SC issues detailed judgment on bail petitions filed by Khawaja Saad, Salman Rafique. july 20, 2020
The 87-page verdict, authored by Justice Maqbool Baqar highlighted the definition and purpose of bail as well as due process in criminal cases.
"In bail applications, generally, it has been laid down from the earliest times that the object of bail is to secure the appearance of the accused person at trail by reasonable amount of bail. The object of bail is neither punitive nor preventative. Deprivation of liberty must be considered a punishment, unless it can be required to ensure that an accused person will stand his trial when called upon.
"The courts owe more than verbal respect to the principle that punishment begins after conviction, and that every man is deemed to be innocent until duly tried and duly found guilty. From the earliest times, it was appreciated that detention in custody pending completion of trial could be a cause of great hardship.
"From time to time, necessity demands that some un-convicted persons should be held in custody pending trial to secure their attendance at the trial but in such cases, ‘necessity’ is the operative test," the verdict stated.
The judgment stated that all civilized societies recognise the principle that punishment comes only after conviction, and the presumption of innocence subsist with the accused, till he is handed down punishment after trial.
"It hardly needs any reiteration that the detention either pre-trial or during trial causes great hardship," the judgement added.