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IF SESSIONS JUDGE CAN GRANT BAIL TO SALMAN SANS RECORDING REASONS FOR SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE ? 

AS  a member of legal fraternity, I have been seriously wondering since this past Saturday over how the learned Sessions Judge of Jodhpur who granted bail to Bollywood’s hearth-throb Salman Khan after the latter moved in appeal before the former after being convicted  by Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) court in a close-to two decades old blackbuck poaching case in which he got sentenced  to five-years imprisonment under Section 9 and 51 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. I comprehend if  Sessions Judge can   do so without formally  adjudicating and deciding over  the suspension of his suspension under Section 389(1) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) via passing of a reasoned order in this regard.  Pertinent to mention that the powers of Sessions Court to grant bail under this Section 389(1) CrPC and Section 439 CrPC stand on different footings and the primary difference between the two scenarios is that while in the former the person in custody has been duly convicted by the subordinate/trial court while in the latter, such person in judicial custody is merely an accused/under-trial. Hence in terms of releasing a convicted person under Section 389(1) of CrPC, the Appellate Sessions Court ought to at least pass a order recording the reasons which compelled it to suspend the (execution of) sentence as awarded to the convicted person  by the Trial Court and who has since moved the Appellate Court in an appeal including praying for releasing him on Bail. Of course, it is fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that every accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty but in case when an accused in duly convicted, albeit by a subordinate /trial court, such presumption of innocence is no more available to him unlike  in case of a mere accused/undertrial. As far as I checked the official website of Jodhpur District Court, there is no reasoned order uploaded as passed by Sessions Judge in this regard and if  media reports are to be believed in this regard, the Sessions Judge just granted Bail to Salman  and adjourned the  matter to coming May 7. Further it is also true that though the Sessions Court has power to grant interim or temporary bail pending grant of regular bail, but such kind of bail is also admissible to a accused/under-trial person and not to a convicted person at least sans a reasoned order. Now it remains to be scene if in this case, the Public Prosecutor (PP) would file any sort of  application for the cancellation of the bail as granted to Salman since there is no reasoned order on suspension of his sentence. Noteworthy that the PP is  entitled to do so under the second proviso of Section 389(1) CrPC which was inserted in CrPC in the year 2005 which became effective since June, 2006

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