The Delhi High Court directed 3499 undertrial prisoners, who were granted interim bails under the various criteria laid down by the High-Powered Committee, to surrender upon the expiry of the period of their interim bail. (Court on its own motion vs State).
Refusing to grant further extension of interim bails, a Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh ordered,
“..all the 3499 UTPs granted interim bails under the various criteria laid down by the High Powered Committee, who have not obtained regular bails from their Court concerned, or any other superior court to its court concerned, shall surrender before the Jail Superintendent(S) upon the expiry of the period of their interim bail commencing from 07.03.2021.”
Since all 3499 undertrials were admitted to interim bails on different dates, and accordingly the period of their interim bails would expire with efflux of time on different dates, no specific date for surrender was fixed by the Court.
All these undertrials may invoke the jurisdiction of the court concerned for grant of regular bail, which would be considered on merits, in accordance with law, the Court clarified.
After a final extension of 15 days was granted by the Court last month, the interim bail of the indertrials in question would expire with effect from March 7, 2021 onwards.
The Court said that it was not inclined to grant any further extension in view of the recommendation to this effect by the High Powere Committee, the mproved situation of COVID-19 in Delhi NCR and the Supreme Court order directing 2318 prisoners granted interim bails by trial courts and 356 prisoners granted bail by the High Court were asked to surrender.
The Court also noted that adequate notice and time was given by High Powered Committee to all the undertrials concerned to approach their court concerned seeking regular bail.
The petition governing the extension of interim bails now stands disposed of.