No Cancellation of Bail Granted to the Accused Merely on the Ground that he is a Habitual Offender

No cancellation of bail granted to the accused merely on the ground that he is a habitual offender

The Karnataka High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a rape survivor seeking to cancel the bail granted to the accused on the ground that he is a habitual offender and has similar cases registered against him.

Brief facts of the Case

  • The victim had filed a petition in the High Court seeking for the cancellation of bail granted to the accused.
  • The main ground urged in the present petition for cancellation of bail is that the accused is a habitual offender and he is employed in criminal, civil and money recovery proceedings.  There are 11 cases pending against the accused.
  •  It is contended that the accused has a modus operandi of deceiving the women victims by indulging in sexual acts by promising marriage and dishonestly inducing them to deliver their money.
  • The petitioner stated that several cases have been filed against the accused and the same has been suppressed and obtained the order of bail.

Arguments of the respondent

  • The respondent/accused argued that merely because there is a number of cases pending against the accused, the same cannot be a ground to come to the conclusion that he is a habitual offender. The definition of a habitual offender is clear that if he has been convicted in more than three cases then he may be considered as a habitual offender. The cases listed out in page No.8 of the petition are pending cases and among them, one is Civil in nature and other cases are pertaining to different offences.
  • Further, it was submitted that merely because some other cases have been registered and in that light, if the bail is cancelled, then automatically it affects the personal liberty of a particular person under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. While dealing with the personal liberty of a person, the Court has to keep in mind the overall facts and then consider the petition.
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Observation made by the Court

  • No cancellation of bail granted to the accused merely on the ground that he is a habitual offender, ruled the Court.

“In the absence of any cogent material on record, the liberty of any person as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, cannot be curtailed on the mere ground of the number of cases being pending against him. It is settled law that Section 439(2) of Cr.P.C. has to be invoked in exceptional cases when it causes a miscarriage of justice, if it is not invoked and the same has to be exercised sparingly and not mere asking of the cancellation of bail,” observed the Court

  • The Court ruled that “Merely registering of several cases against respondent No.2 is not a ground to invoke Section 439(2) of Cr.P.C. While exercising the power under Section 439 (2) of Cr.P.C., the Court has to look into the material available on record.”
  • In the case on hand, no doubt, though 10 cases are listed out, out of which 3 cases are registered for the offences punishable under Sections 376, 420, 417 and 506 of I.P.C. It is important to note that in all the cases he has been enlarged on bail invoking Sections 438 and 439 of Cr.P.C. and not convicted. Merely because the prosecution has failed to bring out the said cases which are pending against him while considering the bail petition, the same cannot be a ground for cancelling the same.

Case Name: MS. X. And STATE OF KARNATAKA

Citation: CRIMINAL PETITION No.4598/2020

Coram: Justice JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH

No cancellation of bail granted to the accused merely on the ground that he is a habitual offender

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