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Criminal Appeal Pending In HC Since 2012; Convict Undergoes 17 Years Sentence; Supreme Court Grants Bail

Shruti Kakkar
1 March 2022 7:24 AM GMT
Criminal Appeal Pending In HC Since 2012; Convict Undergoes 17 Years Sentence; Supreme Court Grants Bail
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The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to an accused who had already undergone (more than 17 years) sentence during the pendency of criminal appeal before the High Court.The bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli while granting bail in Ritu Pal v. State of Uttar Pradesh in their order said, "Taking into consideration the fact that the petitioner has...

The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to an accused who had already undergone (more than 17 years) sentence during the pendency of criminal appeal before the High Court.

The bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli while granting bail in Ritu Pal v. State of Uttar Pradesh in their order said,

"Taking into consideration the fact that the petitioner has already undergone 14 years and 3 months of actual custody and 17 years and 3 months of total custody with remission and more particularly the fact that the co-accused have already been released on bail and the bail application of the petitioner is pending consideration before the High Court since 2012, we deem it to be fit case to grant him bail."

The bench also directed for enlarging the petitioner on bail on the terms and conditions imposed by the Trial Court.

It was argued in the petition that the petitioner was convicted by the Trial Court u/s 302 r/w 34 of IPC on January 14, 2008 for an incident which occured in 2004 but his application seeking suspension of sentence has been pending before the Allahabad High Court since 9 years.

The petition filed through Advocate Rishi Malhotra further stated that the co accused persons have been released on bail pending his appeal before the High Court whereas petitioner's second bail application remains pending before the High Court since 2012.

It may be noted that another bench led by Justice SK Kaul on Friday while expressing concern about the long pendency of criminal appeals before the Allahabad High Court on Friday had laid down some broad parameters that can be adopted by the High Court while granting bail.

The Court ordered for preparing list for the ones who have served more than 14 years and were not repeat offenders and for the ones where the accused had already served more than 10 years and could be granted bail in one go.

In another interesting development, the Supreme Court bench led by Justice SK Kaul on February 21, 2022 had issued notice in a SLP assailing Allahabad High Court's order of rejecting second bail application of an accused who had undergone 14 years, 11 months and 16 days of actual sentence and 17 years, 11 months and 5 days with remission as on January 5, 2021.

In the impugned judgment, the High Court had said that it was not a fit case for bail and on January 9, 2019 had directed the office to prepare paper books within four weeks and list the appeal immediately for hearing.

The petitioner's counsel had submitted that the petitioner had served more than 18 years with remission and more than 14 years actual sentence. It was also counsel's contention that "Form-A" of the petitioner was presented by the Jail Authorities under the Uttar Pradesh Prisoners Release on Probation Act for his premature release but the same was still pending consideration, whereupon District Manager Ghaziabad and SSP Ghaziabad had recommended the premature release of the petitioner. He further apprised the bench of non preparation of paper book despite High Court's direction and petitioner's transfer to Model Jail due to his good conduct.

Remarking that the facts make disturbing meaning, the bench in their order said, "In our view all the aforesaid facts make disturbing meanings. Issue notice to respondent-State through standing counsel, returnable on 02nd March, 2022. We also call upon the Registrar, High Court of Allahabad to sent a report forthwith to us as to whether the paper book was prepared in pursuance to the direction passed by the Division Bench on 09.1.2019 and if so when and whether any steps were taken to list the appeal thereafter."

Case Title: Ritu Pal v. State of Uttar Pradesh| Writ Petition (Criminal) 535/2021 and Dharmendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh| Special Leave Petition (Criminal) Diary No(s). 3642/2022

Click Here To Read/Download Order for Ritu Pal v. State of Uttar Pradesh

Click Here To Read/Download Order for  Dharmendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh



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