Accused Can't Be Kept In Custody For A Long Time Citing 'Possible Sentence Of Imprisonment': SC [Read Order]
"We are of the view that the learned Single Judge of the High Court has furnished no reason whatsoever for issuing a direction for deferment of bail by a period of nine months. Such a direction was unsustainable."
Observing that 'Possible Sentence Of Imprisonment' is not a ground for deferment of bail after a long time in custody, the Supreme Court granted bail to a man who is in custody since last July.
Rameshwar Yadav was arrested on 16th July, 2018, after a country-made rifle along with two live cartridges was recovered from his possession. He was accused of offences under Sections 25(1-b)a/26 of the Arms Act.
While disposing of his bail plea, the Patna High Court directed him to be released on bail after completion of nine months of custody on furnishing bail bond of Rs.20, 000 with two sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court where the case was pending.
While considering his appeal, the apex court bench observed that the High Court did not furnish any reason for issuing a direction for deferment of bail by a period of nine months.
"Such a direction was unsustainable." the bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Gupta said.
The court also rejected the request by standing counsel for the state of Bihar that he may be directed to remain in custody for a period of nine months having regard to the 'sentence of possible imprisonment'. The bench ordered:
"We order and direct that the appellant be released on bail on the terms and conditions, as determined by the High Court in its impugned order dated 20th September, 2018, except for the direction that the release shall be after completion of nine months of custody, which is set aside."