Supreme Court tightens the rein as accused misuse interim relief to get regular bail

The Apex Court criticised the practice of trial court’s granting regular bail to the accused relying on the order of the High Court on granting interim anticipatory bail. The Supreme Court has restrained lower courts from passing such orders, categorising them as it is an abuse of process of law.

This order was passed by the court in the matter where a trial court in Jharkhand granted regular bail to the accused to an accused after it granted her interim protection from being arrested in a criminal case. The court quashed the bail granted to the accused and directed her to surrender before the court.

A bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said, “Once a regular bail is granted by a subordinate court on the strength of the interim/ pre bail arrest plea  by the superior court is to dismiss the plea of anticipatory bail upon fuller consideration of the matter, the regular bail granted to the subordinate court would continue to hold the field rendering the ultimate rejection of the pre-arrest bail by the superior court meaningless.”

The court observed that this has become a regular practice for accused to surrender before the trial court and seek regular bail just after the interim pre arrest bail was granted by higher forums.  The bench passed the direction after noting that the trial court’s order granting bail to the accused would virtually make the higher court’s order infructuous if it finally decided to withdraw the interim protection to given to the accused by dismissing plea for anticipatory bail.

The court said, “We, therefore direct that a copy of this order be forwarded to the director of all judicial academies in the country to be brought to the notice of all judicial officers exercising criminal jurisdiction in their respective states. We have had notice of several such cases, the time has come to put the learned subordinate courts in the country to notice that such a practice must be discontinued and consideration of regular bail application upon surrender during the pendency of the application for pre-arrest bail before a superior court must be discouraged.


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