``Inappropriate to grant bail when murder investigation is over''
Balance has to be struck between individual liberty and society's interest MP's conduct does not warrant exercise of discretion
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the bail application by Pappu Yadav, member of Parliament from Bihar, accused in the case of murder of CPI (M) activist Ajit Sarkar.
In January 2005, it cancelled the bail granted by the Patna High Court and he has been in the Tihar jail here since February 2005. Writing the judgment, Justice Markandey Katju said: "On facts and circumstances, this is certainly not a case for grant of bail, particularly since the prosecution witnesses have been examined and now the defence witnesses alone have to be examined.
It would be wholly inappropriate to grant bail when not only the investigation is over but also the trial is partly over and the allegations against the appellant are serious. The conduct of the appellant is also such that we are not inclined to exercise our discretion under Article 136 of the Constitution for granting bail."
The appellant repeatedly referred to Article 21 (right to life and liberty) and said that on that basis he should be released on bail particularly as he was already in jail for more than six years. Rejecting the argument, the Bench, which included Justice S.B. Sinha, said: "It is true that Article 21 is of great importance because it enshrines the fundamental right to individual liberty, but at the same time a balance has to be struck between the right to individual liberty and the interest of society. No right can be absolute and reasonable restrictions can be placed on them."
The appellant being a four-time MP was wholly irrelevant. "The law is no respecter of persons and is the same for every one."
No further application for bail would be considered by any court. For, already a large number of bail applications were rejected by both the High Court and the apex court. The Bench directed the trial court to conduct the trial daily and complete it as expeditiously as possible and deliver the judgment.