New Delhi, Jun 16 (ILNS) The Supreme Court has come down heavily on the Punjab and Haryana High Court for not listing a bail application for more than a year.
“Normally, we do not interfere with an interim order passed by the High Court but we are constrained to pass the present order as we are shocked to see that the bail application under Section 439 CrPC is not being listed for hearing for more than one year,” observed a Division Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V Ramasubramanian observed that accused Chunni Lal Gaba has a right of hearing of his application for bail and denial of the same is an infringement of his right and liberty.
The Court further stated that “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”.
According to the Court, during the prevailing pandemic, at least half of the judges should sit on alternative days so that hearing is accorded to the person in distress.
The Court underscored that 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.
Therefore, the Top Court expressed hope that the Punjab and Haryana High Court will 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 by not entertaining such application on the mentioning memo.
“Let the Registrar General of the High Court bring this Order to the notice of the competent authority to take remedial steps at the earliest. The special leave petition stands disposed of accordingly” , the order read.
The Apex Court was considering an SLP against an April order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, whereby the request for hearing of an application for bail of petitioner Gaba under Section 439 of the CrPC, pending since February 28, 2020, was declined. ILNS/KR/RJ