The Supreme Court has held that a person is entitled to interim bail pending disposal of the main application as it is a Constitutional right guranteed under Article 21(right to liberty) as being lodged in a jail may harm a person's reputation.
"We wish to reiterate that inherent in the power to grant bail is the power to grant interim bail, pending a final disposal of the bail application.
"This is in view of Article 21 of the Constitution of India which guarantees the right of reputation to every person," a Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur said in an order.
The apex court passed the order while dismissing the bail plea of an accused Balbir Singh challenging the refusal of the sessions court and the Punjab and Harayna High Court to grant him bail in a criminal case.
His counsel Monoher Singh Bakshi had argued that denying him bail would result in his going to the jail, thus affecting his reputation.
The apex court, while rejecting Singh's plea for an anticipatory bail, however, asked the trial court to decide on his plea for interim bail.