Lawstreet Journal

Courts May Grant Pre-Arrest Bail, Rules Supreme Court

Lawstreet Journal 13 Feb 2020 3:32am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Courts May Grant Pre-Arrest Bail, Rules Supreme Court

On February 10, 2020, the Supreme Court has argued that courts still have the power to grant pre-arrest bail in cases involving atrocities committed against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes if prima facie there is no material to warrant arrest. Three Judges, led by Justice Arun Mishra, said that the courts could also quash the charges in such circumstances.

The bench upheld the Government's amended act, but claimed that it must be treated in a manner consistent with its ruling in the case of Lalita Kumari, which ordered the police to file immediate First Information Report’s (FIR) in all cases involving a detected offence, as soon as they obtained information on the case. A known offense is where a police officer can arrest an accused without a warrant.

Nonetheless, in a different but concurrent judgment, Justice Ravindra Bhatt, on the same bench, said courts must use the power to grant pre-arrest bail sparingly to avoid miscarriage of justice or misuse of the legal process.

“Such stringent terms, otherwise contrary to the philosophy of bail, is absolutely essential because a liberal use of the power would defeat the intention of Parliament,” Justice Bhatt said.

The decision was based on a petition challenging the SC / ST Anti-Atrocities Act, which was amended to circumvent the SC ruling, which claimed that a preliminary enquiry and a sanction from the competent authority was required prior to the registration of the FIR in such cases.

The bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit said that it was necessary to… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Supreme Court of India  
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