HC cites effect of pre-trial detention on right to free trial, grants bail to accused

new delhi: The Delhi High Court has now granted bail to an accused in one of the north-east Delhi riots cases, significantly citing the effect that pre-trial detention can have on his right to be able to consult his lawyers and prepare his defence.

Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani granted the relief to Mohd Anwar, accused in multiple rioting and arson cases, on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of the like amount from blood-relatives. This case relates to the burning of one Shahnawaz's home in Shiv Vihar during the riots.

The high court directed him not to leave the NCR without permission of the trial court and shall ordinarily reside in his place of residence as per prison records.

While citing the effects of pre-trial detention on an accused's right to a fair trial, the court said it was noting this "in order to afford the accused a real and not merely chimerical right to a fair trial, as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution".

The high court said till the time cognizance is taken on the chargesheet and the accused is summoned by the trial court, he shall present himself on every alternate Saturday before the investigating officer of the case.

He shall not contact or visit or offer any inducement, threat or promise to the first informant or complainant or any of the prosecution witnesses and shall not tamper with evidence or indulge in any act that would prejudice the proceedings in the pending matter.

As per the nominal roll placed by the authorities before the court, Anwar's jail conduct was satisfactory in the last three months.

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