Supreme Court Toughens Bail Stance in Custodial Death Cases Involving Police Officers

In a significant move, the Supreme Court has taken a firm stance regarding bail in cases of custodial death where police officers are implicated. This decision comes as a response to the gravity and seriousness of such alleged offenses.

The Bench, comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar, emphasized that the usual criteria for granting bail under Article 136 of the Indian Constitution would not apply in cases of custodial deaths involving police officials. They underscored the severity of such offenses, necessitating a stricter approach.

Upon examining the charge sheet, the court noted that the accused police official’s involvement extended beyond mere chauffeuring duties. Rather, they played a significant role in the alleged offenses, as outlined in various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Referring to the Judgment of State of Jharkhand v Sandeep Kumar, the court made an exception to the general approach to bail, citing the grave nature of the allegations against the accused police official. This, they argued, was not adequately considered by the High Court when granting bail initially.

Consequently, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s decision and directed the accused police official to surrender within four weeks. Once surrendered, they would be taken into custody by the appropriate court, marking a stricter stance on bail in such cases.

The ruling in the appeal, AJAY KUMAR YADAV VERSUS THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH & ORS, sets a precedent for handling similar cases in the future, highlighting the judiciary’s commitment to addressing custodial deaths with utmost seriousness and ensuring accountability within law enforcement.

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