26 May 2020


Supreme Court

Sushila Aggarwal and Ors. vs. State (NCT of Delhi) and Ors.




Protection under Anticipatory Bail is not time bound and life of Anticipatory Bail does not end when the Accused is summoned by Court

In the present case, the issues were referred in lieu of the conflicting decisions of different Benches to the Supreme Court to decide whether the protection under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 should be time-bound to allow a person to surrender before the Trial Court and seek bail and whether the life of an anticipatory bail ends at the time and stage when the accused is summoned by the Court.

The Court, on the first matter, reasoned that the provisions of Section 438 CrPC are in favour of the accused and should not put any restriction on time; at the same time they do not impose a condition on the Court to limit the relief available to the Accused. The Court has to consider the nature and gravity of the offence in a case. If there are special facts or features in regards to the offence, it is open for the Court to impose any appropriate conditions including fixed nature of relief.

The Court on the second matter said that the life or duration of an anticipatory bail order does not end normally at the time and stage when the accused is summoned by the court, or when charges are framed, but can continue till the end of the trial, depending on the conduct and behavior of the accused. An order of anticipatory bail should not be “blanket” in the sense that it should not enable the accused to commit further offences and claim relief of indefinite protection from arrest. Again, if there are any special or peculiar features necessitating the court to limit the tenure of anticipatory bail, it is open for it to do so.

Tags : Supreme Court Anticipatory Bail

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