25 July 2023 3:36 PM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, indicated that courts should impose realistic conditions of bail considering the economic and social position of the undertrial prisons or else the act of grant of bail does not subserve its purpose. A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia observed the same while hearing a suo moto writ petition instituted for the purposes of issuing...
The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, indicated that courts should impose realistic conditions of bail considering the economic and social position of the undertrial prisons or else the act of grant of bail does not subserve its purpose.
A Bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia observed the same while hearing a suo moto writ petition instituted for the purposes of issuing a comprehensive policy strategy for grant of bail.
Amicus Curiae, Advocate Gaurav Agarwal informed the Bench that as per the master data created by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), 5380 undertrial prisoners were identified as persons who were granted bail but were not released for several reasons. He submitted that over the last 6 months, about 4215 prisoners have been released. On a previous occasion the Apex Court had said, “If the bail bonds are not furnished within one month from the date of grant bail, the concerned Court may suo moto take up the case and consider whether the conditions of bail require modification/ relaxation”. It had also enquired the reasons for the non-release of prisons who had been granted bail. The Amicus apprised the Bench that the reasons for the same are manifold including the fact that the undertrial prisons are at times involved in multiple cases.
Previously, the Apex Court had directed NIC to incorporate a new field in the e-prison software, where the date of grant of bail would have to be entered by the jail authorities. If the accused is not released within seven days of the date of grant of bail, the e-prison software would automatically generate a flag/reminder and simultaneously the e-mail would be sent to the office of the concerned DLSA so that the DLSA can find out the reason for non-release of the accused. The Amicus submitted that as per NIC the same is technically working fine. While noting the same, on Tuesday, the Bench observed, “We do believe that every endeavour be made by concerned courts that when they grant bail it must be fruitful as imposition of conditions of bail which, given the economic and social scenarios the person is unable to meet, does not subserve the purpose. Thus prompt attention to be given where order of bail has not resulted in release.”
It added, “We also believe that the development of a module for judicial officers along with the State Judicial Academy by NALSA can be useful as an educational exercise”.
[Case Title: In Re Policy Strategy for Grant of Bail SMW(Crl) No. 4/2021]
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 610
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