New Delhi, November 7 (Language) Former Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur has said that it seems that the courts have forgotten the basic principles of accepting or rejecting bail.
Justice Lokur termed the reluctance of the judiciary to understand the intentions of the investigating agencies behind practices such as not providing documents and filing incomplete charge sheets to keep the accused in jail as “most unfortunate”.
The former judge of the apex court said in an interview with ‘PTI-Bhasha’ that the judiciary needs to be aware of the realities of life. He said it is very difficult to allege political vendetta in every case of corruption involving politicians, but suspicions arise when the investigation is abandoned when the suspect’s loyalty changes.
Justice Lokur, in response to a question on the denial of bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia, said, “Generally speaking, it seems that the courts have forgotten the basic principles of granting or refusing bail.” . Nowadays, if a person is arrested, you are sure that he will remain in jail for at least a few months.
“The police first arrest the person and then start a serious investigation,” he said. An incomplete charge sheet is filed and thereafter a supplementary charge sheet is filed and the documents are not produced. It is extremely unfortunate and distressing that some courts are not even willing to look into it.
Asked how the judiciary should deal with the issue of alleged misuse of investigative agencies by the Central and state governments, Justice Lokur said the judiciary should be aware of the realities of life as law books do not tell the whole story.
The former judge said that the apex court has laid down basic principles in several judgments for the exercise of discretionary power in bail matters.
“The problem is that some courts do not apply these basic principles, even though they are aware of them,” he said. The question is why is this so?
The Supreme Court on October 30 had refused to grant bail to former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in corruption and money laundering cases related to the alleged Delhi Excise Policy scam. He was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 26 February.
On the trend of increasing number of corruption cases being registered by government agencies against political opponents in recent years, Justice Lokur bluntly said that while such things are not new, the problem is that the suspect has a tendency to switch political allegiance. The investigation is stopped from.
“The cases of corruption against some leaders are not new,” he told PTI in an e-mail interview. There are also criminal cases against some leaders. It is difficult to make allegations of political vendetta in all cases, but there may be some truth in some cases. The disturbing aspect of all this is that once the investigation has started, the investigation is stopped after the suspect changes allegiance. This raises serious suspicions of political vendetta.”
The former apex court judge lauded the current collegium system of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary and said it was the best available method.
Justice Lokur was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on June 4, 2012, and retired on December 30, 2018.
Language Simmi Naresh