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Supreme Court grants bail to UAPA undertrial in custody for 8 years

The top court observed that appellant Hak, who is an undertrial prisoner, has already undergone a long period of incarceration

ANI | Updated on: Thursday, April 14, 2022, 01:46 PM IST

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Representative Image |
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has granted bail to a man, arrested under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act UAPA charges, and languishing in jail for eight years, observing that so far only six out of 109 witnesses have been fully examined and the "trial will take a long time."

"We would think that in the nature of the case against the appellant, the evidence which has already unfolded and above all, the long period of incarceration that the appellant has already undergone, the time has arrived when the appellant be enlarged on bail, " the Court said.

A bench of justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy granted bail to Jahir Hak, who was arrested on May 8, 2014 in connection with an FIR of Police Station Pratapnagar, Jodhpur for offences punishable under Sections 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 19, 20, 23 and 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The Court was hearing a plea challenging the Rajasthan High Court order which denied bail to him.

The top court observed that appellant Hak, who is an undertrial prisoner, has already undergone a long period of incarceration.

"We bear in mind the fact that the prosecution seeks to examine as many as 109 witnesses of which only six witnesses have been fully examined so far. Accordingly, we allow the appeal, set aside the impugned order and direct that the appellant shall be released on bail subject to such conditions as shall be fixed by the trial Court," the Court said.

The Court also said that the fact remains that the appellant has been in custody as an undertrial prisoner for a period of nearly eight years already.

The appellant, it may be noted, is charged with offences, some of which are punishable with a minimum punishment of 10 years and the sentence may extend to imprisonment for life.

Counsel for the appellant also points out that one of the co-accused has been released on bail.

"No doubt, in this regard, we keep in mind the submission of the State that the role attributed to the said accused is different, " the Court noted.

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Published on: Thursday, April 14, 2022, 01:47 PM IST