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No Accused Can Be Subjected To Unending Detention Pending Trial : Supreme Court Affirms Right To Seek Bail

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 April 2022 7:12 AM GMT
No Accused Can Be Subjected To Unending Detention Pending Trial : Supreme Court Affirms Right To Seek Bail
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Affirming the right of an accused to seek bail, the Supreme Court has observed that no accused can be subjected to unending detention pending trial, especially when there is the presumption of innocence. The Court made this observation while remanding the bail application of Ashish Mishra in the Lakhimpur Kheri case to the High Court, after cancelling the bail granted to him by the High...

Affirming the right of an accused to seek bail, the Supreme Court has observed that no accused can be subjected to unending detention pending trial, especially when there is the presumption of innocence. The Court made this observation while remanding the bail application of Ashish Mishra in the Lakhimpur Kheri case to the High Court, after cancelling the bail granted to him by the High Court.

A bench led by the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana set aside the Allahabad High Court's bail order as it was based on irrelevant considerations. At the same time, the Court took into account the apprehensions expressed by Mishra's lawyer that the cancellation of bail will be construed as an indefinite foreclosure of his right to seek bail.

The bench observed that there are several case laws which recognized the legitimacy of seeking liberty from incarceration, regardless of the stringency of the penal provisions.

"To put it differently, no accused can be subjected to unending detention pending trial, especially when the law presumes him to be innocent until proven guilty", the Court said.

"Even where statutory provisions expressly bar the grant of bail, such as in cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, this Court has expressly ruled that after a reasonably long period of incarceration, or for any other valid reason, such stringent provisions will meltdown, and cannot be measured over and above the right of liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution", the judgment authored by Justice Surya Kant added. Reference was made to the judgment in Union of India versus KA Najeeb which granted bail to a UAPA accused who was undertrial for over 5 years.

The Court further said that it is tasked with ensuring that "neither the right of an accused to seek bail pending trial is expropriated, nor the 'victim' or the State are denuded of their right to oppose such a prayer".

Accordingly, while setting aside the bail order and asking the accused to surrender within a week, the Court remanded the bail application to the High Court for fresh consideration on merits, after affording an opportunity of hearing to the victims.

Also from the judgment : Victim Has The Right To Be Heard At Every Stage From Investigation To Culmination Of Trial In Appeal/Revision : Supreme Court

"Tearing Hurry, Myopic View" : Supreme Court On HC Order Granting Bail To Ashish Mishra In Lakhimpur Kheri Case

[Case Title: Jagjeet Singh And Ors. v. Ashish Mishra @ Monu And Anr. Criminal Appeal No. 632 of 2022]

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 376

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment



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