Personal appearance of the accused persons can be exempted on valid grounds including residents of other distant state u/s 205 of CrPC : SC

SRI RAMESHWAR YADAV & ORS. V THE STATE OF BIHAR & ANR.

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.387 OF 2018

DECIDED ON 16/03/2018

A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justices A.K. SIKRI and ASHOK BHUSHAN, set aside the judgment of the High Court of the Patna.

The case was that the respondent filed a complaint in the Court of Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Patna alleging offence committed by the accused as well as Arnesh Kumar, her husband. The Magistrate vide order finding a prima facie case under Section 498A and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act summoned the accused as well as Arnesh Kumar, husband of the complainant. The accused as well as Arnesh Kumar filed an application for anticipatory bail during the pendency of the said application. Non-bailable warrants were issued by the Magistrate. All the accuses filed an application praying for recall of non-bailable warrant and dispensing with their physical appearance in the case because appellant No.1, father of Arnesh Kumar was a retired Army Official residing in Pune with appellant No.2 and other 3 appellants were also residents of Pune, Maharashtra and they had to come from a distance. All the accused except Arnesh Kumar, husband of complainant were granted anticipatory bail. Anticipatory bail was granted by the District and Sessions Judge, Patna to all the accused except Arnesh Kumar. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate by order rejected the application filed by the accused under Section 205 Cr.P.C. for dispensing of physical appearance in court.

Appellants challenged the order by filing an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. which was dismissed by the Patna High Court.

Such dismissal was challenged by the appellants in the Supreme Court through Special Leave Petition. As a result, the appeal was allowed, the judgment and order of the High Court as well as order of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate were set aside, application filed by the appellants under Section 205 Cr.P.C. was also allowed exempting the personal appearance of the appellants.

However, this shall not preclude the Magistrate to pass appropriate orders under Section 205(2) Cr.P.C. if and when personal appearance of the appellants is required.

 

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