The Supreme Court allowed bail to an individual convicted for the murder and rape of his niece by the Trial Court 40 years after the incident occurred.

The Court directed the High Court to prioritize the disposal of an Appeal filed by the Appellant and set aside the order of the High Court rejecting bail appeal.

The appeal before the High Court has been admitted for final hearing. Considering the delay in disposal of the trial, the fact that the occurrence is of the year 1983 and the present age of the appellant, he deserves to be enlarged on bail, pending the final disposal of the appeal before the High Court on appropriate stringent terms and conditions”, the Bench comprising Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed.

Senior Advocate Jayant Sud appeared for the Petitioners, and Advocate Sunil Fernandes appeared for the Respondents.

The Trial Court convicted the Appellant after 40 years for the brutal rape and murder of his niece. The Trial Court had ruled out the possibility of access of any other male person to the victim apart from the Appellant. The Appellant filed an Appeal for bail, which was rejected by the High Court while noting that the conviction of the Appellant cannot be said to be perverse. The Appellant approached the Court by way of a Criminal Appeal challenging the order of the High Court.

The Court, while setting aside the High Court's bail order, directed the Court to set appropriate stringent terms and conditions on which the Appellant shall be enlarged on bail, pending the final disposal of the appeal.

The Court, while emphasizing the age of the Appellant and the period for the conclusion of the Trial, directed the High Court to give out-of-turn priority to the disposal of the appeal per law. Therefore, the Court also directed the appellant not to seek adjournments on any unreasonable grounds and to cooperate with the High Court for early disposal of the appeal.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Appeal, set aside the impugned Order, and granted Bail to the Appellant.

Cause Title: Banamali Choudhury @ Banamali Chaudhuri v The State of West Bengal

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