Can’t keep accused in custody indefinitely, says SC; grants bail

THE Supreme Court Tuesday granted bail to an accused in the 2011 abduction and murder of a nurse in the Rajasthan health department, Bhanwari Devi as the accused had already undergone eight and a half years in jail as an undertrial.

Citing personal liberty, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy said the matter was a serious one and the offence heinous but the accused, Paras Ram Bishnoi, could not be kept in custody for an indefinite period of time.

“There is a value to personal liberty. We cannot keep everyone behind bars for all the time that the CBI would take to complete a trial,” the bench remarked.

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, for the accused, said the prosecution evidence was over, as was the statement to be recorded of all the accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C. Bishnoi did not propose to lead any defence evidence, he said, unlike several of the other accused in the case.