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Prisoners Booked For Offences Like Dacoity, Robbery, Etc. Not Entitled To Benefit Of Interim Bail Under Delhi High Powered Committee Guidelines

Nupur Thapliyal
12 Sep 2021 11:26 AM GMT
Prisoners Booked For Offences Like Dacoity, Robbery, Etc. Not Entitled To Benefit Of Interim Bail Under Delhi High Powered Committee Guidelines
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The High Powered Committee of the Delhi High Court has resolved that the criteria laid down by it this year for granting interim bail to prisoners amid Covid-19 pandemic, does not extend to those who are booked for offences like dacoity, robbery, kidnapping for ransom etc. The development came pursuant to the High Court order seeking clarification if the benefit of High Powered...

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The High Powered Committee of the Delhi High Court has resolved that the criteria laid down by it this year for granting interim bail to prisoners amid Covid-19 pandemic, does not extend to those who are booked for offences like dacoity, robbery, kidnapping for ransom etc.

The development came pursuant to the High Court order seeking clarification if the benefit of High Powered Committee guidelines can be applied to under trial prisoners who are facing trial for offences not included in the exclusion clause, particularly Sections 364A (Kidnapping for ransom), 394 (Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 397 (Robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) etc. of the Indian Penal Code.

"Merely because specified offence - like offence under Section 302 IPC, that too with a rider, was included in the class/category of cases recommended for grant of interim bail, it does not mean that offences like Docoity, Robbery, Kidnapping for ransom, etc. were also included. Such cases were consciously kept out," the Committee in its meeting dated 8th September said.

It added:

"Having said that, and considering that when such offences - which prescribes punishment for 10 years up to life imprisonment, were not included in the first place in the class/category while laying down the criteria, there was no question of putting these offences in the Exclusion Clause."
"In view of the deliberations held, it is unanimously resolved and clarified that offences like Dacoity, Robbery, Kidnapping for ransom, etc. are not covered in the criteria laid down by this Committee in its meetings dated 04.05.2021 and 11.05.2021."

The Committee was of the view that it was given an 'absolute discretion' to determine which class/category of the prisoners can be released on interim bail or parole depending not only upon the severity of the offence, but also the nature of offence or any other relevant factor.

"Thus, no prisoner irrespective of the category/class of offence that he/she may be involved in, can seek or claim that he/she be released from prison, as a matter of right," the Committee noted.

While dealing with two bail pleas, Justice Subramonium Prasad came up with the question as to "whether the guidelines issued in 2021 extend the benefit to Under Trial Prisoners who are facing trial for offences under Section 364A, 394, 397 IPC etc. especially when these offences do not figure in the Exclusion Clause."

The confusion arose after the bench perused two orders passed by the High Court while dealing with two applications in which the Court denied interim bail to an accused on the ground that the offence under Section 394 IPC was excluded from the ambit of the HPC guidelines issued in the year 2020. In the other bail plea, the Court had granted benefit of the said guidelines for offences under Sections 302, 392, 397, 411, 120B and 34 of IPC.

The question was resolved by the HPC in the above mentioned terms.

Click Here To Read Minutes Of Meeting

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