Gujarat High Court CJ Sunita Agarwal says will end practice of adjourning bail applications for many weeks after issuing 'rule nisi'

This 'practice' of the Gujarat High Court was criticised by the Supreme Court last year, when the High Court while issuing 'rule' in the bail application filed by Teesta Setalvad, had adjourned her plea for six weeks.
Justice Sunita Agarwal
Justice Sunita Agarwal

In a significant move, Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal of the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday said she is working towards doing away with the practice of the judges issuing 'rule nisi' and adjourning bail applications for two or more weeks.

The Chief Justice revealed the same after Senior Advocate Asim Pandya mentioned a matter today and stated that the practice of judges issuing rule nisi in bail applications and then adjourning the matter for hearing after two or more weeks, needs to be reconsidered.

Senior Advocate Yatin Oza too said that as per High Court rules, bail cases should be heard within 48 hours.

At this, the Chief Justice pointed out that she is already concerned about the issue and has fixed a meeting with the State's Advocate General (AG) Kamal Trivedi and Public Prosecutor (PP) Mitesh Amin.

"You don't worry. I am already working on this issue. I have fixed a meeting on October 3 with the AG and PP and will be taking up this with them. I too want to do away with this practice and I am taking this issue very seriously," Chief Justice Agarwal told the senior advocate.

The CJ further pointed out that the Gujarat High Court Rules mandate the public prosecutors to argue bail matters within 24 hours of its filing if it arises from Ahmedabad city and within 48 hours if it arises from other districts.

"It is not as if the matters are heard on the first day itself. Sometimes they even get adjourned giving more time for the prosecutors to prepare for their arguments. I spoke to the PP but I did not got any positive response from the PP office and thus I will speak to the AG now," the Chief Justice pointed out.

This 'practice' of the Gujarat High Court was criticised by the Supreme Court in September last year, when the High Court while issuing 'rule' in the bail application filed by activist Teesta Setalvad, had adjourned her plea for six weeks.

"Give us instances where lady accused in such cases have got such dates from High Court. Either this lady has been made an exception. How can the court give this date? Is this standard practice in Gujarat," the then Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit had observed.

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