A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court has held that a person who is convicted for life and whose appeal is pending before the court is entitled to apply for bail only after he has undergone a minimum of five years imprisonment following his conviction.
The bench made it clear that the convicts will not be entitled to be released on bail in the category of offences relating to dacoity, murder for gain,kidnapping for ransom, killing of the public servants and offences falling under the National Security Act and those pertaining to narcotic drugs.
The bench comprising Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy and Justice M S K Jaiswal was passing this order in an appeal for grant of bail by one Batchu Ranga Rao and eight other applicants who are accused in a case filed in 2010 before a fast track court  in Guntur for the offences under Sections 147, 148 and 302 of the IPC. The appellants pleaded that they have been undergoing imprisonment for the last five-and-a-half years besides their being in jail for three months during the pendency of the trial.
The bench prima facie felt that it is wholly unjust to incarcerate the life convicts for long number of years on the ground of pendency of criminal appeals.After hearing the parties and perusing the judgments of the Supreme Court in Kashmira Singh case and Punjab and Haryana High Court in Dharam Pal vs State of Haryana case, the bench was inclined to consider the criteria on which the applications for grant of bail pending the criminal appeals filed against the conviction for the offences, including the one under Section 302 IPC, and sentencing of the appellants to life among other allied sentences.
It said that while granting bail, two conditions have to be imposed - one that the appellants on bail must be present before the court at the time of hearing and two they must report in the respective police stations once a month during the bail period.Grant of bail based on these principles shall, however, be subject to the provisions of Section 389 of the CrPC, the bench noted.

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