Read Order: G. Hemavathy v. State of Haryana 

Vivek Gupta

Chandigarh, July 7, 2021: An unusual case came to the notice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court where a Sessions Judge in Haryana’s Sirsa granted bail to an accused in a narcotics case even as the matter was pending before the high court.

A Bench of Justice HS Madaan passed an order on Tuesday seeking explanation for the same from the said Sessions Judge.

“Let the explanation be obtained from learned Sessions Judge Sirsa as to how he entertained and decided a petition for regular bail when a similar petition was pending before this Court,” the High Court said.

Justice Madaan further stated that the Sessions Judge is further to report whether pendency of the petition before the High Court was brought to his notice by Naveen Kumar, Public Prosecutor representing the State or by the concerned police officer.

“Sessions Judge, Sirsa shall further explain as to how he has released the accused on bail without considering the bar of Section 37 of the NDPS Act,” said the HC.

Section 37 deals with provisions for bail under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

In accordance with the said Section, the Court is required to provide an opportunity to the Public Prosecutor to oppose the relief. Further, the Court should be satisfied about two conditions — Reasonable ground for believing that the applicant is not guilty of the offence, and then the applicant is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.

The matter came to light when the accused through an application requested the court of Justice Madaan for the withdrawal of petition of regular bail.

The Judge noticed that while his petition before High Court was filed on May 5, 2021, the Sessions Judge granted him bail on June 28, 2021 three days after he moved the petition before the lower court.

In his order, Judge Madaan directed Karan Garg, Additional AG, Haryana to convey the entire matter to the notice of Director Prosecution, Haryana as well as Director General of Police, Haryana so that the necessary action is taken against the official at fault. After doing the needful, the state counsel will intimate in writing in that regard, the HC directed.

The HC then directed the Sessions Judge, Sirsa to furnish a report in this regard. The Registry shall place the report so received from Sessions Judge, Sirsa and the written intimation from Karan Garg before the High Court by July 30, 2021.

“The present petition is dismissed as withdrawn. The Registry is directed to put up the case on the date fixed,” the judge said. 

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