While determining the subject of conceding bail, the Supreme Court of India, on October 24, 2020, held that travelling abroad is an inseverable segment of the fundamental right to dignity and personal liberty. The bench led by D.Y. Chandrachud observed: “This right cannot be merely illusory”.
The appellant, Parvez Noordin Lokhandwalla, yearned for latitude to visit the United States of America to recertify his green card. For the record, the learned court is authorised to exercise its discretion to enforce “any condition” for the grant of bail under Sections 437 (3) and 439 (1) (a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In spite of that, this freedom of choice of the court has to be “guided by the need to facilitate the administration of justice, secure the presence of the accused and ensure that the liberty of the accused is not misused to impede the investigation, overawe the witnesses or obstruct the course of justice.”
The spirit of the jeopardy has to be circumspectly meditated on by the courts individually in each case for acquiescence to travel abroad while out on bail. The preconditions for the grant of permission have to maintain equilibrium between the public significance in the enforcement of criminal justice and the entitlements of the accused.
“The human right to dignity and the protection of constitutional safeguards should not become illusory by the imposition of conditions which are disproportionate to the need to secure the presence of the accused, the proper course of investigation and eventually to ensure a fair trial,” said the court notably.