Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa High Court has enlarged suspended BJD legislator Pravat Kumar Tripathy on bail. He has been released from the jail to extravaganza of a reception by his sycophants, posing as if the appropriate Court was wrong in remanding him to jail. Tripathy was arrested by the CBI on 31 October 2014 on charges of involvement with chit fund Artha Tattva. His bail application was opposed by the CBI on the ground that, once enlarged on bail, he being a political heavyweight, the witnesses may be influenced and evidences may be tampered. But, bail was granted by the Orissa High Court. It has given birth to speculations that the bail granted to him may open up the gates to freedom of other politicians presently in the jail under chit fund related charges.
Every offense in India is bailable. The word “non-bailable” does not extinguish the provision of bail. It means, if the offense is non-bailable only higher echelon of judiciary can grant the bail. So, there is no wrong in granting the bail to Tripathy by the High Court.
But, can the High Court obstruct any cleaver and clandestine attempts to tackle the witnesses or evidences? Has anywhere at any time the judiciary has acted a secret police to catch and thwart any act in action to tamper with the evidences by the accused released on bail?
On the other hand, bails are helping the culprits linger the litigations everywhere. And, in many cases, it is seen that the under trial offenders on bail are getting acquittals ultimately. Whether or not the freedom given to them through bails foils the prosecution is never studied.
It is time, the Supreme Court of India should publish a Whitepaper on bails so that the people can know how bails affect the litigation time and can study the final verdicts in matters of culprits enlarged on bail.
Judicial discretion in matter of bail should not be factors to foil prosecution.