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Law Commission on bail law reforms
The 268th report of Law Commission addresses the issue of jail vs bail in which the rich and the influential easily get bail while the poor languish in jail. The principle that bail should be the norm and jail the exception is only applicable to the powerful in practice. The Commission headed by former Supreme Court judge B.S Chauhan remarked that the existing system of bail in India needs to be revamped to serve its real purpose. The bail practice should be fair and evidence based. A serious matter of concern is that two-third of the current prison population is made up of under trials and even if granted bail, most are unable to afford the bail bond or provide sureties. Supreme Court in the past had cast poverty as the main reason for such a high rate of incarceration. The Law Commission seeks to give better bail conditions and decongest the prisons. According to section 436A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a person shall be granted bail if he has served half the maximum period specified in the punishment. The commission recommends that for punishments upto a period of seven years, this should be reduced to one-third of the period.The need of the hour is to expedite the trial process as justice delayed is justice denied.

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