Right to Bail, PMLA & Delay in Trial

Court :- High Court of Madhya Pradesh , Citation :- MANU/MP/0618/2018

The case deals with application for bail under section 45(1) of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The applicant is 62 years of age and is an MBBS doctor by profession and is practicing and having number of medical institutes. Applicant is on bail in the concerned Scheduled offences.

In the present matter the prosecution has cited total 231 witnesses and there are in all 83 accused persons. The trial of the PMLA case would take considerable time to conclude and thus, keeping in view the observations made by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Nikesh Tarachand Shah v. Union of India & Anr., applicant cannot be kept in custody for an indefinite period to deny his right to defend themselves in accordance with postulates of our constitution especially Article 21 thereof. In this case it was pointed out that various under trial prisoners in PMLA offence have already gotten bail from various Court across the country.

The High Court of Madhya Pradesh held that the applicant was duly cooperating with the investigation and no prayer was made to arrest him during the investigation. The Applicant is permanent resident of Indore and in all other cases of Scheduled offences in which he was enlarged on bail, he never misused the terms and conditions of the bail. There is no reason to presume that applicant would abscond or temper or influence the witnesses and was thus granted bail on certain terms.

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