The Supreme Court has created a record of sorts by granting bail to two men facing criminal charges in 90 cases at one go. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhan allowed the plea of AK Sinha and MAH Khan after holding that a person who has remained in jail for a period up to half of the maximum imprisonment, specified for the charges against him, should be released on bail. The court said the petitioners' bail has to be as per the satisfaction of the various trial courts where the two are facing the prosecution.
Sinha and Khan have been in jail for the past nine years. They are charged with cheating, criminal breach of trust and forgery. Senior advocate Jagdeep Dhamkar appeared for the accused and contended on their behalf that the two had remained in jail for a period that was more than half of the maximum punishment for which they could be sentenced if found guilty. The two can be imprisoned for life if they are found guilty for forgery, while seven years is the maximum punishment for cheating.
Dhamkar cited the amended section of criminal procedure code, introduced last year, that permits release of those undertrials who have been languishing in jail even as their cases are progressing at a snail pace.
Sinha and Khan are facing cases in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. The main allegation against them is that as the director and managing director of the company, Mahakaushal Plantations Limited, both along with the other directors cheated the public by collecting huge deposits and misappropriated the same.