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Bail cancellation plea in High Court has to be listed before same judge who granted bail: Supreme Court

The accused were arrested and booked for offences under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing the person deceived to deliver), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 470 (forged document or electronic document)and 471 (using a forged document or electronic record as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and for offences under the Arms Act.

A single-judge of the High Court granted bail to them on September 8, 2022 and November 14, 2022.

The State later preferred applications seeking cancellation of the bail.

The same came to be listed before a different judge, Justice Pathak.

Justice Pathak then cancelled the bail of the accused on December 12, 2023 despite the fact that charges had been framed and the trial was under way and there was no further police probe needed.

The accused then moved the Supreme Court.

The apex court deprecated the cancellation of bail and stated that the listing of the bail cancellation plea itself was ‘surprising’.

“We are of the firm opinion that the exercise of jurisdiction by the learned Single Judge of High Court of Madhya Pradesh in cancelling the bail granted to the appellant by another Single Judge of the same High Court and that too, by examining the merits of the allegations was totally uncalled for and tantamount to judicial impropriety/indiscipline,” the Supreme Court opined.

Under normal circumstances, applications for cancellation of bail filed on merits rather than violation of bail terms have to be placed before the same single-judge who had granted bail to the accused, the top court explained.

Source: Barandbench

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