The Delhi High Court is concerned about the "disturbing trend" of lower courts hearing bail requests that are now before the high court.

Convict cannot be forced to remain in prison because she was unable to provide surety, as Everyday Freedom Matters:  Delhi High Court

4 July 2022

Convict cannot be forced to remain in prison because she was unable to provide surety, as Everyday Freedom Matters:  Delhi High Court

In the matter of Sehnaz vs. State

Justice Jasmeet Singh of the Delhi High Court said that; every day of freedom is valuable and that; the petitioner cannot be forced to remain in jail only because; she is unable to provide bond when awarding relief to a woman inmate. The petitioner must be eligible to benefit from a suspension of sentence in its genuine language, spirit, and meaning, the court said.

The petitioner cannot be made to stay in jail because; she unable to give bond, the single judge bench said, adding that; every day of freedom is valuable. Sehnaz, the applicant, had her sentence suspended on January 19, 2022, but she was unable to take advantage of it since she did not meet the requirement of two sureties.

The personal bond and surety amount decreased to Rs. 15,000 by the High Court on March 8, 2022, and the surety may now be a person other than a member of her family. Sehnaz, however, was unable to fulfill the aforementioned requirement as well. The attorney for Sehnaz argued that; the condition set by; the High Court in March has to be modified further and asked for Sehnaz to be freed on a personal bond with no guarantee.

As a result, the court ordered that; it’s ruling from March 8, 2022, be modified and that;  Sehnaz be freed on personal bail in the amount of Rs. 10,000. Sehnaz nonetheless instructed to appear twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, to the closest police station in Ghaziabad. As part of its decision on the motion, the court additionally ordered Sehnaz to provide the investigating officer access to both her live location pin and cellphone number, both of which must be active at all times.

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