The Supreme Court in the case Atul @ Ashutosh vs. State Of Madhya Pradesh observed and has reiterated that Courts should normally suspend sentences and grant bail in cases where an appeal is filed challenging the conviction is unlikely to be heard before the completion of the entire sentence.
The bench comprising of Justice Abhay S. Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan in its order stated that we must note here that notwithstanding several decisions of this Court holding that when there is a fixed term sentence and especially when the appeal is not likely to be heard before completing entire period of sentence, normally suspension of sentence and bail should be granted.
The Division bench opined while discontent with the approach of denying the bail in such cases that this court find that in several deserving cases, bail is being denied and such kind of cases should never be required to be brought before this Court.
In the present case, the appellant or accused was convicted as stated under section 489(c) of the Indian Penal Code, IPC, the Possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes. It being the case of prosecution that the appellant possessed fake currency notes worth Rs. 44,000/-. Thus, he was awarded five years of rigorous imprisonment along with the fine.
Aggrieved with the same, he challenged this before the High Court, thus, he also filed an application praying for bail and suspension of sentence.
In the said application, he also mentioned that he was in long custody for almost two and a half years.
The High Court while looking at the gravity of the crime and the evidence refused to suspend his sentence. In this aforenoted background, the appeal was filed before the Supreme Court.
The Apex Court in the case observed and has noted that out of a five-year fixed-term sentence, the appellant has already undergone half of the sentence. Adding to it, the court stated that the appeal against the conviction of the year 2022 is not likely to reach before he completes the entire sentence and the case is being made out for grant of suspension of sentence pending the appeal and grant of bail.
The court while considering the facts and circumstances of the case observed and has directed the Trial Court to enlarge the appellant on bail.
Therefore, the court stated that the said direction is to be followed till the final disposal of the appeal before the High Court. Accordingly, the court allowed the appeal.