In an ironic demonstration of the paradox of the Supreme Court’s observation while commuting the death sentence of a rapist of a child that “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”, a 39-year-old Muslim, whom the country’s judiciary knew was a habitual offender, was bailed out in April 2021 and then he allegedly committed at least 18 thefts before landing in police custody again.
The accused, Syed Abubakar Siddiq, a native of Mysuru and resident of Bannerghatta Road, was arrested for stealing a laptop and mobile phones kept inside a car in Talaghattapura on 15 April night. CCTV footage showed Siddiq breaking the car’s glass and decamping with the valuables, police said.
Though this bailed thief is married, his wife and children live in Mysuru while Siddiq resides in Bengaluru, police sources said.
During investigation, police found the bailed thief had at least 70 pending warrants against his name and had committed 18 thefts after coming out of Central Prison (Parappana Agrahara) in April 2021.
“Siddiq was involved in many house burglary and vehicle theft cases reported in 2019 and earlier. He was arrested in December 2020 in a house theft case and walked out of prison on bail. Since then, Siddiq remained absent at court hearings and continued to steal. As of now, we have counted 18 such cases. In most of the instances, Siddiq either stole a vehicle or valuables kept inside the vehicle/house,” an investigating officer said.
Cops have recovered five scooters and motorcycles, nine laptops, one camera, and Rs 65,000 cash from the bailed thief.
This is hardly a one-off case where the judiciary judged an accused or a convict wrong and bailed him or her. In June 2021, a worker at a jewellery store in Powai was arrested for allegedly stealing gold ornaments worth Rs 30.42 lakh, barely five days after he had been employed. The accused, Hiralal Kumawat (26), had stolen the ornaments when his employer had gone home for lunch, the police said.
Police had arrested that bailed thief from Kasa Khurd, a village in District Palghar while he was on the verge of escaping to Rajasthan. The police said that Kumawat had committed the offence less than a month after he had been released on bail, on 20 May 2021, in another case of theft of 400 g of gold jewellery from Khandeshwar. In the latest case, the arrest was made within 6 h of the case being registered at Powai police station.
In Nagpur in October 2020, Sanjay Dhone, who had 35 offences of mostly theft of trucks, proved he was no run-of-the-mill thief. He allegedly stole the same vehicle from Lakadganj police station for which he had been earlier arrested. Dhone, who was bailed out by a court, had fled with the truck in the early hours.
Bailed wrongly — a global judicial scourge
The phenomenon of misjudgment by judges is global. In the UK, a mother of three slammed the “disgusting” decision of a court to bail sex creep Dr Krishna Singh after he was convicted of sex crimes against nearly 50 women patients. Karen Gallacher, 51, from Coatbridge, hit out after describing her “total humiliation” at the hands of the warped general physician.
Speaking after the doctor was bailed last week, following his conviction for 54 offences against 48 female patients, Karen said: “He gets to walk free out of the court and go home for dinner with 54 convictions against him, it’s disgusting.”
“It’s a kick in the teeth for victims and we’ll have to wait until next month with this hanging over us to see if he’s even jailed.
“I hope he gets his just desserts and they lock him up and throw away the key. He never deserves to get out.”
Karen was stuck with the pervert doctor from around 1994 to 2018 and was groped repeatedly as she went for appointments.
There is now a push across the US to reform the cash bail system through nonprofit groups that post bail for those who cannot afford it. These groups are drawing criticism from victim advocates and the crime victims they serve.
There are approximately 100 charitable bail organizations in the country, including the Seattle-based Northwest Community Bail Fund (NCBF). Through donations, the NCBF said they can post bail for between 80 and 90 defendants per month awaiting trial at the King, Snohomish, and Pierce county jails.