What is the significance of Article 21 in bail?
Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees the right to life and personal liberty to all persons, including those accused of crimes. This right is not absolute, but it can only be restricted by a procedure established by law.
The right to bail is an important aspect of the right to personal liberty. Bail is the granting of temporary freedom to an accused person before their trial, on condition that they appear in court when required.
The Supreme Court of India has held that bail is the rule and jail is the exception. This means that an accused person is entitled to bail unless there are strong reasons to deny it. The court has also held that the right to bail is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Article 21 plays a significant role in bail in the following ways:
- It ensures that an accused person is not deprived of their personal liberty unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
- It prevents the misuse of pre-trial detention, which can have serious consequences for the accused person and their family.
- It ensures that the accused person has a fair opportunity to prepare their defense for trial.
- It upholds the principle of the presumption of innocence, which is a fundamental principle of criminal justice.
The Supreme Court has laid down a number of factors that courts must consider when deciding whether to grant bail. These factors include:
- The nature and gravity of the offense.
- The strength of the evidence against the accused person.
- The accused person’s flight risk.
- The accused person’s risk of interfering with witnesses or evidence.
- The accused person’s criminal history.
- The accused person’s health and other personal circumstances.
The court must weigh all of these factors before deciding whether to grant bail. If the court is satisfied that the accused person is not a flight risk or a risk to witnesses or evidence, and that they will appear in court when required, then the court should grant bail.
Article 21 plays a vital role in ensuring that the right to bail is protected and that accused persons are not deprived of their personal liberty without good reason.
Adcocate J.S. Rohilla (Civil & Criminal Lawyer in Indore)
Contact: 88271 22304