Parameters for granting bail to first-time offenders stand on a much lower pedestal than “gangsters-contract killers”: Punjab & Haryana HC

The court also asked the jail authorities to ensure adequate medical care to the petitioner

September 21, 2022 04:00 pm | Updated 04:00 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

Punjab & Haryana High Court. File

Punjab & Haryana High Court. File | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Dismissing a bail petition of an accused with criminal antecedents, the Punjab and Haryana High Court asserted that the parameters for granting bail to the first-time offenders and ordinary people stand on a much lower pedestal than that of “gangsters and contract killer”.

The observations were given by Justice Anoop Chitkara in an order on September 19, in a case that pertains to an incident at Sirsa in Haryana on February 5, 2022, when two persons allegedly fired multiple shots at the complainant’s house, which was recorded in CCTV. The next day, the complainant received a phone call on his mobile, in which the caller claimed himself to be a member of the ‘Lawrence Bishnoi’ group and proclaimed that he had been deputed to assassinate him and demanded ₹50 lakh as protection money. The police investigation found the accused – Abhay’s (petitioner) involvement, and he was then arrested.

“The petitioner has huge criminal antecedents. While considering bail petition of any violator of the penal law, who has a criminal history, it is an onerous responsibility of such court to act judiciously, keeping in mind the ground realities and also to decide the bail application with reasonableness because arbitrariness is the antithesis of law. To bring back the people with a sick mentality to the society’s fold, a criminal is not to be despised; but still, a balance has to be struck, and for a recidivist, the contours of a playing field are marshy and graver the criminal history, slushier the puddles,” read the order.

Pointing out that the petitioner fails to make a case for bail on merits, he order added, “A perusal of the petition does not refer to any averment based on which this court is assured that if this recidivist is released on bail, he shall not indulge in criminal behavior. Apart from this, the allegations are grave, and the parameters for granting bail to first-time offenders and ordinary people stand on a much lower pedestal than that of gangsters and contract killers.”

Requesting bail on medical grounds, the court held that the jail authorities are obliged to give appropriate medical care to all prisoners. “The gangsters are no exception to such a mandate flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” read the order.

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