Balancing Constitutional Rights and Gravity of Offence in Bail Decisions

Delve into the critical examination of the court’s legal analysis in bail decisions, where constitutional rights intersect with the gravity of the offence. Maintaining a balance between freedom and social order is key in upholding the principles of justice in the legal system.


  • The petitioner was apprehended on 06.10.2020 based on secret information received by the investigation agency about his arrival at Poonkunnam.
  • After committing the crime, the petitioner abandoned his car and absconded with the help of his brother, worker, and friend.
  • Section 302 was added after the death of the victim, and an Inclusion Report was filed in the Jurisdictional Court.
  • The victim separated from the accused and started living in her own house due to misappropriation of money from the clinic and harassment by the accused.
  • The victim was forced to undergo an abortion by the accused despite becoming pregnant.
  • The victim, who started a Multispeciality Dental Clinic with support from her father, met the accused after her divorce.
  • The victim succumbed to her injuries on 4 October 2020 and the accused was arrested on 6 October 2020.
  • The materials on record indicate the petitioner attacked the victim with a knife causing serious injuries to her vital organs.
  • The accused stabbed the victim in her dental clinic on 28 September 2020, leading to the registration of a case under multiple sections of the IPC.
  • The High Court of Kerala granted bail to the accused, leading to an appeal by the State of Kerala against the decision.
  • The Accused Respondent was in custody since 6 October 2020 as per the findings of the Apex court.
  • The High Court granted bail to the Respondent Accused despite opposition from the Public Prosecutor.
  • The impugned order allowed the Bail Application on stringent conditions due to the seriousness of the allegations and heinous nature of the incident.
  • The High Court found reasonable grounds to conclude that granting bail may hinder the prosecution from presenting evidence.
  • The Public Prosecutor opposed the bail application citing concerns about the Accused influencing witnesses who were close to him.

Also Read: Challenging Conviction: Legal Analysis Spotlight


  • Prosecution raises objection that deceased is from Ernakulam and all witnesses are from Thrissur, fearing influence from petitioner
  • Deceased suffered multiple stab injuries on the abdomen showing brutality of crime
  • Argument against High Court’s decision to grant bail based on the gruesome murder committed by the accused in front of victim’s father
  • Claim that restraining accused from entering certain limits won’t prevent influencing or threatening witnesses
  • The Respondent Accused argued that bail once granted should not be cancelled in a mechanical manner without considering supervening circumstances.
  • The power to grant bail under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C is discretionary and must be exercised judiciously.
  • Grant of bail should not be a matter of course and should have cogent reasons supporting it.
  • All relevant factors must be considered when weighing a bail application, including the gravity of the offense, evidence showing the applicant’s involvement, possibility of absconding, witness tampering, and danger to the victim or witnesses.
  • The Court usually does not entertain a petition for Special Leave to Appeal against bail-related orders.
  • The bail application for the Respondent Accused was allowed with stringent conditions, including restrictions on entering certain areas and maintaining distance from witnesses until trial proceedings.

Also Read: Interplay of Limitation Act and IBC in Time-Barred Application Case


  • Bail applications must consider severity of punishment upon conviction, not just the seriousness of the charge.
  • The High Court did not adequately consider the severity of the punishment if the accused is convicted.
  • The bail jurisprudence emphasizes that the grant of bail is the rule and refusal the exception, with gravity of the offence taken into account.
  • A balance needs to be maintained between constitutional rights and the gravity of the offence while granting bail.
  • The High Court’s decision to grant bail did not consider the gravity of the offence properly.
  • The High Court neglected the reasons given by the Sessions Court in rejecting bail for the accused.
  • There was no proper consideration of the evidence and materials on record supporting the belief that the accused committed a heinous offence.
  • The High Court’s decision did not adequately address concerns about witness tampering or threats to the complainant.
  • The grant of bail should be re-evaluated if circumstances change such that a fair trial is no longer possible while the accused remains free on bail.
  • The discretion to grant bail is to be exercised with care and caution by balancing individual liberty and societal interest.
  • The court must consider various factors case-by-case, including the seriousness of the charge and the need to secure the accused’s presence for trial.
  • The order of granting bail should not be based solely on precedent but on the facts of the case at hand.
  • Punishment begins after conviction, and an accused is deemed innocent until proven guilty.
  • The nature and gravity of the offense are essential considerations for granting bail, along with other factors like the likelihood of absconding and influencing witnesses.
  • The appellate court assesses the correctness of granting bail differently from assessing a bail cancellation application.
  • Generally, there should be substantial reasons for bail cancellation, such as interference with justice or the possibility of the accused absconding.
  • The Respondent Accused’s counsel argued for maintaining bail, highlighting the lack of interference with the justice process.
  • References to judgements like Dolat Ram highlight the need for cogent reasons to cancel bail and the principle that liberty should not be deprived as a form of punishment.
  • The orders of the Court do not require release of under-trial prisoners charged with murder, especially before investigation is completed and chargesheet is filed.
  • The Respondent Accused is charged with murder in the presence of an eye witness.
  • The bail was granted even before the chargesheet was filed.
  • The Respondent Accused had been absconding after the incident.

Also Read: Analysis of Contempt Charges for Breach of Undertaking


  • Chargesheet was filed on 01.01.2021.
  • The Appeal was allowed and the High Court’s order was set aside.
  • The Respondent Accused will be taken into custody.
  • Copies of the order will be sent to the Police Station and Jurisdictional Chief Judicial Magistrate.
  • Pending applications, if any, will be disposed of.

Case Title: THE STATE OF KERALA Vs. MAHESH (2021 INSC 195)

Case Number: Crl.A. No.-000343-000343 / 2021

Click here to read/download original judgement

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