Hyderabad: The Supreme Court in the R.D. Upadhyay case had held that undertrials charged with attempt to murder should be released on bail if their case has been pending for two years or more. Persons charged with comparatively minor offences such as theft and cheating should be released if they had been in prison for more than a year.
Mr Upadhyay, a Supreme Court advocate, had filed a PIL in the apex court regarding the condition of undertrails.
The apex court said that trial courts were obligated to consider such persons for bail. It clarified that it was not necessary for undertrials to move an application for bail.
It directed that where an undertrial is not in a position to furnish sureties, the court should examine whether the person can be released on furnishing a personal bond.
While delivering the verdict with regard to undertrials and issuing guidelines for their release, the apex court in 2015 had said that prisoners “cannot be kept in jail like animals”.
The Law Commission of India, in its recommendation to the Centre with regard to bail conditions, opined: “A bail condition must not unreasonably violate the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. If the prosecution cannot show through evidence that the person accused of an offence is at the risk of absconding, or is likely to interfere with the judicial process, or is likely to commit the same offence, the accused person should be considered eligible for release, without or with such financial obligations that are not excessive or onerous.”
While suggesting easing the bail process for the prisoners who are poor, the law panel stated the example of a driver. If the accused person is a driver by profession, even though the offence he is accused of is not related to his work, the court may require him to deposit his driving licence, as a precondition for release. This would affect his work after his release....