Mere delay in concluding the trial by itself is not a ground for bail

Karnataka High Court: While passing the order in a criminal petition filed under Section 439 of CrPC praying to enlarge the petitioner on bail, a Single Judge Bench comprising of Rathnakala, J. rejected the petition holding that mere delay by itself will not entitle the accused for bail.

The petitioner was charge-sheeted for the offences punishable under Sections 498(A) and 302 of IPC. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is in custody from the year 2013 and till now the trial has not concluded. The Court called for explanation from the Presiding Officer and found that the case was transferred thrice, many a times the accused did not appear, he changed his advocate when the witness were present, etc.

The Court on the basis of above facts held that the case has to be looked along with all facts and circumstances and mere delay by itself is not a ground for bail. Accordingly, the petition was rejected. The trial court was directed to dispose of the case as expeditiously as possible. [Sri Channappaji @ Channappa v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 1897 of 2017, decided on August 1, 2017]

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