HomeBreaking NewsCJI questions delayed listing of Setalvad bail plea: Is this standard practice...

CJI questions delayed listing of Setalvad bail plea: Is this standard practice in Gujarat?- Newslength

Questioning the Gujarat Excessive Court docket’s resolution to listing activist Teesta Setalvad’s bail plea for listening to on September 19, virtually six weeks after it issued discover, the Supreme Court docket Thursday puzzled if this was the “standard practice in Gujarat” and requested the state authorities “what kind of material have you gathered in the last two months” towards her.

Posting the matter for additional listening to Friday, Chief Justice of India U U Lalit, heading a bench that included Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia, instructed the Gujarat authorities that its intervention in a case depends upon the details and circumstances of every and there’s no inviolable precept that the Excessive Court docket ought to be the ultimate courtroom for bail.

Setalvad was arrested on June 25 for allegedly fabricating proof to border “innocent people” within the 2002 Gujarat riot instances.

Solicitor Common Tushar Mehta, showing for the state, stated he had by no means come throughout any case the place the Supreme Court docket had entertained a plea from an accused who had gone to the Excessive Court docket the place the plea was pending.

“There are thousands and thousands of people waiting for their bail applications to be heard. They have similar contentions to be raised. There are cases where for some special reasons, the sessions court orders are challenged before Your Lordships. But there is no case where the accused first selects the remedy of going before the HC, comes directly under (Article) 136 (special leave to appeal by the Supreme Court) and Your Lordships have entertained,” Mehta instructed the bench, citing Supreme Court docket selections on the topic.

CJI Lalit stated “though what has been observed” in these judgments “is definitely a guiding principle, but at times, we have to interfere in the matter depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. Therefore, to say that the HC should be the final court for bail is not an inviolable principle. It’s not something cast in stone. We have to see in the light of the facts and circumstances”.

Noting that Setalvad was arrested on June 25 and had already spent greater than two months in custody, the CJI stated “we want to know what kind of material have you gathered in the last two months. Number 1, the lady has completed more than 2 months of custody. Number 2, you must have had the benefit of custodial interrogation at some stage. So therefore, is there anything which has actually been elicited out of such custodial interrogation because today as the things stand, the FIR has nothing but whatever has happened in Supreme Court”.

“So is there any additional material apart from what has been recited in the judgment of the SC? In the custodial interrogation, have you been able to elicit something beyond that. And in the last two months, have you actually filed a chargesheet or something or is the investigation still on,” he stated.

The CJI stated “there is no offence… like say POTA, or UAPA… which comes with the rider or which comes with the statutory mandate that bail should not be granted. There is no such thing. These are normal IPC offences… then under Section 437 (when bail may be taken in case of non-bailable offence) mandate, a lady is definitely entitled to a favoured treatment”.

Mehta stated the state wouldn’t wish to give any particular therapy to any accused.

To this, the CJI stated, “It’s not the state which is giving any special treatment. It is the court which has to be alive to that. We are considering it in our appellate jurisdiction. What you say is right, they have gone to the HC, and there is a petition pending. But at the same time, she was taken into custody on June 25. So it has been almost two months and something above.”

Mehta stated she was arrested “for something we have found… it’s not for pleasure… People are arrested and people are released on bail”.

The CJI instructed him: “We know that…We are not saying it was for somebody’s pleasure or something.”

To a question from the bench on what was the fabric obtainable towards the accused, Mehta stated “there are 164 statements, 161 statements showing that conspiracy was hatched somewhere, forgery took place somewhere else… I will show everything”.

The CJI stated, “We just wanted to check what is the tenor and direction of investigation… We are not going deeper into that… How many other co-accused have been taken into custody?”.

Mehta stated there have been two extra accused however the cost of forgery was alleged towards Setalvad.

“We will go by that, that according to you, there is some material which may prima facie justify… Even then, your custodial interrogation part and everything is over,” the CJI stated.

“We are on a point. If a matter like this comes before the HC, the HC issues notice on August 3, 2022, makes it returnable on September 19 in a bail matter! So, effectively it means the bail matter being returnable in six weeks,” he stated.

Mehta responded that it might be so “if HC feels that there are other accused, if the HC is clogged, if the HC feels I will not give any special treatment to anyone.” He saidt the SC may advance the listening to earlier than the HC.

However the CJI stated “what actually struck us is this. First, your complaint does not recite anything greater than or more than what the judgment of the Supreme Court said. So if the judgment of the SC is out on June 24, on June 25 the complaint is filed. Obviously the person who is the author of the complaint has not had anything greater than what the Supreme Court had said… He was not privy to any knowledge other than that emanating from the judgment”.

“So these are some points that came to bother us. Within one day the complaint came to be filed. It may or may not be serious, but at the same time you as investigators had the advantage of subjecting this lady for custodial interrogation… That is also done… These are not offences where something, say like 302, or 307 or bodily injury kind of offences. These are offences which are particularly on the basis of documents or according to you, the forgery connected with certain documents which are either filed or not filed in court. In these matters, the normal idea is that yes, after the initial period of police investigation, custody is over. Then there is nothing which actually can stop the investigators from conducting further course of investigation and insisting that the man still must be in custody. That’s the second part. The third part is that she happens to be a lady. And if the HC is not cognizant of this and makes it returnable after six weeks, are we to sort of just close the file and say because the matter is pending in the HC, we should not touch it.””

Opposing the grant of interim bail, the SG stated the offence towards Setalvad was much more severe that the one underneath IPC part 302. “I would not make any distinction between any other accused and I would feel it’s more serious than 302,” he stated.

The CJI instructed the SG to “give us a case where a lady has been actually in confinement on charges like this and the HC has made the matter returnable after six weeks… We heard you say that please don’t make an exception, as if this is a special case. That is the reason why we said… That’s why we want to know… We are actually going on this theory that how could the High Court make the matter returnable after six weeks. Is this the standard practice in Gujarat?”

Mehta stated “no lady in similar situations has committed offence of this nature” and he’ll put in on affidavit that no discrimination has been proven by the HC.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments