Allahabad High Court grants bail to Gang rape convict undergone over 20 years of imprisonment

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The Allahabad High Court last week granted bail to a gang rape convict who had already undergone over 20 years of imprisonment.

The man had filed the bail plea pending his appeal against conviction order of the Sessions Court contending that since he had already undergone over 20 years of imprisonment, therefore, in view of Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Saudan Singh Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, he is entitled to the relief. 

In Sudan Singh, expressing concern about the long pendency of criminal appeals before the High Court, the Top Court had suggested that convicts serving more than 14 years sentences may be granted bail.

In the instant case, the bail applicant namely Collector had already undergone 20 years, 8 months and 18 days of imprisonment including remission. He was convicted by the Sessions Court after trial for charges under Sections 363, 366, 376(2)(g) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(2)(5) of the SC/ST Act.

Pressing Collector's bail plea, his counsel argued before the bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava that the prayer for bail of co-accused Ramvir had already been allowed by a coordinate Bench of the Court in 2008 and there was no likelihood of the pending criminal appeal being heard in near future.

In support of his contention, he relied upon an order of the Supreme Court in Madan Singh Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh (2018), Pintu vs. State of U.P. (2021) and Saudan Singh vs. State of UP (2022). 

Considering the rival submissions of both the parties, facts and circumstances of the case and period of incarceration of Collector, prima facie, without expressing any opinion on the merits and without prejudice to Collector's right to pursue the appeal against his conviction or prayer for remission as per law, Court opined that he was entitled to be released on bail. 

Case Title: Collector And Another v. State of U.P.