Bail Can’t Be Withheld As Punishment: HC   

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir High court has said that deprivation of liberty was tantamount to punishment and that bail cannot be withheld as a means of punishment. 

“Deprivation of liberty is tantamount to punishment. The principal that punishment begins after conviction and that every man is deemed to be innocent unless duly tried and duly found guilty, has its application to the facts of the instant case in all the fours. The object of the bail is to seek attendance and appearance of the accused at the trial by a reasonable amount of bail. Bail cannot be withheld as a means of punishment,” a bench of Justice M K Hanjura observed. 

“Prison hell destroys the tender sentiments of a person. The applicant has been languishing in the jail for so many months by now,” the court said, adding, “He has to prepare for his defence which is of an essence in a criminal trial. The discretion has to be exercised on well based foundations of law and one cannot get swayed by sentiments. Temper and passion have no role to play in exercising the discretion for the grant of bail.”  

On February 22 this year, the applicant Jatinder Singh came to be apprehended by Police Station, Kulgam, in the wake of the recovery of 12  kgs of Poppy Straw from his possession, as a sequel to which, a case bearing F.I.R No. 44/2018, came to be registered against him for the commission of the offences punishable u/s 8/25 NDPS Act.

The applicant filed an application for the grant of bail in his favour in the FIR before the Court of the 

Principal District & Sessions Judge, Kulgam, pleading that he is innocent and that he has been falsely implicated in the case by the Police authorities. He has also stated that the seized contraband does not fall within the scales of the commercial quantity and, as such, the rigor of section 37 of the NDPS Act is not attracted. On these set of pleadings, the applicant implored that he be enlarged on bail. However, the Principal District & Sessions Judge, Kulgam, had rejected his application vide an order dated July 6 this year.

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