“Mere passage of time during the pendency of Appeal not a ground for grant of bail and suspension of sentence under NDPS”: SC

Team SoOLEGAL 15 Sep 2020 4:09pm

“Mere passage of time during the pendency of Appeal not a ground for grant of bail and suspension of sentence under NDPS”: SC

It was observed by the Supreme Court that mere passage of time during the pendency of appeal cannot be a sole ground to grant bail in NDPS case and suspend the same.

The bench comprising of Justices S.K. Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari stated that in order for bail to be granted and the appeal be suspended, the provisions of Section-37 of NDPS Act, 1985 must be met.

Despite the Supreme Court’s directions for the consideration of his case on priority, the case did not reach for hearing while Mr S.V. Raju, Additional Solicitor General appeared for the respondent, maintained that there had been no basis for the suspension of the sentence and granting the bail to the appellants, because he had served a long period of time during the pendency of the appeal.

The case of Union of India v. Rattan Mallik @ Habul was also relied on by the ASG. With respect to Section-37 the court said, “Undoubtedly Sec. 37 rigor have to be met before a Convict’s sentence is suspended and bail granted and mere passage of time could not be a reason for the same.”

However, the court said taking note of the prevalent situation of COvid-19, “We are faced with unusual times where the Covid situation permeates. We are also conscious that this Court has passed orders for release of persons on bail to de-congest the jail but that but that is applicable to cases of upto seven years sentence.”

Further, the court clarified that this order must not be treated as precedent. 

Tagged: Supreme Court   NDPS case   Justice S.K. Kaul   Justice Aniruddha Bose   Justice Krishna Murari   Section-37 of NDPS Act   bail   Union of India   COvid-19  
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