Sunday, September 25, 2022

Allahabad High grants bail to Nem Singh who is serving life sentence for murder

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The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to Nem Singh, who has been in jail for 11 years, who is serving a life sentence for murder.

The Division Bench of Justice Om Prakash-VII and Justice Vikas Budhwar passed this order while hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by Nem Singh.

The bail application has been preferred by the appellant / applicant – Nem Singh, convicted and sentenced in Sessions Trial, under Section 302 IPC as well as in Sessions Trial, under Section 25 Arms Act, Police Station Chharra, District Aligarh.

It is submitted by the counsel for the appellant / applicant that the appellant / applicant is innocent and has been falsely implicated in the present case. He has not committed the present offence. No prima facie case is made out against him. Findings recorded by the trial court in the order are perverse and illegal. Referring to the evidence discussed in the order, it is further argued that the appellant / applicant is in jail from the date of arrest. Total period of incarceration of the appellant / applicant in this matter comes to around 11 years. If the remission period accrued in favour of the appellant / applicant is also added in the total period of incarceration, it will come more than 11 years. Thus, he has already undergone around 11 years of sentence in the matter.

Counsel for the appellant / applicant lastly submitted that if the appellant / applicant is released on bail, he will cooperate in early disposal of the appeal without taking any unnecessary adjournment.

Per contra, Additional Government Advocate as well as the counsel for the informant have opposed the prayer for bail but could not dispute the period of detention.

Counsel for the informant further argued that the appellant / applicant has not served out more than 14 years of sentence, therefore, he cannot take benefit of the law laid down in Saudan Singh (supra) case.

The Court noted that,

One of the directions issued by the Apex Court in Saudan Singh’s case (supra), which is relevant to this case, is as follows:-

“We have put to the AAG and the counsel for the High Court that a list should be prepared of all cases where the person has served out a sentence of 14 years, is not a repeat offender, and in any case if in these cases at one go bail can be granted and cases remitted for examination under the Uttar Pradesh Prisoners Release on Probation Rules, 1938. In all these cases, there is a high possibility that if these people are released, they may not be even interested in prosecuting their appeals.

We are quite hopeful that the High Court will adopt the aforesaid practice and thus prevent the Supreme Court to be troubled with such matters.”

In Brijesh Kumar @ Ramu case (supra), the Apex Court, inter-alia, held as under :

“As on date the appellant has undergone more than 14 years of actual sentence and 16 years with remission while the appeal is pending for seven years. Even if the date of the order of the High Court is taken into account which is about a little more than two years ago, the appellant would have spent about 12 years in custody by then and if the appeal is pending, we see no reason why in this kind of a single incident case, bail should not be granted”.

“Keeping in view of the above observations made by the Apex Court in the case of Saudan Singh (supra) and also in the case of Brijesh Kumar @ Ramu (supra) and there being no dispute that the appellant / applicant by now has served-out around 11 years of imprisonment in connection with the case, without expressing any opinion on the merits and without prejudice to the right of the appellant /applicant to pursue this appeal or pray for remission as per law, we are of the view that the appellant / applicant is entitled to be released on bail”, the Court observed.

The Court ordered that,

Let the aforesaid accused appellant-applicant be released on bail in the above case on furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned subject to furnishing an undertaking that he will cooperate in the hearing of the appeal and will report to the local police station on the first Monday of every month in the forenoon till the final disposal of the appeal.

Prayer for stay of realization of fine imposed by the trial court in the impugned judgment and order is refused. However, it is provided that the appellant / applicant shall deposit the same within a period of three month from the date of release.

List this matter in the month of January, 2023 in the heading of ‘final hearing’.

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