The Delhi High Court initiated suo motu proceedings concerning delays by jail superintendents in accepting bail bonds and releasing prisoners following court-granted bail.

The petitioner's sentence was suspended, and were directed to be released on bail under certain conditions upon furnishing a bail bond to the Jail Superintendent.

A subsequent application highlighted that the bail bond processing hadn't occurred, leading to the petitioner not being released despite the court's order. The petitioner sought modification to furnish the bail bond to the Trial Court instead of the Jail Superintendent.

A Bench of Justice Amit Mahajan held, “The delay at the instance of the Jail Superintendent in accepting Bail Bonds is not acceptable to the conscience of this Court. Let the matter be registered as Sou Motu petition and numbered.

The Court criticized delays in bail bond acceptance by the Jail Superintendent, given the purpose of bail is to release the accused/convict. The Court added, “The object of granting bails and suspending sentences is to release the accused/convict from imprisonment. In certain cases, interim bails are granted on medical grounds or some other exigencies, as expressed by the applicant. In such a scenario this Court fails to understand why the period of one to two weeks be taken by the Jail Superintendent for accepting the bail bonds.”

The Court reiterated that the Supreme Court's guidelines emphasized swift action on bail orders to prevent unnecessary detention.

The Court said, “Any order passed by this Court thereby directing the release of the prisoner from jail is sent directly to the concerned jail authorities through FASTER cell. The Court while passing bail order at times directs that the Bails bond be directly furnished to the Jail Superintendent. The prisoner is not remitted to the Trial Court in order to facilitate the immediate release.”

The matter was registered as a Suo Motu petition, and notice was issued to the Director General of Prisons and Standing Counsel (Criminal), Government of NCT of Delhi.

The case was listed for compliance on March 07, 2024.

Cause Title: Court On Its Own Motion v. Director General Of Prisons

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