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The accused has the right to have bail plea heard in reasonable time: Allahabad HC

The court observed that failure of the police authorities to provide timely instructions to the GA/ AGA in bail applications causes delay in the hearing of the bail applications, and often leads to unjustified incarceration of an accused in jail

Sabrangindia 28 May 2021

Image Courtesy:livelaw.in

The Allahabad High Court has directed the DGP to establish a procedure for police officials to forward instructions to the government advocate in bail applications filed before the high court. The court was miffed while hearing a bail application, that the police had not provided instructions to the prosecution, which led to the matter being adjourned and resulting in violation of the right of the accused to have his bail application heard by the Court within a reasonable time.

The court was hearing a bail application filed by one Sahil where the Additional Government Advocate did not have any instructions from the police in the matter and he was thus, not in a position to present the full and true facts of the case and consequently, the bail application could not be heard. The court observed that “No explanation was given for failure on part of the police authorities to furnish the appropriate instructions to the AGA, despite ample time being given to the police authorities”. The court was constrained to direct the SSP/ DIG to be present before the Court through video conferencing. And the DIG, Ghaziabad remained present before the court.

The AGA informed the court that an enquiry has been ordered into the failure of the concerned official to send timely instructions to him.

“The Government Advocate/ A.G.As can assist the Courts in the hearing of the bail applications only if full and complete instructions are available with them before the bail applications is taken up for hearing,” the court pointed out.

The court further underscored the right of an accused to have his bail application heard in reasonable time, saying, “The right of an accused to have his bail application heard by the Court within a reasonable time has been entrenched as a constitutional liberty. The right flows from Article 21 according to pronouncements of Constitutional Courts.”

The court made a reference to Ajeet Chaudhary Vs. State of U.P. (2021) where a bench of the high court issued directions to streamline the procedure for providing timely instructions to the GA/AGA in offences under the SC/ST Act. The court observed that an analogous procedure can also be created for other criminal cases as well.

Failure of the police authorities to provide timely instructions to the GA/ AGA in bail applications causes delay in the hearing of the bail applications, and often leads to unjustified incarceration of an accused in jail,” the court observed. The court held that, “The timelines in the procedure to provide instructions may vary as per the provisions of law. But the timeline has to be defined to ensure that hearing of the bail applications is not delayed indefinitely to the detriment of the accused/ bail applicant.”

The court had asked the AGA, Vinod Kant, to inform the court whether the directions in Ajeet Chaudhary judgement were being complied by the police but no such information came through; instead he assured the court that the State Government has an unconditional commitment to uphold the rule of law and to comply with the orders passed by this Court in letter and spirit. He further submitted that the police authorities will streamline the process of imparting instructions to the GA/AGAs in bail applications and have no objection to create a procedure for the same.

The court was assured by these submissions and emphasised that “The surest foundation of the rule of law and stability of constitutional order lies not only in the existence of an independent judiciary; but equally in the regard shown by every constitutional organ of governance to the fundamental rights of all citizens, and actions of state officials to diligently comply with the orders passed by the Court.”

The court stated that the process of furnishing instructions to the GA/ AGA before hearing of bail applications has to contain safeguards which protect the constitutional liberties of the bail applicants/ accused persons and such process has to be transparent with well defined responsibilities, and definite timelines. The court also said that the responsible officials should be held accountable for failures to adhere.

The court issued following directions for a procedure to give instructions to the government advocate:

  • The DGP should ensure that a fair, transparent and clear procedure for supplying instructions to the GA/AGA in bail applications before the High Court is created and implemented
  • The procedure shall include the designation of the officials, the tasks or duties which they have to discharge, and a definite time frame for such purpose
  • It shall be ensured that there is constant oversight of the implementation of such procedure and appropriate departmental action as per law is taken against officials who without good cause fail to discharge their assigned duties therein.
  • DGP shall comply with the directions within a period of eight weeks
  • The affidavit regarding compliance of the directions passed in this order, as well in Ajeet Chaudhary judgement shall be filed on behalf of DGP before the Registrar General on or before August 6.
  • Creation of a similar procedure for all District Courts may also be considered if deemed appropriate.

With respect to the current bail application, the court directed that it be listed on May 26 in the list of fresh cases before appropriate Bench for hearing.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Rape allegations become false once marriage is admitted: Allahabad HC
Allahabad HC refuses pre-arrest bail to alleged rumour monger 
SC stays Allahabad HC order granting bail on apprehension of death due to Covid

The accused has the right to have bail plea heard in reasonable time: Allahabad HC

The court observed that failure of the police authorities to provide timely instructions to the GA/ AGA in bail applications causes delay in the hearing of the bail applications, and often leads to unjustified incarceration of an accused in jail

Image Courtesy:livelaw.in

The Allahabad High Court has directed the DGP to establish a procedure for police officials to forward instructions to the government advocate in bail applications filed before the high court. The court was miffed while hearing a bail application, that the police had not provided instructions to the prosecution, which led to the matter being adjourned and resulting in violation of the right of the accused to have his bail application heard by the Court within a reasonable time.

The court was hearing a bail application filed by one Sahil where the Additional Government Advocate did not have any instructions from the police in the matter and he was thus, not in a position to present the full and true facts of the case and consequently, the bail application could not be heard. The court observed that “No explanation was given for failure on part of the police authorities to furnish the appropriate instructions to the AGA, despite ample time being given to the police authorities”. The court was constrained to direct the SSP/ DIG to be present before the Court through video conferencing. And the DIG, Ghaziabad remained present before the court.

The AGA informed the court that an enquiry has been ordered into the failure of the concerned official to send timely instructions to him.

“The Government Advocate/ A.G.As can assist the Courts in the hearing of the bail applications only if full and complete instructions are available with them before the bail applications is taken up for hearing,” the court pointed out.

The court further underscored the right of an accused to have his bail application heard in reasonable time, saying, “The right of an accused to have his bail application heard by the Court within a reasonable time has been entrenched as a constitutional liberty. The right flows from Article 21 according to pronouncements of Constitutional Courts.”

The court made a reference to Ajeet Chaudhary Vs. State of U.P. (2021) where a bench of the high court issued directions to streamline the procedure for providing timely instructions to the GA/AGA in offences under the SC/ST Act. The court observed that an analogous procedure can also be created for other criminal cases as well.

Failure of the police authorities to provide timely instructions to the GA/ AGA in bail applications causes delay in the hearing of the bail applications, and often leads to unjustified incarceration of an accused in jail,” the court observed. The court held that, “The timelines in the procedure to provide instructions may vary as per the provisions of law. But the timeline has to be defined to ensure that hearing of the bail applications is not delayed indefinitely to the detriment of the accused/ bail applicant.”

The court had asked the AGA, Vinod Kant, to inform the court whether the directions in Ajeet Chaudhary judgement were being complied by the police but no such information came through; instead he assured the court that the State Government has an unconditional commitment to uphold the rule of law and to comply with the orders passed by this Court in letter and spirit. He further submitted that the police authorities will streamline the process of imparting instructions to the GA/AGAs in bail applications and have no objection to create a procedure for the same.

The court was assured by these submissions and emphasised that “The surest foundation of the rule of law and stability of constitutional order lies not only in the existence of an independent judiciary; but equally in the regard shown by every constitutional organ of governance to the fundamental rights of all citizens, and actions of state officials to diligently comply with the orders passed by the Court.”

The court stated that the process of furnishing instructions to the GA/ AGA before hearing of bail applications has to contain safeguards which protect the constitutional liberties of the bail applicants/ accused persons and such process has to be transparent with well defined responsibilities, and definite timelines. The court also said that the responsible officials should be held accountable for failures to adhere.

The court issued following directions for a procedure to give instructions to the government advocate:

  • The DGP should ensure that a fair, transparent and clear procedure for supplying instructions to the GA/AGA in bail applications before the High Court is created and implemented
  • The procedure shall include the designation of the officials, the tasks or duties which they have to discharge, and a definite time frame for such purpose
  • It shall be ensured that there is constant oversight of the implementation of such procedure and appropriate departmental action as per law is taken against officials who without good cause fail to discharge their assigned duties therein.
  • DGP shall comply with the directions within a period of eight weeks
  • The affidavit regarding compliance of the directions passed in this order, as well in Ajeet Chaudhary judgement shall be filed on behalf of DGP before the Registrar General on or before August 6.
  • Creation of a similar procedure for all District Courts may also be considered if deemed appropriate.

With respect to the current bail application, the court directed that it be listed on May 26 in the list of fresh cases before appropriate Bench for hearing.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Rape allegations become false once marriage is admitted: Allahabad HC
Allahabad HC refuses pre-arrest bail to alleged rumour monger 
SC stays Allahabad HC order granting bail on apprehension of death due to Covid

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