Bakshish Ram & ANR.
Vs. State of Punjab  INSC 915 (8 May 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.969 OF 2009
(Arising out of SLP(Crl.)No.7544 of 2008) Bakshish Ram & Anr.
.............. Appellants Versus State of Punjab ..............Respondent
appeal arises out of the judgment and order passed by the High Court of Punjab
and Haryana in Criminal Appeal No. 487 - SB of 1994 dated 26th day of March,
2008, wherein and where under, the court has confirmed the judgment and order
passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Jalandhar dated 21.9.1994, sentencing the
appellants Bakshish Ram and Dalip Kaur to undergo rigorous imprisonment for
seven years each for the offences under Section 304-B read with Section 498-A
IPC. The appellants have also filed separate applications for grant of bail
during the pendency of the appeal.
case was registered against the petitioners, viz., husband, mother-in- law and
father-in-law of the deceased under Section 304-B and Section 1 498-A of
Indian Penal Code on 7.7.1993. The Learned Additional Session Judge, Jalandhar
after appreciating the evidence on record has found the accused persons are
guilty of the offences punishable under Section 304-B read with Section 498-A
IPC and, accordingly, has sentenced them for seven years of rigorous
imprisonment. Aggrieved by the said judgment, appellants had filed a criminal
appeal before the High Court with an application for suspension of
sentence/grant of bail. The High Court at the preliminary stage considering
that there is no likelihood of the appeal being heard early, suspended the
sentence and granted bail to the accused by its orders dated 2.11.1994 and
During the pendency
of appeal Khushia Ram, accused no. 2 expired on 21.7.2006 and, therefore, the
High Court has dropped proceedings against him.
High Court after scrutinizing the evidence on record has held that the deceased
was compelled to commit suicide by the appellants in order to satisfy their
lust for dowry, for which appellants are responsible and thereby dismissed the
have heard learned counsel for the accused/appellants and learned counsel for
Counsel for the appellants would submit that the petition is pending for
adjudication before this Court and during its pendency this 2 Court may be
pleased to grant bail to the appellants. Learned Counsel would contend on
behalf of appellant No.1/Bakshish Ram that he may be granted bail as he is the
only bread earner of his family. Learned counsel would further contend on
behalf of appellant no.2/Dalip Kaur that as she is a 80 years old lady and is
suffering from various old age related ailments and therefore she may be
going into merits of the application, we intend to take note of some of the
decisions of this court while considering the application for grant of interim
bail. This Court in the case of Talab Haji Hussain vs. Madhukar Purshottam
Mondkar, 1958 SCR 1226, has observed :
"It is to be
remembered that it is not possible to give a list of all the factors which a
court may consider in the disposal of a bail application. But, putting the
whole thing singly the object, which a court dealing with in an application for
bail must keep in mind, is that in any case there should not be any impediment
in the progress of the fair trial."
Court in the case of State of Maharashtra v. Anand Chintaman Dighe, (1990) 1
SCC 397, has stated that where the offence is of serious nature, the court has
to decide the question of grant of bail in the light of such considerations as
the nature and seriousness of offence.
is clear from the various decisions of this Court as stated above that, cases
where a serious offence had been committed and the accused had been held guilty
for the said offence, then his application for grant of bail 3 should not be
decided leniently during the pendency of the appeal. The seriousness and
gravity of the offence must be looked into before granting the bail. In the
instant case, accused are convicted by the Trial Court for harassing, torturing
and compelling the deceased to end her life by committing suicide, and the said
conviction is confirmed by the High Court.
the case of Kashmira Singh v. State of Punjab, (1977) 4 SCC 291, this Court
observed that, so long as this Court is not in a position to hear the appeal of
an accused within a reasonable period of time, the Court should ordinarily,
unless there are cogent grounds for acting otherwise, release the accused on
bail in cases where special leave has been granted to the accused to appeal
against his conviction and sentence.
coming back to the facts of this case, in so far as the first appellant is
concerned, the only reason assigned for grant of bail is that he is the only
bread earner of the family. In the light of decisions of this court, this
contention of the appellant does not impress us to release him on bail for the
alleged offence for which he had been convicted by the Courts.
Therefore, in our
view, for the present he is not entitled to the relief sought in the
regard to the case of appellant no.2/Dalip Kaur, it has been contended that she
is an 80 years old lady and is suffering from various 4 age related ailments.
This factual assertion is not disputed by the respondents. Looking at the age
of the appellant it does not seem fair to hold her back in jail during the
pendency of appeal even if she had been convicted for the alleged serious
offence, against which she has come before this Court. Furthermore, in the
peculiar circumstances of this case and in view of the fact, that the appellant
No. 2 is an old lady of 80 years of age and she had already been in jail for
more than one year, in our view, she is entitled for the relief prayed in the
application. Accordingly, we grant interim bail to the second appellant,
subject to the appellant furnishing the bail bond as well as surety to the
satisfaction of the Additional Sessions Judge, Jalandhar, Punjab. The
observations made by us is only for the purpose of disposal of this application
and we make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of
of the appeal is expedited.
application for grant of bail is disposed of.
[ H.L. DATTU ]