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Court should not hear Bail applications for more than 10 minutes: Supreme Court in Sharjeel Imam case

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The Supreme Court has said the court should not give more than 10 minutes of time for hearing the bail applications.

A bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice AS Oka said that the lengthy hearings lasting for days in bail matters are a waste of the court’s valuable time.

The bench remarked that it is a complete waste of time when bail applications are heard on an on… like an appeal on merits.

The bench made these observations while hearing it was hearing a plea by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Sharjeel Imam who moved the top court to obliterate certain remarks which the Delhi High Court had made about him while denying bail to co-accused Umar Khalid in the Delhi Riots Conspiracy case. 

The Delhi High Court while denying the bail to Umar Khalid had said that Sharjeel Imam was arguably the head of the conspiracy.

Imam said that these remarks were made without giving him an opportunity of being heard and without any evidence on record, in clear violation of principles of natural justice.

The Court said that these things (observations etc) only happen when bails are argued for so long like final appeals on conviction etc.

Khalid’s bail plea had been heard for over 20 days before the Court had rejected it while also making remarks against Imam.

The bench while giving an order stated that any observation made by the Delhi High Court regarding role of Imam will not prejudice him in any manner.

The Court added that we have noticed in para 68 that the division bench has clarified that observations will not impact merits of the case. . Therefore we clarify that any observation made regarding role of petitioner will not prejudice the petitioner in any manner.

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