Notwithstanding the non-appearance of Advocates amidst the unprecedented situation created by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the Rajasthan High Court has heard over a hundred bail applications since the crisis begun.
Yesterday alone, the High Court allowed around 20 bail applications relating to criminal complaints registered under IPC, NDPS Act, etc, in absence of the filing counsel.
These bail applications were heard by Justice Manoj Kumar Garg who himself undertook to assess the material placed on record and went on to release the applicants on bail, after recording his satisfaction for the same.
In one of the cases, Justice Garg allowed the revision petition moved by a juvenile, accused of committing gang rape under Section 376D of IPC. Setting aside the orders passed by the Juvenile Justice Board and the Special POCSO Court that denied his bail plea, the high court enlarged the Petitioner on bail while clarifying that the gravity of the offence committed cannot be a ground to decline bail to a juvenile.
In a few cases, the bail pleas were allowed while keeping in mind that the alleged offences were minor/ detention of the accused was no longer required, and that trial of the case will take a "long considerable time".
"Taking into the facts and circumstances of the case and also the facts that the accused-petitioners are behind the bars since long and the trial of the case will take sufficient long time to be concluded. Therefore, the benefit of bail should be granted to the accused-petitioners," Justice Garg observed.
The Rajasthan High Court has been hearing only extremely urgent matters via video conferencing, due to the impending threat of the Corona virus.
Through a notification issued on Tuesday, the high court intimated that all pending Bail Applications will be listed before concerned Benches "without mentioning". It was also decided that no adverse order will be passed in case a counsel does not appear and further that on consideration of written mentioning and submissions, the matter concerned will be suitably adjourned.
The bail pleas are also being given precedence in view of the Supreme Court directions to decongest prisons by determining the class of prisoners who may be released on parole/ interim bail, until the threat of pandemic subsides.