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Bail Order Should Be Furnished To Accused In Prison On Same Day Of Pronouncement : Supreme Court

Mehal Jain
28 April 2022 2:02 PM GMT
Bail Order Should Be Furnished To Accused In Prison On Same Day Of Pronouncement : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Thursday clarified that Rule 17 of the 2021 Draft Criminal Rules on Practice- which the High Courts have been directed to adopt - should be read as a mandate for furnishing of the bail order to the prison concerned, and the concerned prison in turn should furnsih the same to the accused on the same day of pronouncment.Rule 17 titled 'Bail' reads as follows- "i....

The Supreme Court on Thursday clarified that Rule 17 of the 2021 Draft Criminal Rules on Practice- which the High Courts have been directed to adopt - should be read as a mandate for furnishing of the bail order to the prison concerned, and the concerned prison in turn should furnsih the same to the accused on the same day of pronouncment.

Rule 17 titled 'Bail' reads as follows- "i. The application for bail in non-bailable cases must ordinarily be disposed off within a period of 3 to 7 days from the date of first hearing. If the application is not disposed off within such period, the Presiding Officer shall furnish reasons thereof in the order itself. Copy of the order and the reply to the bail application or status report (by the police or prosecution) if any, shall be furnished to the accused and to the accused on the date of pronouncement of the order itself.

ii. The Presiding Officer may, in an appropriate case in its discretion insist on a statement to be filed by the prosecutor in charge of the case"

The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, S Ravindra Bhat and BR Gavai noted :

"Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra, amicus curiae, sought a clarification relating to para 17 of the criminal practice rules which has been reproduced as rule 17, chapter 5 ('Miscellaneous')."

"We accept the submission made by the amicus curiae and we are of the considered opinion that paragraph 17 of the draft rules should be read as a mandate for furnishing of the bail order to the prison concerned. We are also of the opinion that the bail orders shall be furnished by the concerned prison to the accused", the bench observed in its order.

On Thursday, Mr. Luthra had told the bench, "When bail orders are passed, it becomes a peculiar situation because the orders don't reach the jail, the jail authorities don't know if the person is granted bail or not. The intimation only goes when the bail order goes to the court and then the court looks at the personal bond and based on that the person is released...The man is in custody when the lawyer is arguing in court. Also, it may be an amicus or the legal aid lawyer arguing. Families often do not reach the court. This frustrates the rights of a lot of people. I understand the problem in incorporating it as a rule but it may also come as a direction in the final order. It may come as a part of your lordships' order because once the order is passed, it only needs a communication from the court concerned to the jail authorities"

Also, on Thursday, the bench recorded that many High Courts and State Governments are yet to incorporate the draft Criminal Practice Rules approved by the Supreme Court last year.

The bench observed as follows :

"By Order dated 20th of April 2021, this court directed the High Court and the state governments to take the following steps- (a) All High Courts shall take expeditious steps to incorporate the said Draft Rules, 2021 as part of the rules governing criminal trials, and ensure that the existing rules, notifications, orders and practice directions are suitably modified, and promulgated (wherever necessary through the Official Gazette) within 6 months from today. If the state government's co-operation is necessary in this regard, the approval of the concerned department or departments, and the formal notification of the said Draft Rules, shall be made within the said period of six months.

(b) The state governments, as well as the Union of India (in relation to investigating agencies in its control) shall carry out consequential amendments to their police and other manuals, within six months from today. This direction applies, specifically in respect of Draft Rules 1-3. The appropriate forms and guidelines shall be brought into force, and all agencies instructed accordingly, within six months from today".

The bench granted 8 more weeks time to the High Courts and State Governments to comply with the directions passed on April 20, 2021.

"A note has been submitted by the amicus curiae regarding the compliance of the directions issued on 20.4.2021. A few high courts have not taken steps to incorporate the draft rules as rules governing criminal trials. It is relevant to note that six months' time was granted to the High Courts to implement the directions given on 20th of April 2021. Such of those High Courts which have not complied with those directions are granted four weeks' time to comply with the order passed by this court on 20th of April 2021 and file a status report. Most of the state governments have not carried out a consequential amendment to the police and other manuals. Some state governments could not carry out amendments due to their not receiving the rules formulated by the High Court as directed by this court. All the state governments/union territories are directed to comply with the directions issued by this court within a period of eight weeks from today and report compliance."

On April 20, 2021, the Court had directed the High Courts to adopt the draft rules of criminal practice, which has been prepared by amici curiae Senior Advocates R Basant, Sidharth Luthra and Advocate K Paremshwar, within a period of 6 months.

The High Courts shall take expeditious steps to adopt the said draft rules and ensure that existing rules are suitably modified within a period of 6 months, a bench led by the then Chief Justice S A Bobde had ordered.

If the state government's co-operation is necessary in this regard, the approval of the concerned department or departments, and the formal notification of the said Draft Rules, shall be made within the said period of six months

The Court further directed the Union Government and the State Government to make consequential amendments to police rules within a period of 6 months. The directions were issued in the suo motu case In Re: To Issue Certain Guidelines Regarding Inadequacies and Deficiencies in Criminal Trials.

The Court had appointed Senior Advocates R Basant, Sidhath Luthra and Advocate K Paremeshwar as amici curiae in the case. The amici had submitteda Draft Rules of Criminal Practice before the Court.

The Court had later sought the views of the High Courts to the draft rules of criminal practice framed by the amici curiae.

Case Title: In Re To Issue Certain Guidelines Regarding Inadequacies and Deficiencies in Criminal Trial v. State of Andhra Pradesh

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 433

Click Here To Read/Download Order




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