Supreme Court Asserts Political Freedom Over Bail Conditions, Strikes Down Restrictive Measure

In a recent verdict, the Supreme Court emphasized the protection of fundamental rights, ruling against the imposition of bail conditions that would curtail a politician’s engagement in political activities.

The case of Siba Shankar Das vs State of Odisha and another brought to light a contentious issue where a politician, Siba Shankar Das, faced restrictions on his political involvement as part of his bail conditions. Das, a prominent figure in the Odisha Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and former mayor of Berhampur, found himself entangled in legal battles following his switch from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

The Orissa High Court, in its August 2022 ruling, had imposed stringent bail conditions on Das, directing him to refrain from causing any public disturbances and to abstain from both direct and indirect political activities. However, the Supreme Court intervened, asserting that such conditions encroached upon the fundamental rights of the appellant.

Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta, presiding over the bench, scrutinized the legality of the imposed conditions and concluded that they were unjustifiable infringements on political freedom. Consequently, the Supreme Court quashed the restrictive conditions set by the High Court.

In its order, the apex court articulated, “We find that the imposition of such conditions would breach the fundamental rights of the appellant, and no such conditions could have been imposed.” This verdict underscores the judiciary’s commitment to safeguarding individuals’ rights to engage in political activities, even in the face of legal proceedings.

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