Prosecution’s ‘sealed cover’ documents, presented as evidence collected in investigation, to deny bail to accused is against the concept of free trial: SC

A tendency among government agencies to hand over documents in sealed covers to courts in “every case” coupled with an inclination among judges to verbatim reproduce their contents as judicial findings to deny bail is against the right of an accused to a fair trial, the Supreme Court said in its verdict granting bail to former Union minister P Chidambaram on December 4.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice R. Banumathi, in the 37-page judgement, said that prejudging offence to deny bail is against the right of an accused to a fair trial while reacting sharply to the recent trend of agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to press on the courts documents in sealed covers as evidence collected against the accused in the course of investigation.

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