Supreme Court flags delay in listing of bail application for more than a year before Haryana High Court

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

A “shocked” Supreme Court found that a bail application had not even been listed for hearing for more than a year before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, that too at a time when judiciary is going the extra distance to hear cases virtually.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian noted that “denial of hearing is an infringement of right and liberty assured to an accused”.

The top court said it normally did not intervene with the operations of the High Courts, but in this case, it was “constrained” to take note of the delay in hearing the bail plea.

“Even during the pandemic, when all courts are making attempts to hear and decide all matter, non-listing of such an application for bail defeats the administration of justice,” the Bench recorded in a recent order.

The court was hearing a special leave petition filed in an Enforcement Directorate case.

“Under the prevailing pandemic, at least half of the judges should sit on alternate days so that hearing is accorded to the person in distress. Non-listing of application for regular bail, irrespective of seriousness or lack thereof, of the offences attributed to the accused, impinges upon the liberty of the person in custody,” the Supreme Court observed.

The Bench said it hoped the High Court would be “able to take up the application for bail at an early date so that the right of the accused of hearing of application for bail is not taken away”.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 8:50:43 AM |

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