Anticipatory bail plea can be adjourned without granting interim protection to the accused

Bombay High Court: In a significant order, a bench comprising of  Mridula Bhatkar, J has held that a court can adjourn hearing of anticipatory bail plea without granting interim protection from arrest to the accused. In the present case, the accused had approached the High Court after the sessions court refused to grant them interim relief from arrest and adjourned hearing of their plea seeking anticipatory bail. The Counsel for the appellant had argued that whenever an application seeking anticipatory bail is made under Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the Trial Court shall either reject the said plea forthwith or issue an interim order in respect of anticipatory bail and no third option is open to the court to adjourn the application without granting any interim relief to the accused. The Court rejecting the arguments of the Counsel observed that the power of anticipatory bail needs to be carefully used as the court has to achieve balance between protection of liberty of an individual and the effective and unhampered investigation by the state machinery. Adjourning matter after passing the interim bail in favour of the accused may give setback to the investigating machinery to collect evidence and will push the victim and witnesses into a fearful trauma. There are crimes which go unreported only because the citizens do not feel safe and assured to come forward and give complaint as they have apprehension that the accused will go scot free or will be protected under law, the Court stated.  Though in many cases, bail is said to be a rule, anticipatory bail cannot be a rule but is to be left to the cautious, judicious discretion of the judge depending on the facts of each case, the Court held. Shrenik Jayantilal Jain vs. State of Maharashtra, Anticipatory Bail Application No. 541 of 2014, decided on May 8, 2014

To read the full judgment, click here

One comment

  • The said judgement really helps me lot to decide the such type of case when I hear anticipatory bail application as Court of Sessions. The basic principle of law has been discussed in a lucid manner. the same will both Bench and Bar. Thanks lot for uploading.

    Subrata Polle
    Purulia District Judges Court, West Bnegal

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