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'Keeping Bail Application Pending For 8 Months Not Consistent With Right To Liberty': Supreme Court In Anil Deshmukh's Plea

Sohini Chowdhury
26 Sep 2022 3:58 PM GMT
Keeping Bail Application Pending For 8 Months Not Consistent With Right To Liberty: Supreme Court In Anil Deshmukhs Plea
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"Every person who files an application for bail has a legitimate expectation that the application should be disposed of at an early date", the Court observed.

The Supreme Court, on Monday, granted liberty to former Home Minister of the State of Maharashtra, Anil Deshmukh to approach the Bombay High Court Bench assigned to hearing his bail application tomorrow. The Apex Court requested the High Court to take up the bail application pertaining to the PMLA matter within the course of the week and dispose it of expeditiously. "The Court has been...

The Supreme Court, on Monday, granted liberty to former Home Minister of the State of Maharashtra, Anil Deshmukh to approach the Bombay High Court Bench assigned to hearing his bail application tomorrow. The Apex Court requested the High Court to take up the bail application pertaining to the PMLA matter within the course of the week and dispose it of expeditiously.

"The Court has been apprised of the fact that the case has now been assigned to Justice N.J. Jamadar. We permit the petitioner to apply before the Ld. Judge to whom the hearing of the application of bail has been assigned tomorrow. The application for bail would be taken up within the course of this week and disposed of expeditiously."

Considering the fact, that on a previous occasion similar order was passed by the Apex Court which was not complied with by the Bombay High Court in its true spirit, the Bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli recorded in the order -

"A similar order was passed by this Court on 31.05.2022. We find that the said order is yet to be implemented. We expect that this time around the order of the court shall be duly attended to by taking a decision."

It added -

"Every person who files an application for bail has a legitimate expectation that the application should be disposed of at an early date. Keeping an application for Bail pending for 8 months in our view is not consistent with basic precepts of right to life and liberty under Article 21."

Senior Advocate, Mr. Kapil Sibal appearing on behalf of Deshmukh apprised the Bench that that bail application was pending before the Bombay High Court since 21st March, 2022. When the matter first came up for hearing on 25th March, the ED had sought time. In view of this, it stood over until 8th April. Then the matter was listed again on 22nd April, but was adjourned till 25th April due to paucity of time. On 25th April, again, due to paucity of time it got stood over to 26th April. In the meanwhile a petition was filed before the Apex Court. By an order dated 31.05.2022, the Supreme Court asked the High Court to expeditiously hear the bail application. On 9th June a High Court Judge had recused from hearing the bail application. Thereafter, the matter was listed on 1st July and again on 5th July. Finally, on 11th July, the Counsel for the petition argued the bail plea for 2-3 hours and concluded his submissions. Subsequently, the matter was listed before a new Bench. Then, it was listed on the 28th July and argument were partly heard. On 29th July at the request of the Additional Solicitor General the matter was adjourned to 10th August. When the matter was listed on 10th August, at the instance of the Additional Solicitor General adjournment was granted for a week. Eventually there was a change in the roster and thereafter when the matter came up on 5th September, another judge recused from hearing the matter.

Mr. Sibal, perturbed that his client is 73 years old and is ailing, vehemently argued seeking interim relief in the light of the fact that the bail application was kept at abeyance for almost 8 months. The Bench requested him to approach the concerned Bench of the High Court by tomorrow.

[Case Status: Anil Vasantrao Deshmukh v. State of Maharashtra Diary No. 28841/2022]

Click Here To Read/Download Order



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