Courts can't stop people from engaging in political activities as condition of bail: SC

The Orissa High Court had imposed on a man that he shall not be involved in any political activity while ordering his release on bail

Updated - March 26, 2024 04:20 pm IST

Published - March 26, 2024 03:38 pm IST - New Delhi

A view of Supreme Court in New Delhi.

A view of Supreme Court in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP

The Supreme Court has quashed the bail condition imposed by the Orissa High Court on a man that he shall not be involved in any political activity, saying it will breach his fundamental rights.

A bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and Sandeep Mehta passed the order on a plea filed by Siba Shankar Das, a former Mayor of Berhampur Municipal Corporation, against the January 18 order of the high court.

The high court had dismissed his application seeking withdrawal of the bail condition which said that he "shall not create any untoward situation in public and shall not be involved in any political activities, directly or indirectly".

The condition was imposed by the high court while ordering his release on bail in August 2022.

"We find that the imposition of such condition would breach the fundamental rights of the appellant and no such conditions could have been imposed," the apex court said in its March 22 order.

"We, therefore, quash and set aside the condition imposed by the high court, to the extent the same is extracted above," it said.

Das had approached the high court seeking modification of the condition imposed by it in the August 11, 2022 order while directing his release on bail.

His counsel had told the high court that the appellant being a political person may be permitted to take part in political activities in view of the ensuing general election.

The State had objected to his prayer and said that after being released on bail, a murderous attempt was made on him.

"Upon hearing both parties and considering present situation as it remains a fact that he was not only involved in other cases but also murderous attempt was made upon him, it would be unjustified to modify the condition of the bail permitting the appellant to take part in political activities which would be in further deterrence of law and order situation in the locality involving the appellant," the high court had said.

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