Consider introduction of 'Bail Act' to streamline grant of bail: SC to union govt

Supreme Court of India / Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday directed the Centre to consider framing a "Bail Act" to streamline the grant of bail, a recommendation that assumes significance given the pendency of bail pleas of several undertrial prisoners including activists, political leaders and journalists.

The top court also said bail applications be disposed of within two weeks except when provisions mandate otherwise while pleas for anticipatory bail be decided within six weeks.

"The Union of India may consider the introduction of a separate enactment in nature of a bail act, so as to streamline the grant of bails," a bench of Justices S K Kaul and M M Sundresh said while pronouncing a judgment in a case related to the arrest of a man by the CBI.

Issuing a slew of directions, the bench said investigating agencies and their officers are duty-bound to comply with section Section 41-A of the Criminal Procedure Code (Notice of appearance before police officer).

The top court said any dereliction has to be brought to the court's notice, followed by proper directions and non-compliance would entitle the accused to grant bail.

The suggestion to enact a bail law assumes significance in wake of the pendency of bail pleas of several trial prisoners including activists, political leaders and journalists.

The top court also directed all high courts to find undertrial prisoners who are not able to comply with bail conditions and appropriate action be taken to facilitate their release.

It directed all state governments, Union Territories and high courts to file status reports in four months.


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