The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that judges hearing bail petitions are duty-bound to provide sufficient reasons in their orders, especially in matters involving serious offences and hardened criminals, The Hindu reported.

“There is a recent trend of passing such orders granting or refusing to grant bail, where the courts make a general observation that ‘the facts and the circumstances’ have been considered,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana observed. “No specific reasons are indicated which precipitated the passing of the order by the court.”

The Supreme Court made the observation while setting aside bail granted to a rape accused by the Rajasthan High Court, Live Law reported. The man was accused of raping his minor niece for several years.

The accused person had 20 cases pending against him, including those of murder, kidnapping and dacoity, The Hindu reported.

“Reasoning is the life blood of the judicial system,” the bench observed. “That every order must be reasoned is one of the fundamental tenets of our system. An unreasoned order suffers the vice of arbitrariness.”

The judges added that the High Court had failed to consider the relevant factors while granting bail to a habitual offender.

“Apart from the general observation that the facts and circumstances of the case have been taken into account, nowhere have the actual facts of the case been adverted to,” it said, Live Law reported. “There appears to be no reference to the factors that ultimately led the High Court to grant bail.”

Justice Ramana said that the bail order was “cryptic” and does not suggest “any application of mind”.