Pronounce verdicts in bail matters without delay; avoid lengthy bail orders: Supreme Court

Pronounce verdicts in bail matters without delay; avoid lengthy bail orders: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court last week urged all courts in the country to ensure that bail orders are not lengthy and are pronounced on time [Sumit Subhashchandra Gangwal and anr vs State of Maharashtra].

A bench of Justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath, and Sanjay Karol stressed that courts should act promptly in matters concerning liberty of citizens.

"Detailed elaboration of evidence has to be avoided at the stage of grant/rejection of bail/anticipatory bail...It is always said that in the matters pertaining to liberty of citizens, the Court should act promptly...inordinate delay in passing an order pertaining to liberty of a citizen is not in tune with the constitutional mandate," the bench stated.

The observations were made in light of the fact that the order of Bombay High Court, which was under challenge before the apex court, ran into 13 pages and was pronounced five weeks after being reserved.

The bench was dealing with an anticipatory bail plea filed by two men accused of offences punishable under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The Court had, on March 24, while issuing notice in the matter, granted the two accused protection from arrest.

This was on account of the delay in filing of the criminal complaint, no offence being prima facie made out as alleged, and the matter appearing to be the result of a civil dispute.

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court had earlier that month rejected the bail pleas.

The Supreme Court while disposing of the bail application made its earlier interim order absolute, noting that no custodial interrogation would be required.

Advocates Atul Babasaheb Dakh, Diganta Gogoi, and Bitu Kumar Singh appeared for the appellants.

Advocate Aaditya Aniruddha Pande appeared for the State of Maharashtra.

The Supreme Court had in another case in December observed that bail applications should not be heard by courts for more than ten minutes.

Lengthy hearings lasting for days in bail matters are a waste of the court's time, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and AS Oka had said.