Gujarat HC Awards ₹1 Lakh Compensation to Wrongfully Detained Individual


LI Network

Published on: 28 September 2023 at 11:30 IST

The Gujarat High Court has awarded a compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh) to an individual who was wrongly detained for nearly three years, calling this case a significant revelation.

The convict in question had submitted a bail application while still in custody.

A Division Bench comprising Justice A.S. Supehia and Justice M.R. Mengdey stated, “The current case serves as a wake-up call… In light of the applicant’s unfortunate situation, having remained in jail despite this Court’s order due to negligence on the part of the prison authorities, even though he was already released yesterday, we are inclined to grant compensation for his unlawful incarceration in prison for almost three years.

The applicant is approximately 27 years old and, as per prison records, he has served more than 5 years. Therefore, in the pursuit of justice and to ensure that the applicant is justly compensated for the negligence of the prison authorities, which forced him to remain imprisoned, we instruct the State to provide him with compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One lac).”

Additionally, the Bench mandated that the compensation should be disbursed within 14 days.

In this specific case, the convict had filed a regular bail application, which was subsequently sent to the Court’s Registry by the Deputy Superintendent of Ahmedabad Central Jail.

The applicant-convict’s attorney brought to the Court’s attention the order issued in Criminal Misc. Application (for suspension of sentence) and argued that, after issuing a comprehensive order, the Court had already granted the applicant regular bail by suspending his sentence under Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.PC).

The Court then directed the matter to be listed and instructed the APP to obtain the necessary instructions regarding why the applicant remained in jail despite the order issued by the Court’s Coordinating Bench. Furthermore, the Court ordered the Court’s Registry to provide details regarding the communication of the order for the applicant’s release on regular bail.

In light of these circumstances, the High Court discovered that, despite a previous bail order in 2020, the applicant had been wrongfully detained due to the failure of the prison authorities to implement the release order.

The Court also suggested, “The Secretary, DLSA, should assess the economic condition of the accused in order to prepare a report on the inmate’s socio-economic circumstances, which can be submitted to the relevant Court with a request for bail/surety conditions to be relaxed.”

Furthermore, the Court directed that in cases where an undertrial or convict offers to provide bail bonds or sureties upon release, the Court may consider granting temporary bail for a specified period to enable the accused to furnish bail bonds or sureties.

“… if the bail bonds are not provided within one month from the date of bail being granted, the relevant Court may take up the case of its own accord and consider whether the bail conditions need to be modified/relaxed. One of the reasons for delaying the release of the accused/convict is the insistence on a local surety. In such cases, it is recommended that courts do not impose the requirement of a local surety,” the Court ordered.

The Court noted that the Supreme Court is still examining the matter; however, the above directions are only issued for the welfare of prisoners/convicts who have been granted bail but have not been released.

Accordingly, the High Court scheduled the matter for October 18, 2023.

Case Title: Chandanji @ Gato Chhanaji Thakor v. State of Gujarat

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