Among other circumstances, the factors which are to be borne in mind while considering an application for bail are:-
- Whether there is any prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the offence
- Nature and gravity of the accusation;
- Severity of the punishment in the event of conviction;
- Danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if released on bail;
- Character, behaviour, means, position and standing of the accused;
- Likelihood of the offence being repeated;
- Reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced; and
- Danger, of course, of justice being thwarted by grant of bail.”
# Case Laws on Bail
In Prasanta Kumar Sarkar v. Ashis Chatterjee, (2010) 14 SCC 496 while dealing with the court’s role to interfere with the power of the High Court to grant bail to the accused, the Court observed that it is to be seen that the High Court has exercised this discretion judiciously, cautiously and strictly in compliance with the basic principles laid down in catena of judgments on that point.
In Ram Govind Upadhyay v. Sudarshan Singh, (2002) 3 SCC 598 it has been clearly laid down that the grant of bail though involves exercise of discretionary power of the Court, such exercise of discretion has to be made in a judicious manner and not as a matter of course. The heinous nature of crimes warrants more caution as there is a greater chance of rejection of bail though, however, dependent on the factual matrix of the matter.
In the said case, reference was made to Prahlad Singh Bhati v. NCT of Delhi, (2001) 4 SCC 280 and thereafter the court proceeded to state the following principles:-
“(a) While granting bail the court has to keep in mind not only the nature of the accusations, but the severity of the punishment, if the accusation entails a conviction and the nature of evidence in support of the accusations.
(b) Reasonable apprehensions of the witnesses being tampered with or the apprehension of there being a threat for the complainant should also weigh with the court in the matter of grant of bail.
(c) While it is not expected to have the entire evidence establishing the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt but there ought always to be a prima facie satisfaction of the court in support of the charge.
(d) Frivolity in prosecution should always be considered and it is only the element of genuineness that shall have to be considered in the matter of grant of bail, and in the event of there being some doubt as to the genuineness of the prosecution, in the normal course of events, the accused is entitled to an order of bail.”
It is a well settled principle of law that while dealing with an application for grant of bail, it is the duty of the Court to take into consideration certain factors and they basically are,
(i) the nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in cases of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence,
(ii) reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witnesses for apprehension of threat to the complainant, and
(iii) Prima facie satisfaction of the court in support of the charge.
# See Also : Chaman Lal v. State of U.P., (2004) 7 SCC 525
[The above referred cases are extracted from a recent decision of the Supreme Court of India in Neeru Yadav Vs. State of U.P. dated September 29, 2015 in which the Apex Court set aside the bail order after it is cleared that the High Court has totally ignored the criminal antecedents of the accused.]