With criminal appeals pending, SC sees merit in bail plea of convict, who was behind bars for over 12 years

THE Supreme Court, on Thursday, granted bail to a man who has already suffered incarceration for over 12 years and nine months without remission, and after noticing that his criminal appeal against the conviction is not likely to be taken up for disposal very soon by the Allahabad High Court.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India [CJI] N.V. Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli passed the order to this effect.

 In yet another case, the same bench also granted bail to an accused who already suffered incarceration for a period of around nine years without completion of the trial.

On March 29, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh took a dim view of the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench denying bail to a convict who has already undergone 12 years of actual incarceration pending consideration of his appeal against the conviction for over nine years. It also called for a report from the Registrar of the Lucknow bench on the position of non-availability of a bench to hear criminal appeals, and also how many applications are pending consideration of bail where the appeal is pending consideration and the person incarcerated has spent more than 14 years in actual custody, as also cases where they may have been in incarceration for more than ten years.

Last month, the Supreme Court had expressed its disappointment at the inordinate delay in deciding criminal appeals by the Allahabad High Court. It had called for a report from the Registrar of the Allahabad High Court on the allegations by a convict that his appeal was not made ready for hearing despite a High Court order on January 9, 2019 to prepare the paper books within four weeks for hearing.

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