Legal Correspondent

Indicate the process of reasoning leading to the impugned order, Supreme Court tells lower courts

Delivering a reasoned order is a requirement of law, says apex court

Court should cite reasons in a manner that may not prejudice the case: Bench

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Sessions Courts and the High Courts to give reasons in their orders granting bail to the accused in criminal cases.

“It may be convenient for the said court to pass orders [while granting bail] without indicating the grounds or basis but it certainly is not convenient for the court of appeal while considering the correctness of such impugned orders. The reasons need not be very detailed or elaborate, lest it causes prejudice to the case of the parties, but must be sufficiently indicative of the process of reasoning leading to the passing of the impugned order,” said a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Altamas Kabir.

The Bench said: “The need for delivering a reasoned order is a requirement of law which has to be complied with in all appealable orders. There is a need to indicate in the order, reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted particularly where an accused was charged of having committed a serious offence.”

Consider other issues

Writing the judgment, Mr. Justice Pasayat said: “It is necessary for the courts dealing with application for bail to consider, among other circumstances, the following factors, viz., the nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence, reasonable apprehension of tampering of the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant and prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge.” The Bench said: “The recording of reasons, wherever necessary, is only to indicate the considerations that may have weighed with the Court in passing the order and the Court must do so in a manner that may not prejudice the case of the parties.”

In the instant case, the appellant Sudha Verma challenged the bail granted by a single judge of the Allahabad High Court to her brother-in-law Dinesh Kumar, accused in the killing of her husband in May 2005.

Cancelled

Allowing the appeal, the Bench set aside the impugned order and remitted the matter to the High Court to consider the bail application afresh keeping in view the principles of law laid down by the apex court.

The Bench cancelled the bail and directed Dinesh Kumar to surrender forthwith and only thereafter his bail application could be considered.