SC steps in after Orissa HC sits on a blind man’s bail plea in a Ponzi scheme case for 2 years after reserving order in 2020; Issues notice to CBI, ED 

Supreme Court: The vacation bench of AS Bopanna and Vikram Nath, JJ has issued notice returnable in 3 weeks in the matter where one Mohd. Naseer, who has been in custody since 14.02.2019 for being charged under the Prize, Chits & Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.

Prior to this, the Petitioner had been arrested on 20.07.2009 and was granted bail on the same date. He was then not arrested till 14.02.2019 even though the charge-sheet was filed on 09.12.2016. It has hence been argued before the Court that the same is against the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Siddharth v. State of UP, (2022) 1 SCC 676 and Aman Preet Singh v. CBI, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 941, wherein it was held that if the accused has not been arrested during the course of the investigation and has cooperated with the investigation then there is not requirement of arrest post filing of charge-sheet.

Further, the petitioner had applied for bail before the Orissa High Court and the order was reserved on 12.06.2020. It has been argued that he is confined in jail awaiting adjudication of the case since then. Notably, the Petitioner has already been detained for more than 3 years where the total period of incarceration in case of conviction is maximum 7 years.

“The Petitioner has already been in custody for more than 3 years post filing of charge-sheet, wherein the Trial against the Petitioner has already begun and there is hardly any possibility of early conclusion of the Trial.”

The petitioner, who suffers from a permanent disability of blindness by birth, has submitted before the Court that the prolonged detention is against the fundamental rights of the Petitioner under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

[Mohd. Naseer v. Directorate of Enforcement Government of India, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 767, order dated 13.06.2022]


Counsels

For petitioner: Sr. Adv Siddharth Bhatnagar, AORs Swarnendu Chatterjee and Gaurav and Advocates Yashwardhan Singh, Himanshu N and Raman Yadav

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