Those who are languishing in jail despite being granted bail because they cannot meet some of the stringent conditions the Bombay high court had imposed two months ago can expect some relief.
The high court on Monday stayed its own notification, issued on October 31, that had made it mandatory for accused to furnish details of three relatives and for the local police to verify these before releasing the accused on bail.
“Some of the petitioners are granted bail but are still in custody because they are not able to comply with the conditions mentioned in the notification,” a division bench of justice BH Mar-lapalle and justice UD Salvi said. “They are either foreign nationals or migrants and have no blood relatives in Maharashtra.”
The bench noted that some persons accused in bailable offences were also suffering because of additional conditions imposed under the notification.
The stay will not help the convicts seeking to be released on bail while their appeals are pending before higher courts. They will have to continue to comply with the conditions stipulated in the notification.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by lawyer Anjali Waghmare challenging the Constitutional validity of the notification. Some of the accused affected by the notification have also joined in by filing writ petitions.
Waghmare contended that the court’s notification sought to amend provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, which can only be done by state Legislatures or the Parliament. She argued that the high court had no authority to do so.
During the last hearing, Waghmare’s counsel, Murtaza Nazmi, had pointed out that the conditions imposed in the notification had practically become an eligibility condition for filing bail applications in lower courts and it had become difficult for accused to even apply for bail.