Injia: Closely scrutinise bail applications on medical grounds

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia has called for close scrutiny of medical information and the information of those supporting medical information for bail applications in the court.

He said bail being sought from the courts on grounds of medical condition is becoming a common practice. It has developed over time in just every bail application involving high level people imprisoned for serious offences.

Sir Salamo made these comments when he refused bail to Western Governor Ati Wobiro, former Western Provincial Administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi and founder of Fly Care Inc. Norman May on Thursday by the Supreme Court.

He said in just about every application for bail involving well-to-do or high-level people imprisoned for serious offences, bail applications are grounded on medical conditions, in order to avoid serving time in jail.

Sir Salamo said this practice calls for a close scrutiny of the medical information, and details of those supporting the medical information, to ensure that only conditions that constitute special circumstances, or extraordinary situations, that are life threatening enough and for which their incarceration in jail is likely to result in a serious threat to life and death, qualify as special circumstances warranting the grant of bail.  

“This court or any court for that matter should adopt when dealing with bail applications grounded on medical conditions.

“If bail is or was granted on medical conditions almost willy-nilly, without carefully considering the nature and extent of the medical conditions, then many prisoners would be released on bail and as a consequence, avoid serving time for their wrongdoing,” Sir Salamo said.

He went on to say that this defeats the purpose and interest of justice that had been achieved in the criminal trial process.   

Sally Pokiton