Monday, December 4, 2023

Supreme Court directs High Courts, Sessions Courts to grant anticipatory bail to accused even if FIR registered in another State

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The Supreme Court said that anticipatory bail can be granted by the High Courts and Sessions Courts to an accused even if the first information report (FIR) is registered in another State. 

A bench comprising of Justice BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan said that considering the liberty of citizens and subject to certain conditions the interest of justice, courts should provide limited interim protection.

The Court laid down the conditions needed to grant of transit anticipatory bail in such cases like the Agency and the Investigating Officer should be given notice on first date of such protection;

It added that the applicant should make the court agree about his inability to approach the otherwise jurisdictional court. including the apprehension of violation of life and liberty.

The bench also said that stressed the importance of the concerned court ascertaining the territorial proximity when granting anticipatory bail.

Further, it cautioned against forum shopping and clarified that accused cannot travel to any other State solely for filing bail pleas without clear reasons.

The issue before the apex court was whether anticipatory bail can be granted by a court which is not located within the State where the FIR was lodged.

In March, the Apex Court had issued notice on the plea which was filed in Rajasthan where an FIR was filed by a complainant there but the accused-(husband) was granted anticipatory bail by a Bengaluru district judge.

The complaint involved allegations of dowry demands.

The applicant complained that different High Courts have taken divergent views in the matter and the apex court needs to settle the position of law.

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