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No further extensions of interim bails to undertrials involved in heinous crimes: Delhi HC

No further extensions of interim bails to undertrials involved in heinous crimes: Delhi HC

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New Delhi [India], October 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has ordered that there shall be no further extension of interim bails to those 2,318 undertrials involved in heinous crimes, who were granted interim bail by the District Courts and directed them to surrender them in a phased manner from November 2 to November 13.
However, the court granted liberty to 2318 prisoners to move the respective
courts for extension of their interim bails and said that "the concerned courts shall consider the said applications for extension of interim bails on its own merits and take a decision accordingly without being influenced by any order passed by this Court in the past."
A Special Bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel, Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh directed the jail authorities to make appropriate arrangements to ensure surrender of the prisoners as detailed above and take all required steps in view of the guidelines issued by the Government Authorities from time to time to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"This order shall also apply to any other undertrial, who is granted interim bail in the meantime," the court said.
A Special Bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel, Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh said: "After considering all aspects and in view of the fact that the interim bail and interim stay extension order was necessitated because the functioning of the Courts was curtailed due to complete lockdown declared on March 25, 2020 but now the situation has changed and all Courts at High Court and District Court level are functioning through physical mode/VC mode and since there is no spread of Covid-19 in the jails and out of about 16,000 prisoners only 3 are infected and they have been segregated and are admitted in the hospital, we deem it proper to modify our order dated 25th March 2020 which was lastly extended on 24th August 2020."
"As far as the first category of 2318 undertrials involved in heinous crimes, who were granted interim bail by the District Courts, there shall be no further extension of interim bails under the orders of this Court," the court said.
However, to facilitate their surrender before jail authorities and to avoid any inconvenience being caused to the jail authorities during the surrender of a large number of undertrials, the court has asked that the surrender shall take place in the phased manner.
The prisoners of Central District, Tis Hazari Courts, shall surrender on November 2 and West District on 3rd November 2020, the high court said.
The prisoners of Rouse Avenue Courts Complex, New Delhi shall surrender on
13th November 2020, the high court said.
"As far as 2,907 prisoners, who have been granted bail on the recommendation of High Power Committee are concerned, a request is made to the High Power Committee to take a decision in respect of the said prisoners within ten days from today," the court said.
"As far as 356 prisoners granted interim bail by this Court are concerned, they shall surrender before the concerned jail superintendent(s) on 13th November 2020. However, as stated above, all the above 356 prisoners are at liberty to move applications for extension of their interim bails before the concerned benches of this Court, if so advised, and their applications will be considered on merit without being influenced by any order passed by this Full Bench," the court said.
"As far as interim orders passed in the civil matters are concerned, which were extended vide orders dated 25th March 2020 and subsequent orders, it is hereby ordered that all such interim orders shall cease to have effect on the next date of hearing in the said matters. However, the parties in the said
matters are at liberty to move the concerned courts for extension of the interim orders and the said courts shall consider extension of the interim orders on merit without being influenced by any orders passed by this Court in this matter," the court said.
The court order came after an application was filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Legal Cell of Delhi Police enclosing an order passed by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav, who is exclusively dealing with riots case and made a request to modify these orders and pass necessary directions as deemed fit in view of the difficulties faced.
Appointed as a Special Public Prosecutor for handling riots case, Advocate Amit Parsad told the high court that undertrials in Riots Cases, who were granted interim bails on humanitarian grounds for short periods are covered under the ambit of the orders passed by this court and their interim bails are extended from time to time. About 20 such accused are on interim bail at this time, he said.
Advocate Amit Parsad who was representing Legal Cell urged the High Court to modify orders, which had extended interim relief to prisoners from time to time.
Delhi Government Standing Counsel for criminal matters, Advocate Rahul Mehra has submitted that Covid-19 pandemic is still prevailing and the earlier orders passed by this court need not be modified.
The Delhi High Court on March 25, 2020, took suo moto notice of outbreak of Covid-19 and ordered that all matters pending before this court and courts subordinate to this court, wherein such interim orders issued were subsisting as on March 16 2020 and expired or will expire thereafter, the same shall stand automatically extended till May 15 or until further orders.
Since the lockdown was extended from time to time by the Government with few relaxations and the restrictive functioning of the Courts continued, so the order dated 25th March 2020 was extended from time to time on 15th May 2020, 15th June 2020, 13th July, 2020, 31st August 2020 and lastly vide order dated 24th August 2020, the interim orders were extended till 31st October 2020. (ANI)

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