Follow Judgments on Bail Else Will be Taken of Judicial Work and Sent to Training: Supreme Court Warns Magistrates

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said orders passed by trial courts in bail matters in breach of its guidelines and the law cannot be countenanced and the magistrates concerned may be taken off judicial work and sent to academies for their skill upgrade.

A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul observed that some orders have been produced before it which were passed in breach of the order passed by the apex court only as samples to show how at the ground level, there are a number of aberrations.

Observing that it is not as if the top court’s order has not been brought to the notice of the trial courts, the apex court said that yet orders are being passed which have a dual ramification — sending people to custody where they are not required to be so sent and creating further litigation.

“This is something which cannot be countenanced and in our view, it is the duty of the high courts to ensure that the subordinate judiciary under their supervision follows the law of the land,” the bench, also comprising Justices A Amanullah and Aravind Kumar, said.

“If such orders are being passed by some magistrates, it may even require judicial work to be withdrawn and those magistrates to be sent to the judicial academies for upgradation of their skills,” it said.

The top court said that among the illustrated orders, a large number of them happen to be from the state of Uttar Pradesh.

It asked the counsel appearing for Uttar Pradesh to bring this issue to the notice of the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court so that necessary directions are issued in this regard.

The bench observed that another aspect which is sought to be pointed out before it is that not only there is a duty of the court but also the public prosecutors to bring the correct legal position before the courts.

It said illustrations have been given before it where submissions of the prosecutors are contrary to the order passed by the apex court.

The bench noted that Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the CBI, has very fairly stated that prosecutors are bound to bring the correct legal position before the courts and the agency will issue directions to them in this behalf.

“In fact, we are of the view that all prosecuting agencies/state governments should issue such directions to the prosecutors so that neither in pleadings nor in arguments the stand taken is contrary to the legal position enunciated by this court,” it said.

The apex court said the circulation in this regard should be made through the director of prosecution in all states and training programmes be organised to keep on updating the prosecutors in this behalf.

It observed that according to data placed before it, there are a large number of under-trial prisoners who are languishing in jails as they are unable to comply with the bail conditions imposed on them.

The bench, which posted the matter for further hearing on May 2, said some solution has to be found and necessary steps have to be taken to deal with the issue.

In its order passed in October 2021, the apex court had issued guidelines for grant of bail by courts.

It had accepted the suggestions made by ASG Raju and senior advocate Sidharth Luthra on the issue.

“In terms of the suggestions, the offences have been categorized and guidelines are sought to be laid down for grant of bail, without fettering the discretion of the courts concerned and keeping in mind the statutory provisions. We are inclined to accept the guidelines and make them a part of the order of the court for the benefit of the courts below,” the top court had said.

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