‘Couldn’t open email’: Gujarat prison on why man with bail spent 3 yrs in jail
The Gujarat high court ordered the government to pay ₹1 lakh in compensation to the convict “for his illegal incarceration in the jail for almost three years”
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has ordered the state government to pay ₹1 lakh in compensation to a 27-year-old man who was granted bail by the high court in 2020 but was not released for nearly three more years.
“The (bail) order was issued on September 29, 2020, but it was only yesterday, on September 21, 2023, that the convict was finally released,” a bench of justices AS Supehia and MR Mengdey said in a 35-page order dated September 22 on a petition by Chandanji Thakor, a 27-year-old man who served a jail sentence.
“Considering the plight of the applicant, who has remained in jail despite the order of Gujarat high court, due to the negligence on the part of the jail authorities… we are inclined to grant compensation for his illegal incarceration in the jail for almost three years,” the court said.
The bench said the high court’s registry had categorically informed the jail authorities about the September 2020 bail order passed by this court releasing the applicant on regular bail. “It is not the case that such e-mail was not received by the jail authorities. It is the case of the jail authorities that necessary action could not be taken in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and though they have received the e-mail, they were unable to open the attachment,” the court said.
The court said the email containing the bail order was sent to the district sessions court in Mehsana but no proactive measures were taken by the court to ensure proper implementation of the order. “Regrettably, there was no follow-up on this matter until yesterday.
“Hence, in the interest of justice and in order to see that the applicant is appropriately compensated for the negligence of the jail authorities, due to which he was constrained to remain in jail, we are directing the state to grant him compensation of ₹1 lakh. The same shall be paid within a period of 14 days,” said the order, noting that as per jail records, the applicant had already spent more than five years in jail.