Bail Delay: In Digital Age, We’re Looking at Skies for Pigeons to Communicate Orders, says Irked SC
New Delhi: Exasperated over reports on delay in implementation of bail orders, the Supreme Court on Friday said it would implement a “secure, credible and authentic channel” for transmission of the orders for execution, saying in the digital age, “we are still looking at the skies for the pigeons to communicate the orders”.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana-led bench was irked over the increasing number of reports regarding delay in implementation of the orders passed by the top court and has recently taken suo motu cognizance of news reports of delay by Uttar Pradesh authorities in releasing 13 prisoners who were granted bail by it on July 8.
The convicts, who were juveniles at the time of offence were lodged in Agra Central jail for periods ranging from around 14 to 22 years in a murder case.
Soon after taking up the suo motu case, the special bench, also comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and A S Bopanna, sought a proposal from the Secretary General of the apex court within two weeks on implementing a scheme aimed at revolutionising transmission of court orders to all concerned in a “fast and secure manner”.
"I am directing Secretary General of the Supreme Court to place report in two weeks’ time so we'll try to implement the scheme in a month," the CJI observed.
In a hearing conducted through video-conferencing, the bench also directed all the states to respond on availability of internet connection in jails across nation as without this facility transmission of such orders to prisons will not be possible.
As soon as the bench took up the case, it referred to the delay in release of 13 prisoners from Agra jail despite the apex court granting bail to them saying “this is the situation and this is too much”.
"This court has passed orders releasing prisoners but they were not released saying they haven't received copies of orders. This is too much", it said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta flagged the instances where some accused have been attempting to fudge court orders and said the jail authorities should act upon the orders once they are uploaded on the official web site of the court.
“We are in the age of information and communication technology and we are still looking at the skies for the pigeons to communicate the orders,” the CJI observed.
Christened as FASTER (Fast and Secure Transmission of Electronic Records), the innovative scheme is conceived for delivery of orders to prisons, District Courts, High Courts concerned, as the case may be, for instantaneous delivery of orders passed by apex court through a secure communication channel, the sources said about the system which would be implemented.
“This will save time and effort and will ensure that there are no delays in implementation of the orders passed by the Supreme Court,” they said.
The top court appointed senior advocate Dushyant Dave as an amicus curiae for assisting it in implementing the scheme and asked the Secretary General to coordinate with him before sending the proposal to the bench.
The Secretary General would be also cooperating with Solicitor General on the issue, it said.
The top court on July 13 had taken suo motu cognizance of delay on the part of Uttar Pradesh authorities in releasing 13 prisoners who were granted bail by it on July 8.
The 13 convicts had approached the top court, claiming their detention to be “illegal” as there were clear orders passed by the Juvenile Justice Board with regard to each of them at various intervals between February 2017 and March 2021, declaring them to be juvenile at the time of murder.
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