“Remarks made by the High Court during the live bail proceedings are manifestly arbitrary and unjust,” says Supreme Court

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On March 21, 2023, the Supreme Court was hearing a plea seeking to expunge the remarks made by the High Court during live broadcasting of the court proceedings. The bench stated that the actions of the High Court during the bail proceedings were manifestly arbitrary and unjust. Also, the top Court stated that “the High Court must have confined itself to the issues relevant to it for the purposes of deciding the bail of the Respondent.” The Apex Court, before directing the remarks made by the Karnataka HC stated that “Remarks passed in court, due to the live broadcasting of Court proceedings, now have ramifications that are far-reaching and as can be seen in the present case, can cause great injury to the reputation of the parties involved. In such a circumstance, it is essential for the courts to be extremely cautious while passing adverse remarks against the parties involved, and must do so with proper justification, in the right forum, and only if it is necessary to meet the ends of justice.” The bench hearing the matter includes Justices Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Krishna Murari.

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In the Seemant Kumar Singh vs Mahesh PS case, an FIR was registered against Mahesh PS for allegedly demanding a bribe from the informant. He was subsequently taken into custody, then he filed a bail application in the High Court. The High Court made adverse remarks against the appellants and directed the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to place a report of the past investigations conducted against the appellant without giving an opportunity to them to be heard. These remarks were widely reported in the media and caused injury to the reputation of the appellants; therefore, the appellants seek for the remarks made by the High Court against them to be expunged.

While hearing the matter, the Supreme Court stated that the remarks made by the High Court against him seem to be unreasonable and without justification. The bench further added that one of the appellants was merely a government employee of the department that was conducting the investigation and had no personal involvement with the case. The top Court ensured that he was not an accused and had nothing to do with the transaction of the crime. Moreover, the SC stated that “The remarks passed by the High Court be unfair and not in the interest of justice. In so far as Appellant No. 3 is concerned, even though he is an accused in the alleged crime, however, what must not be forgotten is the fact that he does not have any lis in the bail proceedings, as the same was exclusive to Respondent No.1.” It was extremely unreasonable for the HC to pass such adverse remarks against him. The impugned order stands quashed by the bench and the appeal was allowed.

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