The Supreme Court has granted bail to a 75-year-old man who was convicted in a 1983 rape-and-murder case, pointing out that it took the trial 40 years to conclude.
Noting the “peculiar feature” of the case, the apex court asked Calcutta High Court to give “out of turn priority” to the disposal of the man’s appeal against his conviction.
A bench of Justices Abhay S. Oka and Pankaj Mithal said, normally, the top court should not issue a direction to a constitutional court or any other court to fix a schedule to decide a case.
“However, this case has a peculiar feature that the trial has taken forty years to conclude. We, therefore, request the high court to give out of turn priority to the disposal of the appeal in accordance with law,” the bench said in its order passed on September 25.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the man challenging the May 17 order of the high court rejecting his prayer for bail.
Noting that the appellant was the maternal uncle of the victim, the high court had said that in view of the material on record and the gravity of the offence, “we do not consider it appropriate to suspend the sentence of the appellant”. The high court had noted that the case involves the brutal rape and murder of a girl who was found strangulated.