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Supreme Court recommends separate Act to streamline grant of bail, sets timeline for disposing bail pleas

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The Supreme Court has recommended to the Union Government on Monday to introduce a special enactment in the nature of a “Bail Act” to streamline the grant of bail.

A bench comprising of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh while hearing the matter in the case Satender Kumar Antil versus Central Bureau of Investigation observed that “The Union of India may consider the introduction of a separate enactment in nature of a bail act, so as to streamline the grant of bails”,.

A slew of  directions were also issued by the bench to ensure compliance of proper procedure for arrest and setting time limit for disposal of bail pleas.

The court said that the investigating agency and their officers are duty bound to comply with the mandate of Section 41 and 41A of CrPC and direction issued in Arnesh Kumar judgment. The court further said that any dereliction has to be brought to the notice of the Court in the proper format. The Courts will have to satisfy themselves to the satisfaction of Section 41 and 41A. Non-compliance would entitle accused for grant of bail.

For the State Governments and Union Territories , the court said that the present standing orders for the procedure are to be followed under 41 and 41A while taking note of the standing order passed by Delhi Police 109/2020 and order dated by the Delhi High Court in 2018 to comply with mandate of 41A.

The State and Central Government also have to comply with the direction of the court from time to time by constituting  special courts. The High court has to undertake exercise on the need for special courts. Vacancy of presiding officers in special courts have to be filled up expeditiously.

The Supreme Court has also directed the High Courts  to undertake the exercise of finding the prisoners who are not able to meet the bail conditions. The court insisted that an apt action is to be taken as per Section 440 of CrPC for facilitating release.

The court reminded that the the mandate of Section 440 of the Code has to be kept in in mind. Similar exercise to be undertaken for the compliance with mandate of Section 436A both at district judiciary level and High Courts.

The court as directed earlier said that the bail applications have to be disposed within 2 weeks except when provisions mandate otherwise. For all the anticipatory bails the total disposal time should not exceed 6 weeks with the exception of intervening application.

Talking about the State Governments, Union Territories and High Courts, the Top Court said that they are are required to file affidavits, status report within a period of 4 months.


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