Supreme Court Directs High Courts to List Bail Applications from the Same FIR to same bench


LI Network

Published on: December 20, 2023 at 13:03 IST

The Supreme Court has raised concerns about High Courts not adhering to the practice of listing bail applications arising from the same First Information Report (FIR) before a single bench.

The bench, comprising Justices CT Ravikumar and Sanjay Kumar, emphasized the necessity of consolidating bail applications related to a specific FIR before one bench to prevent conflicting decisions, particularly when the grounds for seeking bail involve issues of parity.

The court expressed its apprehension in its order, stating, “We have to reiterate the concern of this Court on the lethargy in following the earlier orders in the matter of dealing with bail applications arising out of the same FIR to avoid conflicting decisions.”

The bench clarified that the directive did not imply an automatic entitlement to parity for all co-accused and that such entitlement depended on various relevant facts and factors.

The court highlighted a similar situation observed by a three-judge bench on July 31, 2023, concerning the listing of bail matters related to the same FIR before different judges in the Allahabad High Court. In response, the bench recommended that all matters related to one FIR be listed before the same judge to ensure consistency in the orders issued.

Addressing the recurring issue across various High Courts, the Supreme Court directed the Registrar (Judicial) of its Registry to communicate the order, along with a copy of the July 31, 2023 order in SLP (Crl.) No.7203 of 2023, to the Registrar (Judicial) of all High Courts. The High Courts were instructed to present the orders before the respective Chief Justices.

The case in question involved a petitioner implicated in an FIR where the co-accused was granted bail by a Bench of the Rajasthan High Court, while the Jaipur Bench had denied bail to the petitioner, despite claiming grounds of parity.

The Supreme Court permitted the withdrawal of the Special Leave Petition (SLP), and the dismissal was made in accordance with the signed order mentioned above.

Case Details: Rajpal v. State of Rajasthan SLP (Crl.) No. 15585/2023

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