Bail Cannot Be Cancelled Merely Due To Non-Appearance Of Accused Before Court: Supreme Court

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

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The Supreme Court held that the non-appearance of accused Krishna Sharma before a court cannot be a ground for cancelling bail. The court stated that the parameters for granting bail and its cancellation are different. Bail can be cancelled if the person violates conditions or influences witnesses. The court set aside the high court's verdict that cancelled Sharma's bail, noting that there was no evidence of violation. Sharma's lawyer and Sharma himself could not attend the high court due to a traffic jam caused by VIP movement. The high court had ordered the cancellation of bail and the issuance of a non-bailable warrant for Sharma's apprehension.


The Supreme Court recently observed that the non-appearance of the accused party is no ground for cancellation of bail.

The three-judge Bench of Justices B.R. Gavai, Sanjay Karol, and Sandeep Mehta was hearing a criminal appeal arising out of the impugned order of the Calcutta High Court cancelling bail.

The High Court had noted that, on several occasions, it directed the accused person to appear personally before the Court. However, the Court, while cancelling the bail, had observed that neither the accused nor his lawyer was present. It recorded that this non-appearance 'exposes an insolent stance of opposite party No.2 to evade the process of law.' Against this backdrop, the matter came up before the Top Court.

Therein, the appellant's counsel apprised the bench of the reason for such non-appearance. He submitted that there was a traffic jam due to VIP movements and therefore, the appellant could not attend the Court. Besides, the Counsel also averred that the appellant's lawyer was not present on the concerned date, as his Vakalatnama was withdrawn.

After recording the submissions, the Court observed that if bail has been granted, the same can be canceled if any conditions are violated or liberty is misused.

“..we find that merely because the appellant did not appear personally could not have been a ground for cancellation of bail.The parameters for grant of bail and cancellation of bail are totally different. The bail already granted may be cancelled, if it is found that the person who has been granted the benefit of bail has violated any of the conditions or misused the liberty by influencing the witnesses or tampering with the evidence.”

The Court observed that the impugned judgment does not contain any of the above-mentioned reasons. Thus, the Court set aside the same.

Case Title: Krishna Sharma v. State of West Bengal and anr (2024 SC)