Published on: July 26, 2022 at 19:56 IST
The Supreme Court said that it was prepared to “take the burden” and decide the cases on its own and came down strongly on the Uttar Pradesh government and Allahabad High Court for “not being sensitive” in their failure to take prompt actions to release on bail under trial prisoners who had been languishing for more than ten years in jail.
The Supreme Court held on May 9 that all one-time offenders who have spent more than years in jail should be granted bail. This was done in response to the fact that many prisoners in Uttar Pradesh have been languishing in prison for years while waiting for the Allahabad High Court to hear their appeals. At the time, the court was hearing appeals from the 1980s.
The Allahabad High Court is currently hearing appeals from the 1980s, but many prisoners have been languishing in jails throughout Uttar Pradesh for years while waiting for their appeals to be heard. On May 9, the Supreme Court ruled that all one-time offenders who have served more than years in jail should be granted bail and asked the HC to decide their cases all at once by clubbing them together.
The Bench comprised of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M. M. Sundresh was told that 232 new bail applications had been filed in the last two months, and that 62 bail applications were still pending at the Allahabad High Court.
The Bench expressed objection that the HC had not decided the bail petitions expeditiously despite the court having laid down the norms, to do so.
The Bench was irked by the response, saying, “If you find it very difficult to do, then we would take the burden. In both the state and the High Court there is a problem.. You cannot put these people behind bars indefinitely.”
The Bench directed the state government to make a list of the 853 cases, with serial numbers and time spent in jail, within two weeks. The hearing date was set by the court for August 17. “If you are not able to handle it, then we will handle it, the bench further said.”