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Supreme Court Directs Manish Sisodia to Revive Bail Application After Charge Sheet Filing

Introduction

This piece is in continuation of an earlier piece dated 21.10.2023, wherein we have analysed the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court (‘SC’) in Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation.[i] In that case, the SC denied bail to Manish Sisodia in the liquor excise policy case but allowed him the liberty to seek bail from the Trial Court if the trial was not completed in six to eight months and became protracted.

In pursuance of the said directions of the SC, Manish Sisodia (‘Petitioner’), in the case of Manish Sisodia v. Directorate of Enforcement[ii] (‘Manish Sisodia 2’), approached the SC seeking bail due to delays in trial.

Brief Facts

  • In this case, the Petitioner challenged the order of the Delhi High Court (‘DHC’), which dismissed the petitioner's bail Application.

  • In the earlier case of Manish Sisodia (supra), the SC had denied the same relief with the observation that if the trial of the Petitioner were not completed within six to eight months or protracted, he would be at liberty to approach the trial court for bail which would decide which would consider the same on merit without being influenced by the dismissal of the earlier bail application. It was further observed that the right to speedy trial should be taken into consideration when deciding on an application.

  • In pursuance of the aforementioned judgment, the Petitioner approached the concerned jurisdictional court and, subsequently, the DHC to seek relief of bail, but the request was negated and denied. Subsequently, the Petitioner approached the SC in the present writ petition.

Held

  • The SC, in light of the aforesaid and observing the fact that the period of 6-8 months set by Manish Sisodia (supra) had not come to an end, disposed of the petition with the liberty to the Petitioner to revive his prayer afresh after filing of such complaint/charge sheet. Further, the SC remarked any such application would be considered on its own merits as held in Manish Sisodia (supra). 

  • The SC noted the submission made by the Solicitor General that the investigation would be completed and the final complaint/chargesheet would be filed expeditiously on or before 03.07.2024. Immediately thereafter, the Trial Court would be free to proceed with the trial.

Our Analysis

The judgment reflects the SC’s emphasis on procedural timelines and assurances given by legal authorities, which significantly influence its decisions regarding bail applications. The SC’s reliance on the Solicitor General’s assurance for the timely filing of the complaint/charge sheet highlights the judiciary's deference to prosecutorial timelines in assessing bail requests. This approach underscores a judicial preference for adhering to stipulated legal processes while considering the rights of the accused, like the right to a speedy trial, which plays a pivotal role in such decisions.

 

 



End Notes

[i] 2023 SCC Online SC 1393.

[ii] 2024 SCC OnLine SC 1498.





Please read the related case law analysis here:






Authored by Huzaifa Salim, Advocate at Metalegal Advocates. The views expressed are personal and do not constitute legal opinion.

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