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The Court set aside the order passed by High Court judicature at Bombay on 5th February 2024.  Where lower Court declined the release of appellant on connection with the provisions of  Unlawful Activities of Prevention Act 1967. 

The matter was heared on 3rd July 2024 by the vacation bench comprising Justice J.B.  Pardiwala and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan. Where the appellant visited Dubai on 6th February 2020  and returned on 9th February 2020 on the basis of some secret information the appellant was  apprehended by Mumbai police where the First Information Report was registered against the  appellant and two co-accused at Sahar Police Station, Mumbai under section 489B, 489C, 120B  read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. It was the case of consignment counterfeit notes which were smuggled from Pakistan to Mumbai and the case was further taken over by the  National Investigation Agency. 

The material on record further clarifies that both the co- accused are on bail as of now today  and the order granting bail to the accused is a subject matter of the apex court. The Court after hearing both the learned counsel of parties appeared before and having gone through the record  keeping three issues in mind i.e., 

(i) The appellant is in jail as an under-trial prisoner past four years. (ii) Till this date, the trial court has not been able to even proceed to frame charge. (iii) As pointed out by the counsel appearing for the State as well as NIA, the  prosecution intends to examine not less than eighty witnesses. 

The Court rebucks National Investigating Agency for four years delay in trial also mentions  that it is a ‘Mockery of Justice’ and the trial courts and the High Courts have forgotten a  very well settled principle of law that bail is not to be withheld as a punishment. The Court  cited several landmark judgements and emphasised on the Right to Speedy Trial which is  guaranteed by The Constitution of India under Article 21 to the accused facing the Criminal  Charges irrespective of nature of crime “implicit in the broad sweep and content of Article 21 as interpreted by this Court”. Remarking that a valid procedure under Article 21 is one  which contains a procedure that is “reasonable, fair and just”. The Court also mentioned 

prolonged delay in trial is correct approach towards bail if trial is not happened within  specified period as mentioned under Section 436A Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. 

The bench set aside the order passed by the High Court as the right to speedy trial of the  accused is infringed therefore violating the Article 21 of the Constitution. The Court passed  the order to release the accused on bail subject to the terms and conditions which trial court  may deemed fit to be imposed with the condition that the appellant shall not leave the limits  of Mumbai city and will mark his presence to NIA once in every fifteen days.



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