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"Consolidate bail pleas in identical FIR cases to ensure consistent judicial decisions": Supreme Court to High Courts [Read Order]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      30 December, 2023 06:17 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Orders High Courts to Consolidate Bail Pleas in Identical FIR Cases to Ensure Consistent Judicial Decisions Read Order

NEE DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the High Courts across the country to ensure the bail applications filed by co-accused in the same FIR are heard by the same bench to avoid contradictory orders.

A bench of Justices C T Ravikumar and Sanjay Kumar directed that its order passed on July 31, 2023 should be communicated to all the High Courts for compliance.

The top court voiced concern at the "lethargy" of the High Courts in complying with its previous order after coming across a matter where bail applications filed by two different accused in an NDPS Act case were not only heard by different benches but both were dealt in different manner.

A plea was filed by petitioner Rajpal questioning validity of the Rajasthan High Court, rejecting his bail plea by disregarding his claim of parity.

The petitioner said his co-accused was granted bail by a coordinate bench of the High Court but his application was rejected.

As the petitioner preferred to withdraw his special leave petition, the bench did not deal with merits of the matter.

The bench, however, issued orders to avoid recurrence of such a situation.

"We have to reiterate the concern of this court on the lethargy in following the earlier orders in the matter of dealing with bail applications arising out of the same FIR to avoid conflicting decisions. We shall not be understood to have said that at all circumstances co-accused in such cases are invariably entitled to parity and that such entitlement is certainly dependent on various relevant facts and factors," the bench said.

On July 31, 2023, the Supreme Court had said it has come across various matters from the High Court of Allahabad, wherein matters arising out of the same FIR are placed before different judges.

"This leads to anomalous situation. In as much as some of the judges grant bail and some other judges refuse to grant bail, even when the role attributed to the applicants is almost similar. We find that it will be appropriate that all the matters pertaining to one FIR are listed before the same judge so that there is consistency in the orders passed," the court had then said.  

The Supreme Court had then issued a direction tothe Registrar (Judicial) to communicate the said order to the Registrar (Judicial) of the High Court of Allahabad.  

"Taking note of the fact that such situations are occurring in other High Courts as well, we are of the view that the Registrar(Judicial) of the Registry of this court be directed to communicate this order along with a copy of the order dated 31.07.2023 to the Registrar (Judicial) of all the High Courts. On their receipt, they shall place the orders before the Chief Justice of the respective High Courts," the bench said.

 

[Read Order]
 



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