Bill to bail convicts during appeal

Inguraidhoo MP Hassan Ahmed (Hassantay). (Photo/People's Majlis)

The government has submitted a bill to amend the Criminal Procedure Act that will facilitate bailing convicts during appeal with a subsequent issuance of an injunction on implementation of verdict.

Inguraidhoo MP Hassan Ahmed submitted the amendment bill on behalf of the state. The bill proposes a bail for convicts who have appealed their cases, until the conclusion of the appeal.

The judges are required to look at five elements when extending bail for suspects in remand or a delay in judgement for convicts, which include;

  • The individual should not have a prior contempt of court for a previous bail
  • Time consumed prior to trial commencement may or may not exceed the reasonably agreeable duration
  • In cases of assault or grievous bodily harm, the victim's proximity to further danger or harm
  • The extent of evidence/witness tampering or negative implications from extending the suspect's remand
  • To possibility of evading law enforcement if released, based on the nature of the crime and the suspect's conduct during investigation

The judges can also issue seven conditions to suspects released on bail during appeal, which include;

  • Barring communication with the victim and witnesses
  • Transportation, visitation and communication should be within the court decided limits
  • Mandatory reporting to the relevant law enforcement authority
  • Remain within the premises of the suspect's place of residence for the hours issued by the relevant authority
  • Complain refrain from committing another act of offense
  • Any condition that would ensure mandatory cooperation to the trial
  • Travel ban during bail duration

Despite this, any convict tried and found guilty of a criminal offense prescribed in Article 63 of the Criminal Procedure Act, cannot request for bail during appeal.

The offenses for which bail during appeal cannot be granted include;

  • Suspected murder or homicide
  • Voluntary manslaughter or gross bodily harm using any object capable of administering said harm or cause death of the victim
  • Terrorism charges
  • Drug trafficking
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Any offense for which the law has prescribed a denial of bail

The right to bail during criminal allegation or appeal is an key pledge of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's manifesto.