Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
A judge has granted anticipatory bail to all the accused persons that were in eyes of vigilance involved in supply of poisonous split pulses to school going children and poor pregnant women of Orissa by the suppliers of their choice.
Several looters of Orissa’s mines and minerals are enjoying free life because another judge had granted them bail immediately as they wanted.
A man like the author of “Ganatantra Bancha’a”, Narayan Patra has been spewing suspicion on judges in Orissa as dowry-hungry in-laws of his daughter, who tortured and killed her, are kept enlarged on bail for about a decade sans punishment for the crime committed.
These fellows are beneficiaries of judges’ power to grant bails to whosoever accused they like to set free.
Orissa is not the only land where this is happening. Through out India, unsocial elements are fetching bails and hoodwinking law.
Many menacing criminals have escaped law by taking the benefit of anticipatory or post-arrest bail and even the laws have failed to punish them during their entire lifetime.
There are instances when the State having failed to punish bailed out criminals, prosecution has either been withdrawn or allowed to end under plea of old age of the accused.
Orissa’s Harekrishna Mahtab is an instance of how court’s power to grant bail had helped a political leader, accused of serious corruption, favoritism and nepotism, could lead a free life till he breathed his last without any punishment.
Earlier I have argued in these pages that the judiciary errs in saying that till proved guilty every accused is innocent. The real and correct ethics behind bail is that till proved innocent every accused is guilty. Our judiciary is in constant error by not accepting this reality.
If the wrongful interpretation of bail, which now reigns over the domain of justice system, is not stopped, in interest of justice to the people affected by the crime, the judges need to stipulate a period for the accused, enlarged on anticipatory or post-arrest bail, to prove that he / she is not guilty of the charges. Beyond that stipulated period, the bail order, as and when granted, must stand automatically devoid of strength.
As is the axiom that behind every successful man there is a woman, behind every invincible criminal there is a judge or a group of judges that bestows upon him or her the boon of bails.
Judiciary must desist from making a farce of its right to grant bails to accused persons if the people’s faith in judiciary must be preserved.