Gujarat HC says that elected representatives shouldn't make recommendations for bail for prisoners

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Friday came down heavily on the practice of elected representatives issuing letters recommending bail for prisoners, saying it amounts to an attempt to influence the judiciary.

This has become a common practice and reflects "direct nexus" between the elected persons and the prisoners, it said.

"It constitutes a direct interference in judicial functions of the court. The court does not need recommendations from any elected personality to perform its judicial functions," said a division bench of Justices Abhilasha Kumari and AJ Shastri in its order.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The bench was hearing a bail plea filed by Sandip Chauhan, a rape convict. With his plea seeking 30-day temporary bail to 'help the family financially,' Chauhan had attached a letter by Bharuch municipality councillor Babubhai Vasava, who `recommended' to the court that Chauhan be granted bail.

Taking a strong exception, the high court summoned Vasava, who appeared before the court and tendered apology for issuing the letter.

"The issuance of such a certificate is a thoroughly unauthorised act on the part of the councillor. Not only is this act beyond the scope of the duties to be performed by a councillor, it constitutes a direct interference in the judicial functions of the court," the court said in its order.

"Unauthorised use of official letterheads and seals by councillors such as Babubhai Vasava is being noticed by us in several applications," the judges said.

The bench turned down the bail application, saying that grounds mentioned in it were "vague and unconvincing." The court also directed the state urban development department to come up with guidelines "to curb this malpractice" (of issuing recommendation letters).

The bench, in another case, made similar observations while hearing a bail plea of a murder convict who had attached recommendation letter from a sarpanch. The court slammed the woman sarpanch (who was not present) for issuing the letter.

Updated Date: Jun 24, 2017 11:52 AM

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