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Seriousness of offence and gravity of the matter to be considered for grant of Bail: SC reiterated

If we consider the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court, it appears that High Court has not adverted itself to the seriousness of the case and the offences alleged against Respondent no.2 – accused and the gravity of the matter. From the impugned order, it appears that the High Court has released Respondent No.2 accused on bail in a routine and casual manner and without adverting to the seriousness of the offence and the gravity of the matter relating to forgery and/or manipulating the court order. (Para.8.2)


CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 320 OF 2021 [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 2545 of 2020]

March 15, 2021

The Hon’ble Supreme Court Justices Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah allowed the appeal and held that it deserves to be quashed and set aside as the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court releasing Respondent No.2 accused on bail was unsustainable.

The facts of the case is that, the accused had allegedly committed forgery in Court record. It was alleged that there was a fabrication in the court record by way of using whitener in Sessions Trial No.89­A/01, State vs. Mahesh, under Sections 307, 504 and 506 IPC, Crime Case No.152/2000, Police Station Makhi, District Unnao. The court record was tampered with and instead of 'Mahesh', 'Ramesh' had been written. It is alleged that, firstly the name of the accused – Mahesh has been added with pen in page 10 of the order, thus the name has been inscribed and the whitener has been applied, which is a fraud. Secondly, the name of the accused – Ramesh was added in page No.1, while there was no such accused.

A Special Case No.11/12 Crime No.132/2002 as per Section 2/3 of the U.P. Gangsters and Antisocial Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 against Mahesh was pending and under consideration in Special Court, Unnao in which a certified copy of the decision and the order on behalf of Mahesh Singh, paper was presented showing Mahesh Singh as acquitted in the case. Having found that Mahesh Singh was acquitted in all the cases shown in the Gangsters Act including the Special Case No.583/2000, the Learned Special Court acquitted Mahesh Singh. The said Mahesh Singh was the beneficiary of the interpolation/manipulation/forgery of the court record therefore, it was alleged that Respondent No.2 herein – original accused has committed the offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120­B IPC.

Observing that the allegations against the accused are very serious of forging the court's records and the accused is the beneficiary of the said forgery, the Sessions Court dismissed the bail application. The said Court held that this is not a fit case to release the accused on bail. But, the High Court allowed the bail application.

Learned Counsel on behalf of the appellant has submitted that High Court has not at all considered the seriousness of the charge against the accused and the gravity of the matter. They also submitted that the High Court ought to have appreciated that this is a case of manipulation and forgery of the court record and according to the enquiry report there was interpolation in the court record. Interpolation and manipulation ofthe court record is a very serious offence. It is also was submitted that when RespondentNo.2 accused faced the very serious allegations of forgery, manipulation of court record and looking to the gravity of the matter, the High Court ought to have given some reasons while releasing him on bail.

The Learned Counsel appearing for Respondent No.2, On the other hand submitted that, the Respondent No.2 ­-accused Mahesh has not used the order alleged to have been fabricated in the case against him under the Gangsters act.

It was also submitted by the learned counsel that in any case the appellant has no locus to assail the grant of bail sought by Respondent No.2. But, the bench rejected this contention by stating that, where the allegations are of tampering with the court order and for whatever reason the State has not filed the bail application the locus is not of that much importance and it is considered to be insignificant.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has observed as follows,

However, the High Court has not at all considered that the accused is charged for the offences under Sections 420, 467,468, 471, 120B IPC and the maximum punishment for offence under Section 467 IPC is 10 years and fine/imprisonment for life and even for the offence under Section 471 IPC the similar punishment. Apart from that forging and/or manipulating the court record and getting benefit of such forged/manipulated court record is a very serious offence. If the Court record is manipulated and/or forged, it will hamper the administration of justice. Forging/manipulating the Court record and taking the benefit of the same stands on altogether a different footing than forging/manipulating other documents between two individuals. Therefore, the High Court ought to have been more cautious/serious in granting the bail to a person who is alleged to have forged/manipulated the court record and taken the benefit of such manipulated and forged court record more particularly when he has been charge ­sheeted having found prima facie case and the charge has been framed. (Para.8.2)

The Hon’ble Supreme Court further held that, merely because the charge ­sheet is filed, there is noground to release the accused on bail. Therefore, Seriousness of the offence is one of the relevant considerations while considering the grant of bail, which has not been considered at all by the High Court whilereleasing Respondent No.2 ­ accused on bail.

Therefore, the Court ordered the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court to be quashed and set aside.

Thus, allowed the petition.




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