The Bombay High Court on Monday asked what was the public interest in releasing an accused from jail and dismissed a public interest petition seeking direction to the Maharashtra government to release prisoners who are languishing in jails despite securing bail due to inability to pay the surety amount.

The PIL, filed by one Archana Rupwate, had also sought directions to magistrates and police stations to comply with provisions of Section 41A of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which lays down a notice shall be issued first to a person named as accused in a case and he or she shall be arrested only when required.

A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and M N Jadhav wondered how the issues raised in the petition were in public interest and asked if releasing persons accused of crime and criminals back into the society was in public interest.


“What is the public interest in releasing the accused from jail? What is the interest in releasing the criminals?” Justice Gadkari asked.

The petitioner claimed police authorities were not complying with orders and guidelines issued by the Supreme Court on arrest of persons.

The bench asked the petitioner how it was presumed the directions of the apex court were not being complied with, adding if this had been verified.