Terming such bail conditions as ‘obnoxious’ Justice P Devadass, said “The present spree or competition among judges in our state to impose such bail conditions, signals not march of law but an onslaught on human rights and human sentiments.”
On noting that until the trial is concluded one cannot be punished but the trend on the contrary by passing such orders amounts to punishment of the accused before trial, said “Courts are under the Law and not above the Law. They neither are extra Constitutional authorities on earth nor had suddenly descended from some heavenly bodies. In a democratic country based on a written Constitution, where Courts exercise sovereign powers of the State, must pass orders only in accordance with law.”
He also noted that “Imposing condition in the bail order is also a ‘judicial function’. The Court is bound to exercise its judicial discretion in a ‘fair and reasonable manner’. There is no cut and dried formula. Judge’s consciousness is the formula.”
The judge’s observation had come about when it was brought to his notice about a court in Ariyalur granting bail to an accused after directing to cut ‘seema karuvelam’ trees and a court in Mettupalayam asking another accused to fill troughs created by forest department for a month.
When the counsel sought the judge not to impose such conditions, the judge on expressing surprise over such acts also noted that “This kind of odd conditions will be counter-productive. Would-be criminals will be emboldened to commit crimes, cut karuvelam trees, come out on bail from jail and go scotfree. And they will be interested in indulging in further crimes.”