Supreme Court: With a view to bringing reform in practices relating to disposal of bail applications arising from the same case, the Division Bench of Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath, JJ., held that where more than one bail application has been filed by co-accused of offences arising from self-same FIR, all such applications shall be listed before the same court to avoid disparity.
The petitioner had approached the Court under Article 32 of the Constitution with a complaint that arising from the self-same FIR, two accused persons had filed separate bail applications and the one which was filed later was listed before the Patna High Court and post-arrest bail was granted to the accused, but the petitioner who had filed the bail application earlier, his application was not listed and despite a request been made, his bail application could not be taken on board. The petitioner contended that he was still languishing in judicial custody in spite of approaching the Court earlier than his co-accused.
Meanwhile, before the Court could decide the petition, the bail application filed by the petitioner was also listed before the High Court of Patna and he too was granted post-arrest bail.
The Court opined that the matter could have been disposed of in the light of the later development, but considering that the practice being followed by the High Court needs to be revisited, the Court held that if more than one bail application is filed by co-accused persons arising from the self-same FIR, it has to be listed ordinarily before the same Court to avoid any disparity.
Noting the Standing order No. 330/2019 issued by Delhi Police regarding guidelines for arrest keeping in view Section 41A of the CrPC, the Court stated,
“We are not dilating on the issue any further, but we keep it open for the State Government to look into these guidelines and implement it with any amendment/modification, if required, for giving effect to the mandate of Section 41A of the CrPC.”
In the light of the above, the Court directed the High Court to consider implementing abovementioned suggestions for better administration of justice and in the interest of the litigating people at large, particularly when the liberty of an individual is involved, which is sacrosanct.
Consequently, the writ petition was disposed of.
[Abhyanand Sharma v. State of Bihar, W.P. (Cr) No. 420 of 2021, decided on 10-05-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case:
For Petitioner(s): AORs Himanshu Shekhar and Sahil Tagotra, Advocates Abhay Prakash Sahay, Shoaib Alam, A.R. Takkar, Charitarth Palli, Ujjwal Singh,
For Respondent(s): AORs Gaurav Agrawal, Neeraj Shekhar, and Santosh Kumar – I, Advocates Rishi K. Awasthi, Prashant Kumar
*Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together