The Allahabad High Court today granted bail to an undertrial prisoner who has been in jail for over 11 years in connection with an attempt to murder case. The court also gave a piece of advice to young lawyers to take up the cases of such prisoners who can't approach courts due to their adverse pecuniary position.
The Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery also took into account the recent observations made by the Supreme Court in the case of Saudan Singh Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh (Crl.Appeal No.308/ 2022), wherein the Top Court had reiterated that long incarceration of undertrials is violation of their rights provided under Article 21 of the Constitution of India
It may be noted that in Saudan Singh Case (supra), expressing concern about the long pendency of criminal appeals before the Allahabad High Court, the Supreme Court, on Feb 25, laid down some broad parameters that can be adopted by the High Court while granting bail.
Now, in the instant case, the High Court noted that Akhilesh (under-trial prisoner) was denied bail by the lower court around 10 years back, however, since no legal assistance was provided to him, he could file his first bail application only in the year 2021.
"Case, such in hand, is also a glaring example where the role of Lawyers fraternity comes into light being torch bearer of the society. Young lawyers are advised to come forward and take up the cases of such persons who have not been able to come up before this Court due to lack of knowledge of legal provisions as well as due to their adverse pecuniary position. State Authorities are also directed to look into the matter and pass positive direction to Jail Authorities to not only convey to undertrial prisoners or the convicted persons about their legal rights but also come forward and help the accused persons, such as the applicant in the present case. Justice delayed is justice denied as well as right to free legal aid and speedy trial are rights provided under Article 21 of the Constitution. Over crowding in jail is also a matter of concern," the Bench observed as it granted bail to him.
The Court also stressed that the jail authorities are also duty-bound to at least communicate undertrials about their legal rights and remedies, in case there is no one for their pairavi or lack of monitory support.
Case title - Akhilesh v. State of U.P [CRIMINAL MISC. BAIL APPLICATION No. - 37317 of 2021]
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 238