The Allahabad High Court has recently criticized the superintendent of Siddharth Nagar district jail for keeping a man in illegal confinement for eight months because his middle name ‘Kumar’ was missing from the bail order.
The High Court bench headed by Justice J J Munir rebuked the said irresponsible action of the jail superintendent as ‘not only reprehensible but also contumacious’. The court then directed the jailer to appear before the court and explain as to why appropriate departmental inquiry may not be recommended against him.
Background of the case
As per sources, the jail superintendent of Siddharth Nagar has refused to release the applicant, Vinod Baruaar as the middle name ‘Kumar’ was missing in the applicant’s bail order. In these circumstances, the applicant made an application for correction of the applicant’s name to the learned Trial Judge, who refused to correct the name in the release order, contrary to the order passed by the High Court.
It was submitted by the counsel for the applicant that despite HC’s order that had granted him bail on 9th April 2020, the applicant was not released from jail. In fact, the jail authorities refused to comply with the release order passed in the case, because the name mentioned in the release order was ‘Vinod Baruaar’, whereas, in the remand sheet, his name is ‘Vinod Kumar Baruaar’.
Allahabad High Court observations
“This Court does not appreciate our orders being flouted with impunity. This Court fails to understand that when the applicant’s name mentioned in the bail rejection order is ‘Vinod Baruaar’, then why ‘Kumar’ must be added to the name mentioned in the bail order, in order to make it effectual,” rebuked Justice J J Munir citing the irresponsible conduct of the jail superintendent.
Further, the court also remarked that this kind of a trifling of mistake pointed by the Jail Authorities must invite severe punishment unless there is a serious doubt or dispute about the identity of the applicant. “That, apparently, is not the case here. The sole purpose of not complying with the bail orders for all these eight months appears to be, prima facie, an obstinate attitude of the jail administration in carrying out the orders of this Court. In the process, they have deprived a citizen of his liberty, without any just or reasonable cause, since April 2020, to date. This illegal deprivation of liberty is patently illegal confinement and that too, during these perilous COVID-19 times.
Subsequently, the Jailer/Jail Superintendent was directed to comply with the release order passed by the Special Judge (Rape and POCSO Act Cases), Siddharth Nagar, and forthwith release the applicant, without raising any objection about the absence of ‘Kumar’ to his name.