Is Accused Entitled for Automatic Bail under Gangster Act Only Because Bail has been Granted in All Cases Mentioned in Gang Chart? Allahabad HC

In a significant ruling, the Allahabad High Court has held that merely because the accused has been granted bail for the cases mentioned in “Gang Chart”, does not entitle him to Bail under the The U.P. Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986

Background:

A bail application was moved by one Sabir Khan, charged under Section 2/3 of the U.P. Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986.

The Counsel for the applicant-accused submitted that 

  1. The applicant has been falsely implicated in the case.
  2. In all the 4 cases mentioned in the Gang Chart, the accused has been enlarged on Bail.
  3. Applicant has been falsely implicated in 6 more cases, in which also he has been granted bail.
  4. The accused has been implicated in all the cases on the basis of a single case of theft.


Opposing the Bail Application, Government Advocate submitted that:

  1. Accused-applicant is a habitual criminal and has a history of involvement in such cases.
  2. Lodging 9 cases against the applicant prima facie show that the accused is a habitual offender.
  3. Merely because bail has been granted in all the cases mentioned in Gang Chart, does not automatically entitles him to bail under the Gangster Act.
  4. Section 19(4) of the Gangster Act provides that the Court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused-applicant is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

Decision

A Single Judge bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery noted that it is general principle of law that “Bail is Rule and Jail is Exception” but while considering the bail application, the court must keep in mind:

  1. Prima Facie Case against the accused.
  2. Gravity and nature of offence
  3. Nature of Supplementary charge.
  4. Background of accused etc.

The Court observed that under Section 19(4)(b) of the Gangster Act, the court has to record its satisfaction before granting bail and it cannot be a formality. At the same time the court also must keep in mind that the provisions of the Gangster Act are not used to create trouble for citizens or take political revenge.

Justice Shamshrey observed that there are nine cases registered against the accused, which shows that he is an habitual offender and as is part of a Gang as per the definition of “Gang” under Section 2(b) and (c).

In view of the above the court reached to the conclusion that merely because an accused has been granted bail in all cases of Gang Chart, it does not entitle him for bail under the Gangster Act.

Consequently the Bail Application has been dismissed.

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