CrPC S. 2(wa), 439 – Whether a ‘victim' as defined under Section 2(wa) of the CrPC is entitled to be heard at the stage of adjudication of bail application of an accused?, Yes – Legislature has thoughtfully given a wide and expansive meaning to the expression ‘victim' which “means a person who has suffered any loss or injury caused by reason of the act or omission for which the accused person has been charged and the expression “victim” includes his or her guardian or legal heir” –Right of a victim under the amended Cr.P.C (Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008). are substantive, enforceable, and are another facet of human rights – The victim's right, therefore, cannot be termed or construed restrictively like a brutum fulmen – These rights are totally independent, incomparable, and are not accessory or auxiliary to those of the State under the Cr.P.C. – The presence of ‘State' in the proceedings, therefore, does not tantamount to according a hearing to a ‘victim' of the crime.
Held, The above stated enunciations are not to be conflated with certain statutory provisions, such as those present in Special Acts like the Scheduled Cast and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, where there is a legal obligation to hear the victim at the time of granting bail. Instead, what must be taken note of is that; First, the Indian jurisprudence is constantly evolving, whereby, the right of victims to be heard, especially in cases involving heinous crimes, is increasingly being acknowledged; Second, where the victims themselves have come forward to participate in a criminal proceeding, they must be accorded with an opportunity of a fair and effective hearing. If the right to file an appeal against acquittal, is not accompanied with the right to be heard at the time of deciding a bail application, the same may result in grave miscarriage of justice. Victims certainly cannot be expected to be sitting on the fence and watching the proceedings from afar, especially when they may have legitimate grievances. It is the solemn duty of a court to deliver justice before the memory of an injustice eclipses.