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The apex court has maintained that an accused cannot be kept indefinitely in jail for his inability to produce registered surety for reasons beyond his control. The matter pertains to a resident of Nagpur being in jail, granted bail in trial court of West Bengal. The trial court in an order dated 08.05.2019, the Magistrate granted bail to the petitioner inter alia on condition of producing registered surety. By the reason of call given by the Bar Council of West Bengal from April 29, 2019, advocates all over West Bengal have stuck off work completely, as a result of which the petition, being the resident of Nagpur is unable to approach to Calcutta High Court for relief on the said condition of said surety which is infeasible for the petitioner to fulfill.

The Petitioner contended that he is not in a position to produce surety and his mother is critically ill, for which he needs to go home. The Supreme Court led by Justices Indira Banerjee and Sanjiv Khanna held that “We, therefore, deem it appropriate to direct the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate concerned to consider modifying the orders dated 10.05.2019 and 08.05.2019 on such appropriate terms as may be deemed necessary, including cash security and/or reliable surety though not registered, without insisting on registered surety. The petitioner shall be produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. If it is found that the Court Room is locked, as alleged (which seems rather incredible), or if it is not possible to produce the petitioner before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate by reason of picketing and/or obstruction or otherwise, the petitioner may be produced before the High Court on or before 22.10.2019 for consideration of modification of the bail on appropriate terms.

The apex court disposed of leave petition with the direction to the concerned learned Magistrate to modify the surety as according to the necessity.

—India Legal Bureau

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