Setting aside the bail given by the High Court, the apex court in Neeru Yadav v. State of U.P. held that extra and special caution is warranted in granting bail to history sheeters involved in heinous crimes. A history-sheeter is an Indian police term for a criminal with a long record of serious crime. Police stations in India maintain history sheets in three categories. A repeat offender progresses from category C to B to A; a “category A” history-sheeter is considered to be a hardened criminal, whose criminal inclination is close to incurable. Bail, a discretionary power of the court cannot be exercised as a matter of course.
For hardened criminals, there is a greater control over grant of bail and the Supreme Court observed that doctrine of parity was wrongly applied by the High Court ignoring the long-standing criminal history of the respondent. The Supreme Court, while duly recognizing the importance of individual freedom and liberty said that the crimes of the offender, not jejune and one affecting the society at large call for alertness on behalf of the court during grant of bail.