The Punjab and Haryana High Court has observed that Jail before conviction is a sort of punishment as the conviction rate is abysmally low in the country.

"Imprisonment before conviction is a sort of punishment especially when rate of conviction in our country is abysmally low.", the bench of Justice Jagmohan Bansal observed while allowing the plea of accused whose bail bonds were cancelled after he had failed to appear before Trial Court.

In this case, the petitioner-accused was booked under Section 365 IPC, Sections 302/328/201/34 IPC and Section 21 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner was extended a concession of regular bail.

When the petitioner failed to appear before Trial Court, thereafter the Additional Sessions Judge ordered to cancel bail bonds and further issued non-bailable warrants of arrest.

Advocate C.S.Rana appeared for the petitioner whereas AAG Digvijay Nagpal appeared for the State.

The Court observed that the intent of arrest and reason of denial of bail is to secure the appearance of the accused at the time of trial.

The Court noted that detention or arrest not only deprives a person from his fundamental right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 but also freedom guaranteed by Article 19(1) of our Constitution.

"Life of every human being is most precious gift of God and everyone has very limited span of life which cannot be spoiled on account of incompetence, personal grudge, vengeance of someone; or brutal, illegal, unethical action of the State machinery. Except habitual offender, commoners living simple life after arrest lose self-respect and confidence within himself as well State.", the Court observed.

The Court further noted that there is neither mechanism to compensate a man who is later on found innocent nor acquittal can return valuable time, energy, status, future of family members especially children which is lost on account of incarceration of bread earner of the family.

Keeping in mind that the petitioner has come forward to face trial and undertakes to appear before Trial court on each and every date and is also willing to pay costs of Rs. 10,000, the Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title- Harinder Singh @ Harry v. State of Punjab

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