The Supreme Court Bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and BR Gavai granted bail to an undertrial who has been in jail since 2012. The court said that there is no likelihood of the trial being completed in the near future and that is why he should be released from jail.
The order read, “Having heard learned counsel appearing for the parties and given the fact that the petitioner is languishing in jail since 25.07.2012 and there is no likelihood of the trial being completed, the petitioner be released on bail, subject to the satisfaction of the trial Court.”
Case before the High Court
The accused/undertrial Vinay Kumar Mishra, who has been accused of murder, rioting provocation to disrupt public peace has been in jail since July 25, 2012.
During his trial at the High Court of Allahabad, it was submitted that despite the Trial Court being directed to conclude the trial within a period of four months from the date of production of certified copy of the order, the same did not happen.
On December 3, 2019, the High Court rejected his third bail application without getting into the merits of the case even though Mishra had no criminal antecedents.
Last month, the Supreme Court had expressed how ‘appalled’ they were to find that the alleged accused, Rakesh Mishra, was kept in prison for 12 long years as the trial was still pending. On January 18, the top court granted him bail and directed the trial to be concluded within six months.
On March 1, the Rajasthan High Court granted bail to one Shahbaz Ahmad, who has been an undertrial in the Jaipur bomb blast case since 2008. After being acquitted in eight FIRs, he was re-arrested in connection with a ninth FIR with similar charges.
The High Court expressed its grief over the situation which compelled the petitioner to languish in jail for 12 years for a crime he did not commit. Justice Bhandari said, “It is indeed surprising that when the petitioner was languishing in jail (I am using the term languishing in jail because petitioner remained in custody for twelve years and was ultimately found not guilty in all cases). As to why the petitioner was not arrested in this case when he remained in custody for twelve years, is a query put up before the learned Additional Advocate General, to which the learned Additional Advocate General is clueless.”
The Supreme Court order may be read here: