No Bail for Human Traffickers and Habitual Offenders: Bombay High Court

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The High Court of Bombay ruled that “Right not to be trafficked” is a fundamental right of all persons. The Court also made it difficult for the persons involved in trafficking to get bail. The bench consisted of Justice Roshan Dalvi and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi who pointed out that bail should not be granted to those persons who are traffickers and habitual offenders. The court was considering a petition initiated by an NGO in Pune. It is a freedom firm that mainly deals with human trafficking cases. The petitioners also brought to the notice of the court to make a database of these traffickers and also the persons who have absconded after getting bail.

The judges opined that that the ‘right not to be trafficked’ is the fundamental right as guaranteed under the Constitution. The main reason for the increasing number of trafficking cases is due to the injudicious bail granted by the judges. The Court also stated that bail should not be granted to habitual offenders who are involved in trafficking but exemption can be given for special reasons imposing necessary conditions. The advocates appearing for the NGO argued that in many cases the accused was granted bail and thereafter they absconded. Yet another impact is that sometimes the traffickers may interfere with the witnesses and also force them to any means.

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The Court therefore listed strict guidelines that are to be considered by the court when dealing with bail application and such persons shall be denied the chance of getting anticipatory bail. The court also ruled that they may be released even on medical grounds. Direction has also been issued to the CBI to help the Government to find out accused who have absconded to other countries after obtaining bail. It has also asked CBI to request other nations to extradite such persons who have absconded after taking bail.

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