Large Number Of Adjournments Sought By Accused During Trial: Supreme Court Refuses Bail In NDPS Case
The Supreme Court recently refused to grant bail to an accused after noting that the accused had sought an overwhelmingly large number of adjournments during the Trial. The Court, however, directed the Trial Court to expedite the trial in the case.
“…an overwhelmingly large number has been on account of the adjournments sought by the accused. In this backdrop, we are not inclined to grant bail at this stage.”, the bench of CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala held.
In this case, the first and the second bail plea of the accused was dismissed by the Madras High Court for the alleged offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Feeling aggrieved, the accused approached the Apex Court.
The Court was informed that the petitioner-accused has undergone about four and a half years of custody.
Gopal Sankaranarayanan, Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner stated that about 11 witnesses are to be examined.
The Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent stated that the examination of the first witness is scheduled to commence on February 7 2023. ASG K.M. Nataraj appeared for the Respondent.
The Court noted the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the respondents.
The Counter affidavit indicated that out of 118 adjournments, which were granted in the course of the proceedings before the trial court, an overwhelmingly large number has been on account of the adjournments sought by the accused.
Considering this, the Court held that it is not inclined to grant bail at this stage. The Court directed the Trial Court to expedite the trial and ensure that the proceedings are concluded by July 31 2023.
“The trial court shall expedite the trial and ensure that the proceedings are concluded by 31 July 2023. The Special Leave Petition is dismissed, subject to the above direction for expeditious conclusion of the trial.”, the Court held.
Cause Title- A.M. Manikandan v. The Intelligence Officer