Now any arrestee applying for bail in Uttar Pradesh will not have to necessarily suffer 10-day incarceration as the Allahabad High Court has amended its 10-day bail rule bringing down to two days the mandatory 10-day notice to the government counsel on a bail plea before it is taken up for hearing.
The amendment has been made to sub-rule (3) of Rule 18 of the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952 which reads that, “No order granting bail shall be made on an application unless notice thereof has been given to the government advocate and not less than ten days have elapsed between the giving of such notice and the hearing of such application.”
In July, the Supreme Court had asked the high court to take a decision within six weeks on the representation of petitioner Syed Mohammad Haider Rizvi, a lawyer working for a telecom company.
Rizvi’s counsel Talha Abdul Rehman had sought quashing of the “illegal” Rule 18(3a) of Chapter XVIII of the Allahabad High Court Rules saying it was against the basic concept of right to life and personal liberty.
The amended Rule 18(3)(a) now reads, “No bail application shall be placed before the court unless notice thereof has been given to the government advocate and a period of two days have elapsed from the date of such notice.”
Rule 18(3)(b) has also been amended.
Earlier it said that if bail plea is not moved within two days after expiry of the 10-day notice period, the applicant has to give two-day previous notice to the government about the exact date on which the bail plea is intended to be moved.
It has not been amended to the effect that if the bail plea is not moved within seven days after the expiry of the two-day notice period, then a two-day previous notice has to be given.
Advocate Rehman had said the Rule, in effect, provided for a mandatory 10-day prison period for every arrestee even for his bail application to be taken up for hearing and ignored the cardinal principle of ‘bail is rule, jail is an exception’.
He had also attracted the apex court’s attention to a case pending before it where one Rabindra Kumar who had come to the Supreme Court directly from the court of Special Judge, Lucknow, seeking bail on the ground that he has suffered several strokes and he would have to wait for bail because of Rule 18(3) in play.
It is to be noted that the rule was challenged way back in 1983 but the Allahabad High Court had upheld its validity.
Rizvi himself had made several representations before the high court and the state government starting year 2015 but in vain forcing him to move apex court.
Rehman said one could justify the prolonged notice period in earlier times when there was no instant mode of communication but with the development o f technology, the rule had lost relevance.