SC-Pakistan lawandpolicychambers

Excessive and Unreasonable restrictions cannot be imposed on granting bail: Supreme Court


Supreme Court in its recent judgment titled as Muhammad Taimur Versus Chairman NAB and Others, authored by Justice Athar Minallah, held that an accused cannot be held behind the bars at bail stage as punishment. It is settled principle of criminal law that accused is to be considered until proven guilty. The accused was behind the bars in a ponzi scheme case wherein his bail was withheld by the High Court on the apprehension that he might have tempered with the evidence specially the Cryptocurrency Code. When the Court confronted to the Counsel of the NAB, he apprised the Court that cellphone along with SIM is in the custody of NAB, and if the SIM is blocked there remains very little likelihood to temper the Code. Based on this contention the Court dilated thatย  “The foundational principles of criminal law are the presumption of innocence of an accused and that bail must not be unjustifiably withheld because it then operates as a punishment before being convicted upon conclusion of the trial. The unnecessary and unjustified incarceration of an under trial prisoner simultaneously becomes a burden on the taxpayers and the already overcrowded prisons.”

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