Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Section 436 A of the Criminal Procedure Code - the principle for granting bail : SC

The Supreme Court Tuesday said it would hold hearing to decide the principle for granting bail in cases which attract jail terms ranging from three to seven years.

The supremecourt bench of Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice J. Chelameswar said it would hold hearing on the question of principles involved in the grant of bail after it was told that high courts and trial courts were refusing bail in the wake of the observation made in the apex court and reported by media.

Ranjit Kumar, appearing for V.K. Sinha, a co-accused with former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda in a disproportionate assets case, told the court that “everything is media oriented. The questions are asked in the subordinate courts based on media reports”.

The senior counsel told the court that a case should not be decided on the basis of media reports.

“Some law should be laid on the grant of bail. Legislature has not decided (against the bail) instead it has brought in law providing for bail in offences not involving death sentence.”

Under Section 436 A of the Criminal Procedure Code in cases other than those attracting death sentence, once the prisoner during the period of investigations, inquiry or trial has undergone detention up to half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for that offence under the law, he should be released by the court on his personal bond with or without sureties subject to expectations as may be recorded for reasons in writing by the court.

Ranjit Kumar told the court that “the accused also had the right under the law. It is not that prosecuting agency had all the rights. His rights are not suspended”.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Madhu Koda’s aide Manoj Punamiya, also pressed for laying down some principles for the grant of bail.

While court said that it would hear the plea for laying down the principles for grant of bail Jan 18 next year, the plea for interim bail to Sinha would be heard Dec 12.

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