Setalvad’s Interim Bail by SC Welcome, Promises a More Vigilant Court: Top English Papers The Wire

05, Sep 2022

The editorials terming the decision as a necessary correction to the trend of denying bail by lower courts.

On Friday, the Supreme Court granted interim bail to Setalvad, who was arrested by the Gujarat Police for an alleged conspiracy to send innocent persons to jail by misleading the investigation into the 2002 Gujarat riots case.

It noted that the Supreme Court’s approach is guided by the principle that “bail is the rule and jail is the exception”. But, this principle was “not followed often enough by other levels of the judiciary”.

The TOI edit observed that undertrials account for 77% of 5.5 lakh prisoners in India, as per data till December 2021. Further, 2019 government data showed that almost half of the jailed undertrials had been locked up for more than two years. “This is unconscionable,” it said.

In a more hard-hitting editorial, the Indian Express wrote that the Supreme Court “has displayed a worrying lack of alacrity in matters of individual rights and liberties being encroached upon by the state, and in far too many instances, it has given the state the benefit of the doubt”.

The Express editorial also listed out the pointed questions raised by the apex court, ranging from the lack of a chargesheet and the delay in the bail hearing in the high court.

The Hindu observed in its editorial that the relief given to Setalvad “should be welcomed by those who value personal liberty as well as activism in support of the vulnerable”.

The Chennai-based newspaper wrote the “real significance” of the judgement was that it was a “strong pushback against a government that seems intent on keeping her behind bars for daring to assist victims of heinous communal violence in their efforts to seek justice”.

Setalvad was arrested a day after the Supreme Court dismissed Zakia Jafri’s plea, with the observations that there was a conspiracy to “keep the pot boiling” in the Gujarat riots case.

There were no editorials from other English papers like Hindustan Times, The Telegraph or the New Indian Express.

The original piece may be read here


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Go to Top
Nafrat Ka Naqsha 2023