On Tuesday (October 5, 2021), the Supreme Court suggested that the Allahabad High Court should consider granting bail to convicts who have served half of their sentence.
When considering the issue of long pending criminal appeals in the Allahabad High Court, the Supreme Court noted that bail is the rule where the convict has already served eight years of actual sentence. In cases other than life sentences, a broad parameter of 50% of sentence served is applicable for the grant of bail to convicts in appeals.
The Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundersh has sought a policy strategy in this regard and has given the High Court four weeks to do so
“The fact of the matter is that if an appeal is pending at the High Court stage and the convict has already undergone eight years of actual sentence, exceptions apart, in most cases bail would be the rule. Despite this, the cases are not coming up for consideration. We are not clear as to how much time does it take for a bail application to be listed in such a case. There may be convicts who may not be able to have the requisite access to legal advice for moving the bail application," the bench said.
It emphasised that convicts in custody are also from cases other than life sentences, and it further stated:
“We may note that there may be even convicts in custody in cases other than life sentence cases and in those cases again the broad parameter of 50 per cent of the actual sentence undergone can be the basis for grant of bail.”
The bench noted, among other things, that if an appeal comes up for hearing and the appellant seeks adjournment rather than arguing the appeal, that may not be a case for bail because the High Court is willing to consider the merits of the appeal.
CASE- SAUDAN SINGH v. THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH