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Supreme Court releases accused on bail after determining trial will take time

The petitioner was apprehended for the offence under Sections 419, 420 of IPC and Sections 66, 66B, 66C, 66D of IT Act

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A Supreme Court bench comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice Surya Kant on Friday heard a regular bail plea and released an accused, Bittu, on bail after determining that he had been in custody for the past two-and-a-half years and with the examination of just one witness, trial would take long to conclude.

The petitioner’s Advocate Vikrant Singh Bais apprised the Bench about the time Bittu has served in judicial custody. Sumeer Sodhi for the state opposed the bail petition, stating that the High Court and the trial court came down heavily upon the petitioner after perusing some additional documents.

Notice had already been issued on February 1 by the earlier bench of Justice N.V. Ramana (now the Chief Justice of India) and Justice Surya Kant on a petition of Bittu seeking grant of bail. Bittu had challenged the dismissal of bail order passed by High Court of Chhattisgarh, Bilaspur bench dated 24.11.2020. The High Court, while dismissing third bail application of Bittu, observed that his earlier two applications were dismissed on prima facie consideration, and on the principle of parity, bail cannot be granted to Bittu, who is in judicial custody since November 7, 2018. ( Bittu v St of Chattisgarh)

The background of the case is that the petitioner was apprehended for the offence under Sections 419, 420 of IPC and Sections 66, 66B, 66C, 66D of IT Act. The allegation is that Rs 10 lakh were transferred to Bitu’s account. Some unknown persons hacked the saving accounts of Vyavasayik Sahkari Bank and transferred an amount of Rs 2.47 crore to 26 different accounts in various banks.

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The High Court had observed while disposing of the bail application that detention period and delay in trial are material factors for consideration of bail, but apart from that the nature of offence and its seriousness is also to be seen and the impact of bail on society at large.

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