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What Should Be The Duration Of Anticipatory Bail Order

The Supreme Court of India in Salauddin Abdulsamad Shaikh Vs. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1996 SC 1042 : (1996) 1 SCC 667 : JT 1995 (9) SC 165 : 1995 (7) SCALE 272 : 1996 (1) ALD(Cri) 72 : (1996) 2 CALLT 12 (SC) : 1996 CriLJ 1368 : (1996) 2 GLR 598 : [1995] Supp 6 SCR 556 held that the court granting anticipatory bail should not substitute itself for the original Court and the duration of the bail order should also be limited.

A bench comprising of A.M. Ahmadi, C.J.I., S.C. Sen and K.S. Paripoornan, JJ. observed that ordinarily the regular Court which is to deal with that particular offence cannot be by passed.

Anticipatory Bail Order

The petitioner filed an application in the High Court under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and secured an ad-interim anticipatory bail order which was to enure upto 26.9.1995.

The High Court imposed certain conditions, one of which was that he will report at the Police Station every day till 25.9.1995.

When the matter came up on that day for final disposal before the same judge, he directed the petitioner to move a regular bail application before the Court which was in seisin of the criminal case pending against him and observed that the bail application should be disposed of uninfluenced by the observations made in the earlier order of 13.9.1995.

Against this order passed by the Single Judge the present SLP has been filed.

While disposing of the appeal, the Apex Court held that the Anticipatory bail is granted in anticipation of arrest in non- bailable cases, but that does not mean that the regular court, which is to try the offender, is sought to be by- passed and that is the reason why the High Court very rightly fixed the outer date for the continuance of the bail and on the date of its expiry directed the petitioner to move the regular court for bail.

That is the correct procedure to follow because when the Court of Session or the High Court is granting anticipatory bail, it is granted at a stage when the investigation is complete and, therefore, it is not informed about the nature of evidence against the alleged offender.

It is, therefore, necessary that such anticipatory bail orders should be of a limited duration only and ordinarily on the expiry of that duration or extended duration the Court granting anticipatory bail should leave it to the regular Court to deal with the matter on an appreciation of evidence placed before it after the investigation has made progress or the charge-sheet is submitted.

An order of anticipatory bail could even be obtained in cases of serious nature such as murder and therefore, it is essential that the duration of that order should be limited and ordinarily the Court granting anticipatory bail should not substitute itself for the original Court which is expected to deal with the offence.

It is that Court which has then to consider whether, having regard to the material placed before it, the accused person is entitled to bail. In the instant case, therefore, the High Court had followed the correct procedure and there is no reason to interfere.

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