Azam Khan case: SC criticises HCs for making irrelevant remarks in bail matters

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Azam Khan

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday criticised the new trend where high courts have made irrelevant observations, not connected with a case before them, and going overboard by imposing pointless conditions in bail matters.

A bench, headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, said it is disturbed by such orders passed by high courts and cited directions passed by a separate bench setting aside an order, similar in nature.

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The bench, also comprising Justice J.B. Pardiwala, set aside the Allahabad High Court’s bail condition to seal the premises of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University at Rampur while granting bail to Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan. He is one of the members of the board of trustees of the university.

Expressing disappointment with the new trend, the top court said the high courts are exceeding their authority to delve into issues which are not relevant to the determination of the bail pleas.

“This is yet another matter where we find the high court has referred to matters which are unrelated to consideration of prayer for bail in respect of concerned crime,” noted the bench. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared on behalf of Khan in the apex court.

After hearing Sibal’s arguments, the top court said the high court ought to have dealt with only those aspects which were related to bail and not ventured into unrelated issues.

The top court noted that if sealing proceedings were to take place, then it should have been independent of the observations made by the high court. “You take action under other law, not under the high court order,” the bench told Uttar Pradesh’s counsel.

Only July 18, the Supreme Court stayed all proceedings and adverse remarks, calling for B summary reports and service records, against the Karnataka ACB by a Karnataka High Court judge. A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said the judge while hearing a bail plea of an accused made unnecessary observations. It added that the observations made and directions passed in the petition, calling for B summary report, are irrelevant and detrimental to the accused.

Only July 14, the Supreme Court set aside the orders of a judge of Patna High Court, who acted without jurisdiction, ordering the appearance of businessman Subrata Roy Sahara and also asked for a plan to return the money to the investors.

In May, the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Khan in an alleged case of grabbing of enemy property for the construction of the university. The court directed the Rampur District Magistrate to take possession of the property attached to the campus of the University by June 30, 2022, and raise a boundary wall with barbed wire around it.— IANS

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