By Sharvari Lohakare
On Friday, while hearing a plea challenging the grant of interim bail to a person by the Sessions Court accused under section 376 of the IPC and Section 4 of the POCSO Act, the Single Bench of Justice Brijesh Sethi passed an order directing the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to circulate the Practice Direction dated 24/09/19 and the orders of the court in the case of Reena Jha v. Union of India to all the District and Sessions Courts in order to comply the directions given by the criminal courts. These directions and the orders command the mandatory presence of the informant or any person authorized at the time of hearing bail applications for the persons accused under Sections 376/376(3)/376-AB/376-DA and 376-DB of IPC. The petitioner’s counsel argued that the Sessions Court order is bad in law as it’s been passed without issuing any notice to the complainant of FIR and thus, denying the opportunity of hearing also since the victim and her family stay in the vicinity of the accused, granting an interim bail will be a threat to their lives. The counsel appearing for state submitted that all the directions are being followed and the court is bound to follow the practice guidelines. It was also stated that the matter will be brought to the notice of Investigating Officers to ensure strict compliance. Lastly, to protect the petitioner, the court assured providing required officials so that in case of any necessity, those can be contacted.