Lack of Sureites no ground forJail: Uttrakhand High Court [Read Order]

“Petitioner is not in Jail because he has been convicted, petitioner is not in jail because he was denied bail, but he is in Jail because he cannot secure sureties.”

On 10.09.2020, a Single Judge of Uttarakhand High Court, Justice Ravindra Maitani, reduced the surety amount of an accused who could not arrange the same and resultantly was continuing in Judicial Custody.

BACKGROUND
The petitioner was in judicial custody in Crime no—56 of 2018, under section8/20 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, 1985. The lower Court exteded bail to the accused vide order dated 16.08.2020.

After that, the petitioner was required to submit the surety as per the orders of the Court. Due to the failure of the petitioner for the submission of such surety, the petitioner was not released from jail.

The petitioner filed an application seeking reduction of surety, however, it was rejected by the Special Court. Since the said order passed by the Court could not have been reviewed under section 362 of the Code of Civil Procedure, therefore, the petitioner filed a writ petition to challenge the order of the Court.

SUBMISSION OF THE RESPONDENT

State Government’s Counsel opposed the petition on the ground that the petitioner resides in U.P. and commercial quantity of Charas was recovered from the possession of the petitioner. Therefore, the petitioner may abscond and would not be present for hearing at the trial if the Court releases him on bail.

OBSERVATION OF THE COURT
The Court relied upon the Judgment of Supreme Court in the case of Moti Ram and others vs State of Madhya Pradesh (1978) 4 SCC 47 and observed that Petitioner is not in Jail becuase he has been convicted, petitioner is not in jail because he was denied bail, but he is in Jail because he cannot secure sureties.

Considering that the Petitioner, who was in Jail, is poor, the Court directed to enlarge the Petitioner on Bail, subject to furnishing personal bond of Rs. 5000/-

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