To reduce the backlog of bail applications pending in the Bombay High Court, a special court has extended its working hours.
On Monday, Justice R.S. Mohite decided six of the nine cases that were listed before him. The judge will hear bail applications filed by the accused awaiting trial in offences where punishment is less than 10 years of imprisonment.
Advocate Anil Lalla, who specialises in cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act, said: “It is really a good initiative. Many times the accused languish in jail for years without bail.”
“Often trials do not start for years. There have been cases where a person is not released on bail and the verdict comes after they have served more than the maximum sentence for that offence,” said Advocate Arfan Sait.
An additional Public Prosecutor, who did not wish to be named, said it was an unusual practice. “But this will help in deciding on bail matters faster,” he added.
In one of the cases on Monday, Justice Mohite granted bail to two accused arrested for demanding bribe.
The court granted bail to Navalkishore Agarwal, branch manager of Bank of Maharashtra at Thane, and Anil Gamre, a recovery inspector with the Debt Recovery Tribunal.
The duo was arrested on March 24 for allegedly demanding bribe from one Pawankumar Agarwal for preparing a possession letter in his name.