The Delhi High Court recently directed the Special Judge of National Investigation Agency at Patiala House Courts, New Delhi, to hear expeditiously the bail application of a 67-year-old man charged under the Unlawful Activities Prohibition Act, 1967.
The Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup J. Bhambhani expressed its disagreement to the reasons ascribed to by the Special Judge, NIA, for not hearing the bail application of the accused pending for about six months.
The Bench observed, “With utmost respect, we do not agree with the reasons ascribed by the learned Special Judge, NIA for not hearing and deciding the appellant’s bail application, despite the same having remained pending before him since February 4, 2021.”
Advocates Tanveer Ahmed Mir and Prabhav Ralli, representing the accused, submitted that a bail application was also moved before the Single Bench of the Delhi Court, informing that the accused has been behind bars since September 26, 2018 and that the trial is going on at a slow pace.
He urged for direction to the trial court to decide the bail application of the accused in a time-bound manner. The single Judge, subsequently, vide order dated May 27, 2021, directed the trial court to decide the bail application of the accused expeditiously.
Mr Mir submitted that despite the said order, the bail application of the accused had still remained pending on the ground that the record pertaining to the subject case was ‘voluminous,’ which rendered it impossible for the case to be heard through video-conferencing and thereby, it will be heard only upon resumption of physical hearings.
Upon this submission, the Bench vide order dated July 19, 2021, directed the Special Court to commence hearing the bail application of the accused from August 7, 2021, without waiting for resumption of physical functioning of the courts; and to dispose of the same expeditiously.