Shivani Gadhavi

Published On: December 2, 2021 at 19:00 IST

The Supreme Court of India on 1st December, 2021 noted that an Undertrial cannot be detained indefinitely if the undergoing Trial is taking time in its conclusion. The Court was hearing the case of a Maoist leader who is charged under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The Supreme Court Bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Abhay S. Oka observed that the rights of an accused should also be protected. The Bench stated that depriving an Accused of personal liberty and speedy Trial does not correspond well with Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The Apex Court on 1st December, 2021 granted bail to Asim Kumar Bhattacharya, a 74-year-old Senior Maoist Leader, who is being tried under several Sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act by the National Investigation Agency.

The Accused was arrested on 6th July, 2012 and has been kept in prison since then. Asim Kumar Bhattacharya had earlier approached the Supreme Court with a Bail Plea after he was denied Bail from the Calcutta High Court and a Trial Court.

The Bench stated,“This court has consistently observed in its numerous judgments that the liberty guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution would cover within its protective ambit not only due procedure and fairness but also access to justice and a speedy Trial is imperative and Undertrials cannot indefinitely be detained pending Trial. Once it is obvious that a timely Trial would not be possible and the Accused has suffered incarceration for a significant period of time, the courts would ordinarily be obligated to enlarge him on Bail.”

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