Supreme Court Directs That Its Two Judgments On Bail & Arrest Guidelines Be Made Part Of Curriculum In Judicial Academies

Update: 2023-02-03 06:21 GMT

The Supreme Court on Friday directed that its judgments, which laid down elaborate guidelines regarding arrest and bail, be made part of the curriculum of State Judicial Academies, where judicial officers are given training.

The 2021 judgment in the case Siddharth vs. State of Uttar Pradesh LL 2021 SC 391 and the 2022 judgment in the case Satender Kumar Antil vs Central Bureau Of Investigation 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 577 are directed to be made part of the curriculum.

In Siddharth, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy held that Section 170 of the Cr.P.C. does not impose an obligation on the Officer-in-charge to arrest each and every accused at the time of filing of the charge sheet. The bench observed that the practice of some Trial Courts of insisting on the arrest of an accused as a pre-requisite formality to take the charge-sheet on record is misplaced and contrary to the very intent of Section 170 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

In Satinder Kumar Antil, a bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundersh, expressing concerns at the large number of undertrials languishing in jails, issued elaborate guidelines to ease the process of bail. The judgment also emphasized that accused should not be remanded in a mechanical manner. The judgment also suggested that the Union Government should bring a 'Bail Act' to streamline the process for granting bail.

Today, a bench comprising Justices Kaul and AS Oka was considering the Satinder Kumar Antil to ascertain the compliance by the States regarding the directions. The High Courts were also directed to undertake the exercise of finding out the undertrial prisoners who are not able to comply with the bail conditions.

Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra, the amicus curiae in the matter, informed the bench that four High Courts -Tripura, Rajasthan, J&K and AP -are yet to file their reports. He also informed that very few states have filed their compliance reports. CBI is also yet to file its report.

The bench granted four weeks further time to the States for filing the compliance reports, failing which their Chief Secretaries will have to appear on the next date. The matter will be considered next on March 21.

The amicus also told the bench that the guidelines are being breached. Taking note of this, the bench directed that the High Courts should state in their affidavits whether they have been monitoring the judicial officers on compliance with the judgment.

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