Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Courts can’t bar people from political activities as bail condition: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court directed to remove a bail condition imposed by the Orissa High Court on a man that he shall not engage in any political activity.

A bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and Sandeep Mehta passed the order stating that such conditions will breach fundamental rights.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Siba Shankar Das, a former Mayor of Berhampur Municipal Corporation, against the January 18 order of the high court.

“We find that the imposition of such condition would breach the fundamental rights of the appellant and no such conditions could have been imposed,” the apex court said in its March 22 order.

“We, therefore, quash and set aside the condition imposed by the high court, to the extent the same is extracted above,” it added.

The condition was imposed by the high court while ordering his release on bail in August 2022.

He “shall not create any untoward situation in public and shall not be involved in any political activities, directly or indirectly,” the HC order said.

Das had approached the high court seeking modification of the condition imposed by it in the August 11, 2022 order while directing his release on bail.

His lawyer had told the high court that the appellant being a political person may be allowed to participate in political activities in view of the approaching general election.

But the high court dismissed his application seeking withdrawal of the bail condition.

The State had objected to his prayer and said that after being released on bail, a murderous attempt was made on him.

“Upon hearing both parties and considering present situation as it remains a fact that he was not only involved in other cases but also murderous attempt was made upon him, it would be unjustified to modify the condition of the bail permitting the appellant to take part in political activities which would be in further deterrence of law and order situation in the locality involving the appellant,” the high court had said.

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