Supreme Court Upholds Right to Bail for UAPA Accused Despite Delay in Trial: Shoma Sen Case

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In a significant development concerning bail for individuals accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 (UAPA), the Supreme Court, in the Shoma Sen case, clarified that its earlier ruling in the Gurwinder Singh v. State of Punjab case does not disturb the precedent set by the K.A. Najeeb case.

The K.A. Najeeb case established that despite the statutory restrictions on bail under the UAPA, constitutional courts can grant bail to uphold the accused’s right to a speedy trial guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. However, the subsequent Gurwinder Singh case emphasized that delay in trial alone is insufficient grounds for bail in serious offenses.

Addressing the distinction between the two cases, the Supreme Court reiterated the importance of upholding the accused’s right to bail under Article 21. The Court, while granting bail to Shoma Sen in the Bhima Koregaon case, emphasized the need for pre-conviction detention to be proportionate and justified, ensuring a fair and just procedure.

The judgment reaffirms the constitutional principles guiding pre-trial detention and emphasizes the need for a balanced approach to safeguard individual liberties while allowing for the collection of evidence. This landmark decision provides clarity on the bail rights of UAPA accused and underscores the fundamental principles of justice and fairness enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

Case Title: Shoma Kanti Sen v. State of Maharashtra & Anr. | Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 4999 of 2023

Also Read  IUML Challenges CAA in Supreme Court, Alleges Flaws in Protecting Persecuted Minorities
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