The Supreme Court has ruled that a person accused of a bailable offence is automatically entitled to be released on bail after furnishing the required surety or bond and such a right does not depend on the discretion of the court or the police officer.
"As soon as it appears that the accused person is prepared to give bail, the police officer or the court before whom he offers to give bail, is bound to release him on such terms as to bail, as may appear to the officer or the court to be reasonable," a bench of Justices RV Raveendran and JM Panchal observed.
In other words, those booked under IPC Sections like 304 A (causing death due to rash and negligent act) accidents, 309 (attempt to commit suicide), 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession), 332 (causing hurt to public servant with a view to deter him/her from carrying out official duties), 500 (criminal defamation) etc, are now entitled to automatic bail benefits.
The apex court passed the direction while setting aside a Madhya Pradesh High Court order cancelling the bail of Rasiklal in a defamation case.
The bench, however, said that a high court has the inherent power to cancel the bail of an accused who "forfeits his right to be released on bail if his conduct subsequent to his release is found to be prejudicial to a fair trial."