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PIL in Madras HC challenges insistence on sworn affidavit when filing for anticipatory bail

Team SoOLEGAL 21 Oct 2021 2:22pm

PIL in Madras HC challenges insistence on sworn affidavit when filing for anticipatory bail

NEW DELHI: A PIL petition has been filed in the Madras High Court, challenging Rule 12 (4) of the Criminal Rules of Practice, 2019, which applies to the High Court.

Rules governing bail in non-bailable cases are covered by Rule 12. A sworn affidavit must be filed with applications filed under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which deals with pre-arrest bail or anticipatory bail, according to sub-clause (4) of the said Rule.

The Criminal Rules of Practice, Rule 12 (4), reads as follows: Any application for relief under section 438 of the Code must be accompanied by the applicant's sworn affidavit. The petitioner is concerned that requiring a sworn affidavit in conjunction with a pre-arrest bail application will prejudice the accused-applicant's case. The petitioner has argued that such an affidavit is unnecessary and that the anticipatory bail petition is sufficient.

Section 4 (2) of the Oaths Act, 1969, was also mentioned, which says: "Nothing in this section shall render it lawful to administer, in a criminal proceeding, an oath or affirmation to the accused person, unless he is examined as a witness for the defence, or necessary to administer to the official interpreter of any court, after he has entered on the execution of the duties of his office, an oath or affirmation that he will faithfully discharge those duties."

The petitioner submitted a sworn affidavit to the Court on Wednesday, which is similar to an oath.

The counsel for the High Court argued, among other things, that such sworn affidavits are required in cases involving financial misappropriation, economic offences, and other situations where the accused may be required to make deposits, create undertakings, and so on.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee as well as Justice PD Audikesavalu directed that a copy of the petition be sent to Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram after hearing both parties' assertions.

The Chief Justice also requested orally that the Advocate General advise the Court on whether there is any element of concerns about bias or efficacy in enforcing the Criminal Rules of Practice in question.

The matter has been deferred until the upcoming Diwali vacation.



Tagged: Madras HC   anticipatory bail   Criminal Rules   Code of Criminal Procedure   Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee   Justice PD Audikesavalu   Advocate General   R Shunmugasundaram   Diwali vacation  
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