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Court Can’t deny default bail by fixing stringent conditions: Kerala High Court [Read Order]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      08 December, 2023 06:13 PM      0 Comments
Court Cant deny default bail by fixing stringent conditions Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court has reiterated that default bail can’t be denied to a person by fixing stringent bail conditions under section 167 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 


While imposing conditions in default bail, the Court can only impose only such conditions to ensure that the accused will appear before the court concerned for trial and will also co-operate with the investigation, Justice PV Kunhikrishnan highlighted. 


“The default bail is a statutory right of an accused. The Court cannot deny statutory bail to an accused by imposing stringent conditions which cannot be complied by the accused….. This statutory right cannot be circumvented by imposing onerous conditions. Such arbitrary condition imposed while granting statutory bail amount to infringement of the fundamental right of the detenue under section 21 of the constitution of India.”


In the case, the petitioner was arrested for having in possession, 1.75 grams of MDMA. He was arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Then, an application seeking statutory bail was moved before the Sessions Court, Ernakulam because the investigation was not completed within sixty days. While allowing the plea, the Court imposed certain conditions. However, two of the conditions, according to the petitioner, wasn’t proper. 


• That one of the sureties should be a close relative of the petitioner. The relative is not solvent, there shall be 3 sureties, of which one shall be the relative and others solvent sureties. 


• The sureties shall produce the original title deeds of their property along with a copy. 


The petitioner argued that he hailed from a poor family and his family does not own any land of their own. Also, his relatives aren’t willing to stand as surety for him. Because of this, he is continuing to remain in custody even after securing a bail order and is unable to furnish bail bonds due to the unwarranted conditions. 
The Court took serious consideration of these arguments. 


“When the petitioner submits before this Court that Condition Nos (3) and (4) are onerous conditions, in the light of the dictum laid down by the Apex Court, I am of the considered opinion that those conditions are to be lifted. The sureties can be directed to produce tax receipts instead of original title deeds of their property”, the Court said, while setting aside these conditions.

 

[Read Order]



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