NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has granted bail to a 75-year-old man, who was convicted in a 1983 rape and murder case of a young girl, after 40-year-long trial.
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal noted the occurrence is of the year 1983 which is forty years old now. There are reasons and reasons why the trial was delayed.
Granting him bail, the bench said that the trial came to an end with the order of conviction of the appellant on April 21, 2023 and the appellant was throughout on bail, and currently he is about 75 years.
The bench said the appeal before the Calcutta High Court has been admitted for final hearing.
“Considering the delay in disposal of the trial, the fact that the occurrence is of the year 1983 and the present age of the appellant, he deserves to be enlarged on bail, pending the final disposal of the appeal before the High Court on appropriate stringent terms and conditions,” the bench said.
While setting aside the HC order, the bench asked it to fix appropriate stringent terms and conditions on which the appellant shall be enlarged on bail, pending the final disposal of the appeal.
The bench said that normally, this court should not issue a direction to a constitutional court and for that matter to any court, to fix a time schedule to decide any case.
“However, this case has a peculiar feature that the trial has taken forty years to conclude. We, therefore, request the High Court to give out of turn priority to the disposal of the appeal in accordance with law,” the bench said in its September 25 order.
Having noted that the appellant is a member of the Bar, the bench said, “He is, therefore, expected to ensure that the order of this court is scrupulously implemented and the appeal is disposed of expeditiously”.
It also directed the appellant not to seek adjournments on any unreasonable grounds and shall cooperate with the high court for early disposal of the appeal. “In the event, the hearing of the appeal is delayed on account of the default on the part of the appellant, it will be open for the respondent to apply to the High Court for cancellation of the bail”, said the bench.
While rejecting appellant’s plea for bail, the high court has noted that the case involves brutal rape and murder of a girl who was found strangulated in a room.