Direction to deposit one Crore for anticipatory bail: SC Disapproves

Direction to deposit one Crore for anticipatory bail: SC Disapproves

Since the law presumes an accused to be innocent, he is entitled to all the fundamental rights including the right to liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, but while grating bail, the Court can always impose reasonable conditions on the facts permissible and effective in the pragmatic sense. The imposition of conditions should never defeat the order of grant of bail. Supreme Court has reminded the Courts in the country, this forgotten principle, through a judgement delivered on 13th September,2013.

It has been said that while granting anticipatory bail, the Courts should strike a balance between individual’s right to personal freedom and the right of investigation of the police. The conditions imposed during grant of anticipatory bail should be appropriate so as to ensure uninterrupted investigation and any condition which has no reference to the fairness or propriety of the investigation or trial is not permissible under law. The Court was considering a case in which the Delhi High Court granted anticipatory Bail on a precondition of deposit ( FDR) of  Rs. 1 Crore in the name of the complainant and further directing to keep the FDR with the investigating officer (IO), for the offences alleged to have committed under Section 420, 467 , 468 and 471 of IPC.

The Supreme Court held that the direction of the High Court to deposit 1 Crore as a condition precedent for granting anticipatory bail is evidently onerous and unreasonable.

The Court said  “ The words  “any  condition”  used  in  the  provision  should  not  be regarded as conferring absolute power on  a  Court  of  law  to  impose  any condition that it chooses to impose. Any condition has to be interpreted  as a  reasonable  condition  acceptable  in  the  facts  permissible   in   the circumstance and effective in the pragmatic sense and should not defeat  the order of grant of bail.  We are of the  view  that  the  present  facts  and circumstances of the case do  not  warrant  such  extreme  condition  to  be imposed”.

Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam who delivered the Judgment along with RanjanaPrakash Desai, modified the conditions granting anticipatory bail without any pre -deposit, with other usual terms.