by the High Court during bail proceedings.

On the other hand, the learned counsel for the Respondents-accused submitted that they had been in jail for nearly 2 years, and that an examination of the CCTV footage would prove that they were not present at the time of the incident.

While allowing the appeal, the Court observed that when the limited question of grant of regular bail to the accused is pending consideration before the High Court, it is not appropriate for it to pass such directions which will have a direct bearing upon the trial.









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