Supreme Court Reserves Judgement: Can Default Bail Be Cancelled On Merits Or Only For Violations Of Conditions?

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in the case State through CBI VS Gangi Reddy observed and has reserved its judgement in the petition moved by the Central Bureau of Investigation wherein seeking the cancellation of default bail granted which is to Erra Gangi Reddy in connection with the YS Vivekananda Reddy murder case. However, on March 15, 2019, the Indian National Congress leader, Vivekananda Reddy was brutally murdered and found at his residence in Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh. The bench comprising of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar observed and has reserved its order after hearing the submissions of both the parties. The main question before the court in its discussion was whether the Court could go into the merits of the case for the cancellation of bail. It has been pointed out by bench that the default bail can be cancelled only as per Chapter 33 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In the said case, only on the eventuality of Section 437 or Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, thus, bail can be cancelled and not on merits. It was by argued by Additional Solicitor General KM Natraj appearing for CBI that there is a three-judge bench decision and he has a right to be released on bail but not remain on bail. The counsel, Senior Advocate B. Adinarayana Rao who is being assisted and briefed by Advocate on Record Sumanth Nookala appeared for Reddy and has countered these arguments. However, the merits cannot be gone for cancellation of bail. He stated that the said aspect can be gone into during the grant of bail and not for cancellation. The court placed Reliance on the judgement in the case Aslam Babalal Desai vs State Of Maharashtra, 1992. Before the court, he added for cancellation of the default bail, what is being required is to be checked is whether any of the bail conditions have been violated. The court while questioning Rao stated that the Probe was transferred to the CBI earlier owing to the power of persons. In such situations, when the charge sheet has not been filed within90 days, can the accused be granted bail? Suppose it being a triple murder case or the case of circumstantial evidence where 90 days were being over. Thus, after the said probe, a strong case has been made out. Then what would be the position? It has been stated by him that the conduct of the accused will now be relevant to determine bail. Further, it was stated that filing of chargesheet cannot mean reconsidering bail on merits which is the law as it stands.