Lawyers’ strike: HC asks district courts to hold camp courts in Jails


Cuttack: In the wake of lawyers strike that has paralysed the judicial system in the state, the Orissa High Court on Saturday directed all the district and sessions judges to hold camp court on jails premises across the state to facilitate bail of undertrial prisoners.

The direction came in view of the extraordinary situation across the state due to the unending strike by lawyers. The strike has resulted in a rise in the number of undertrial prisoners in the jails.

The HC said only bail pleas will be heard in the camp courts. Accused persons can appeal for bails through the jail authorities. The jail authorities have been directed to make the prisoners aware about the camp court initiatives.

The court said the camp court shall be held inside the jail premises within the working hours on each working day. The presiding officer shall be accompanied by his concerned clerk and one of his Group ‘D’ staff along with stenographer and Court Sub-Inspector (CSI). The concerned clerk or the C.S.I. as the case may be, shall put up the relevant record before the Presiding Officer.

Concerned Secretary, District Legal Services Authority shall ensure that jail Para Legal Volunteer (PLV) is present inside the jail. The PLVs in coordination with jail authorities are to make UTPs aware that they can seek for enlargement on bail by filling applications through concerned jail authorities, the HC statement said.

Identity of the accused shall be verified by the concerned Jail Superintendent/Assistant Jail Superintendent as the case may be. In case of arrest and first production, the same be made in the Camp Court inside the Jail. Where bail will be allowed, provisionally P.R. Bond be taken and the accused be asked to furnish regular surety bond(s) after one/two months fixing a date for it.

This recourse be taken where bail has already been granted and the accused has not been released for non-furnishing of the bail bonds. The concerned jail authorities shall ensure that at the time of hail hearing, none apart from Court staff and C.S.I. are present. Principles of law applicable to bail are to be kept in mind while dealing with bail applications. If an U.T.P. has completed period of custody in excess of the sentence likely to be awarded, Section 436-A Cr.P.C. may be followed.

In case of unforeseen circumstances such as non-filing of Police Report within 60/120 days, the matter is to be dealt with in the light of relevant provisions of law under Section 167(2) of Cr.P.C.

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