Preet Pal Singh v. State of UP and Anr. AIR 2020 SC 3995

Court: Supreme Court of India

Issue: Difference in approach while granting bail u/s 439 of Cr.P.C. in case of a pre-trial arrest and grant of bail post-conviction under Section 389 of the Cr.P.C?

Held:  There is a difference between grant of bail under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C. in case of pre-trial arrest and suspension of sentence under Section 389 of the Cr.P.C. and grant of bail, post- conviction. In the earlier case there may be presumption of innocence, which is a fundamental postulate of criminal jurisprudence, and the courts may be liberal, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, on the principle that bail is the rule and jail is an exception. However, in case of post- conviction bail, by suspension of operation of the sentence, there is a finding of guilt and the question of presumption of innocence does not arise. Nor is the principle of bail being the rule and jail an exception attracted, once there is conviction upon trial. Rather, the Court considering an application for suspension of sentence and grant of bail, is to consider the prima facie merits of the appeal, coupled with other factors. There should be strong compelling reasons for grant of bail, notwithstanding an order of conviction, by suspension of sentence, and this strong and compelling reason must be recorded in the order granting bail, as mandated in Section 389(1) of the Cr.P.C.

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