Courts can’t use provisions of UAPA to deny bail to accused: SC

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A Supreme Court judgment on Monday regarding the bail of an accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) ensures that the infamous provisions of the anti-terror law are not to be used to deny bail to an accused.

In a judgment, in the Unions of India vs K.A. Najeeb, the court said provisions like Section 43D (5) “does not oust the ability of Constitutional Courts to grant bail on grounds of violation of Part III of the Constitution.”

The said section states that an accused shall not be released on bail if the court believes that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations are prima facie true. While the mentioned Part III of the Constitution deals with fundamental rights of the citizens.

The accused in this case has been in jail since 2015 and the court is yet to examine 276 witnesses. “Not only has the respondent been in jail for much more than five years, but there are 276 witnesses left to be examined. Charges have been framed only on November 27, 2020,” the Court observed, reported Bar and Bench.

Further, the National Investigation Agency has shown no shown no inclination to screen its endless list of witnesses, the Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana added. The Bench also comprised Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose.

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