SC Pulls Up Allahabad HC on Pending Bail Pleas: “If not you, we’ll take burden”

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The apex court bench noted that there are 853 pending criminal appeals where petitioners have spent more than 10 years in jail and sought details on these appeals, which should include time prisoners have spent in custody.

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Allahabad High Court, as it expressed concern at delays in hearing bail application of prisoners languishing in jail, saying it has to think out of the box.

A bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and M.M. Sundresh noted that there are 853 pending criminal appeals where petitioners have spent more than 10 years in jail and sought details on these appeals, which should include time prisoners have spent in custody.

“If you are finding it so difficult, we will take extra burden and call bail applications. You have to think out of the box like sitting on Sunday or Saturday…”.

As it was informed that these 853 cases have not been analysed and the UP government’s counsel sought time, the top court emphasised that it is dealing with the liberty of the person. It said if the high court is finding it difficult to handle these matters, then it can call bail applications to the top court, and gave two weeks to the state government to bring on record necessary details.

After going through the report filed by the high court’s registrar, the bench said it should not take weeks to dispose of these applications. The top court scheduled the matter for further hearing on August 17.

The bench asked the UP government’s counsel to bring on record cases of multiple offences where the state is opposing the bail, or instances of aggravating circumstances.

The top court had, on its own, ordered registration of a case to consider laying down guidelines in connection with long pendency of criminal appeals in the Allahabad High Court. The top court had asked the state government to take a stand with respect to single offence cases and those pending for 10 years or more, and emphasised that unless there are special circumstances, all of them can be enlarged on bail. — IANS

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