The Supreme Court ruled that the offer of payment of ad interim compensation to the victim cannot be a ground to release the accused on bail.
The appellant State of Jharkhand challenged the order whereby the respondent was ordered to be released on bail. The allegations against the respondent are that while two minor girls aged 14 and 15 years were going to Pragya Kendra for updating their pass books, the respondent and four other accused apprehended and forcefully picked them on their motorcycles and then gang raped them.
The respondent was arrested and the High Court has released him on bail without adverting to the merits of the case only on the ground that one of the co-accused person has already been enlarged on bail by the co-ordinate Bench, and that the respondent is ready to deposit ad interim compensation amount of Rs.1,00,000/- in favour of the victim.
The division bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice J.B. Pardiwala opined that the High Court has not adverted to the parameters of Section 439 Cr.P.C. which are required to be observed while granting or declining regular bail to an accused, specially when he is involved in a heinous crime.
The court said that the offer of payment of ad interim compensation to the victim cannot be a ground to release the accused on bail.
The bench did not do not subscribe to the reason assigned by the High Court while releasing the respondent on bail.
The court requested the High Court to hear and dispose of the bail application of the respondent on merits within a period of three months and ordered that till such time, the respondent shall be taken into custody and his bail bond stands cancelled.
The court made it clear that it has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case and the bail application of the respondent shall be decided by the High Court on its own merit and in accordance with law.
Case title: State of Jharkhand v/s Salauddin Khan
Citation: CRIMINAL APPEAL Nos.1535-1536 OF 2022