Co-Accused’s Non-Surrender not Grounds for Denying Bail: SC


Summary of Judgment

In this case the Supreme Court of India rendered a judgment regarding the rejection of the appellant's bail application. The appellant was charged with offenses under Section 20(b)(ii)(C) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and had been held in custody for nearly three years.

The impugned order pertained to the appellant's second bail application, as the initial application had been denied earlier. The reason for rejecting the bail application was the fact that a co-accused, who had been released on bail, had not surrendered. However, the Supreme Court found this reasoning to be flawed and not a justifiable ground to deny bail to the appellant.

After careful consideration of the arguments put forth by both the appellant's counsel and the State, the Supreme Court held that the failure of the co-accused to surrender should not be the sole determinant in refusing bail to the appellant. Thus, the impugned order was set aside, and the Court directed the High Court to reconsider the bail application in light of the case's specific circumstances.

Additionally, the Supreme Court urged the High Court to expedite the disposal of the case and render a decision on the application within a period of two months from the date of the order's production.

This judgment underscores the importance of individualized consideration when evaluating bail applications and establishes that the non-surrender of a co-accused cannot be the sole basis for denying bail. The Supreme Court's decision seeks to ensure fair and just treatment for the appellant, emphasizing that bail decisions should be based on the merits of each case and the particular circumstances surrounding it. The Court's directive to the High Court to expedite the proceedings reflects the need for timely resolution of cases and the preservation of the appellant's rights to a speedy trial.

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