High Court (India)

March 17, 2020

Delay in trial is not a ground for bail: Madras High Court

[ by Legal Era News Network ]


The Madras High Court dismissed a bail application moved by an accused who arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with a murder case holding that mere delay in conducting trial in cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act doesn’t take away the bar on granting bail to suspects.

A division bench of Justice R Subbiah & Justice R Pongiappan, rejected the submissions of that the trial in the criminal case will consume much time & therefore the accused languishing in jail for a considerable length of time must be enlarged on bail, said: “The nature of crime alleged to have been committed by the accused is such that the prosecution must be given adequate time to conduct the trial by examining several witnesses to prove the guilt of the accused. In this process, the trial may get protracted; however, it would not be a ground for this court to grant bail to the accused.”

The issue pertains to the murder of a PMK former functionary, in Thanjavur in Feb 2019. It was claimed that the murder was committed by members of Popular Front of India (PFI) & its political organization called Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) as the functionary objected to their ‘religious work’.

Objecting to the bail, the prosecution submitted that it has filed a memo before the trial court for hiding the identity of 15 vital witnesses, who speak about the conspiracy & overt acts of the accused. After due consideration, the trial court allowed the memo on merits.

Recording the submissions, the bench directed the trial court to examine the hide-out witnesses and record their evidence at the earliest, preferably on or before June 30. Further, it held that on completion of examination of the hide-out witnesses, the accused persons would be at liberty to approach the trial court again for grant of bail.

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