According to bar and bench , The judgment delivered by a Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee referred to National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) statistics on the number of bail applications pending before the High Courts and the subordinate courts.
It was noted that 91,568 bail applications were pending before the High Courts, while 1,96,861 such pleas were pending before the district courts.
The Court described the NJDG information as a valuable instrument to promote access to justice, particularly in matters concerning liberty. Chief Justices of HighCourts were urged to use the date to democratise access to justice.
Further, administrative judges in charge of district courts were also urged to monitor pendency in the district judiciary.
Calling upon courts across the country to address the issue of pending bail applications, the judgment authored by Justice Chandrachud states,
“As the data on the NJDG makes clear, there is a pressing need for courts across the judicial hierarchy in India to remedy the institutional problem of bail applications not being heard and disposed of with expedition.”
Concluding on a hopeful note, the judgment states,
“It is our earnest hope that our courts will exhibit acute awareness to the need to expand the footprint of liberty and use our approach as a decision-making yardstick for future cases involving the grant of bail.”
Earlier Delivering its reasoning behind granting Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami interim bail in the abetment to suicide case, the Supreme Court today held that courts should ensure that criminal law does not become a weapon for selective harassment of citizens
The judgment was delivered by a Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee. Pronouncing the verdict , Justice Chandrachud said that prima facie, it could not be held that Goswami had abetted the suicide of Anvay Naik.
“…we are clearly of the view that in failing to make even a prima facie evaluation of the FIR, the High Court abdicated its constitutional duty and function as a protector of liberty.”
The Bench lamented that the High Court had failed to establish whether or not there was a prima facie case under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (abetment to suicide) against the journalist.
After highlighting the factors that High Courts need to consider while deciding to exercise jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution for grant of bail, the Court noted.
Calling upon courts at all levels to safeguard the liberties of citizens, While disposing of the appeal, the Court concluded,
“We have given expression to our anguish in a case where a citizen has approached this court. We have done so in order to reiterate principles which must govern countless other faces whose voices should not go unheard.”
The interim order will remain in operation pending the disposal of the proceedings before the High Court, and for a period of four weeks from the date of the judgment of the High Court.
It should be noted On November 11, the Vacation Bench of the Court had granted interim bail to Goswami, who was in judicial custody for his alleged involvement in a 2018 abetment to suicide case.
While doing so, the Bench had held that the Bombay High Court was incorrect in denying Goswami interim bail on November 7. It thus directed for Goswami and the two other co-accused to be released immediately on a bond of Rs 50,000.
During the course of the last hearing, Justice Chandrachud had observed,
“If we don’t interfere in this case today, we will walk on a path of destruction. If left to me, I won’t watch the channel and you may differ in ideology, but constitutional courts will have to protect such freedoms…”