The case below might not just shock you, but make you aware how our system works for people who don’t have money and resources to hire best lawyers.
A man who secured his bail order in the year September 2020, continued to languish in prison until September 2023 because the prison authorities ‘could not open the bail order’ sent to them by the Gujarat High Court registry as an email attachment.
Chandanji Thakor (27) had been convicted for murder and was serving life imprisonment in the said case. On September 29, 2020, his sentence was suspended and accordingly the same was communicated by the registry of the High Court to the jail authorities via e-mail (this was during the pandemic).
The jail authorities claimed that they missed seeing this e-mail and thus could not act on the order passed by the Court. The jail authorities further said that necessary action could not be taken due to COVID-19 pandemic and though they had received the email, they said they were unable to open the attachment.
Thakor later moved a fresh application in the Gujarat High Court.
Gujarat High Court
A division bench of Justice AS Supehia and Justice MR Mengdey heard the matter and observed:
In the present case, the registry of this Court had categorically informed the jail authorities about the order passed by this Court releasing the applicant on regular bail. It is not the case that such E-mail was not received by the jail authorities.
It is the case of the jail authorities that necessary action could not be taken in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and though they have received the E-mail, they were unable to open the attachment.
Granting compensation to Thakor, the High Court called the case ‘a serious lapse’ and ‘an eye opener’.
Adding further the High Court noted:
…Though the email was sent to District Sessions Court too, no efforts were made by the Court to see that the order releasing the convict on bail was appropriately implemented.
Considering the seriousness of the case, the Gujarat High Court directed the District Legal Services Authority (DLSAs) to collect data of all prisoners who have been granted bail but may not have been released yet. While listing the matter for October 18, the High Court instructed:
The DLSA shall collect the reasons for their not having been released either for want of surety or non-execution of the jail bonds or for any other reason.
The High Court concluded that the applicant was a 27-year-old man who had spent his three years in jail despite having secured bail in 2020. The bench thus ordered:
Considering the plight of the applicant, who has remained in jail despite the order of this Court due to the negligence on the part of the jail authorities, though he has already released yesterday, we are inclined to grant compensation for his illegal incarceration in the jail for almost three years.
The applicant is aged about 27 years and he has already undergone, as per the jail remarks, more than 5 years.
Hence, in the interest of justice and in order to see that the applicant is appropriately compensated for the negligence of the jail authorities, due to which he was constrained to remain in jail, we are directing the State to grant him compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One lac). The same shall be paid within a period of 14 days. Registry is directed to communicate this order to the District Sessions Court, Mehsana also.
CASE NAME: Chandanji @ Gato Chhanaji Thakor V State Of Gujarat
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#Gujarat: Man Who Secured Bail In 2020 Spent Another 'Three Years' In Jail Since Authorities 'Could Not Open Order Sent Via Email'
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) September 27, 2023
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