Bail cannot be granted in SC/ST atrocities cases without hearing victim: Delhi HC

New Delhi, Feb 20 – The Delhi High Court has said that bail cannot be granted in cases registered under The Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, without affording the victim or complainant an opportunity to be heard.

The ruling came in response to a plea filed by the victim challenging a trial court’s decision to grant bail to an accused charged with serious offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the SC & ST Act.

Justice Navin Chawla said that bail granted without notice to the complainant is susceptible to cancellation, underscoring the mandatory nature of compliance with the relevant sections of the SC & ST Act.

The complainant alleged that the bail order was issued without her being served notice or given an opportunity to present her case.

Justice Chawla concurred with the complainant’s arguement, acknowledging the procedural irregularity in the trial court’s decision.

Consequently, the court ordered the bail application to be reconsidered by the trial court, with a directive to afford the appellant, who is the alleged victim, a fair opportunity to be heard.

However, in a balancing act between justice and the rights of the accused, the court stipulated that the accused should not be taken into custody for a period of 15 days, subject to further orders by the trial court.


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