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Resolve regular bail in two weeks, anticipatory in six weeks: Guj HC

Updated: Feb 14th, 2024

Gujarat High Court (img: IANS)

Over the Supreme Court’s mandate to timely resolve pending regular and anticipatory bail applications in the court, the Gujarat High Court on Feb 12 has now directed all the courts in the state to resolve regular bail in 2 weeks, and anticipatory bail in six weeks.

Guj HC’s two-judge bench of the Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee ruled that the SC’s mandate is to be followed strictly and the bail applications are to be resolved.

Although, the judge’s discretion will be applicable on every case hearing.

It is up to the judge to analyse the facts of each case and decide whether special circumstances existed for not entitling the applicant to approach the high court directly, it added.

“However, we find it just and proper to add a word of caution that any routine practice of relegating the applicant to approach the court of sessions where the chargesheet is filed during the pendency of the bail application before the high court has not got our seal of approval with what we have stated above,” it said.

The court said that the public prosecutor could argue before the high court that the applicant has no option but to approach the sessions court as the chargesheet is filed while the bail application is already pending.

“It is the choice of the applicant to lose a chance to approach the trial court because otherwise, the applicant has two chances - first to approach the sessions court and then the high court,” the court said.

“Issuance of rule practice should be stopped”

It added that the “issuance of rule” practice in rule issuing of bail pleas, and then leading to adjourning them for a final hearing without going into the merits of the case on the same date needs to be stopped.

During the hearing of this matter, it was decided in a meeting under an administrative setup between the chief justice, advocate general and public prosecutor, that the office of public prosecutor will not insist on the issuance of rules in bail matters.

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