7 July 2022 7:42 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court has observed that a High Court has the power to grant transit anticipatory bail to an accused in connection with an offence regsitered/about to be registered outside its jurisdiction/state."...there is no fetter on the part of the High Court in granting a transit anticipatory bail to enable the applicants to approach the Courts including High Courts where the offence...
The Allahabad High Court has observed that a High Court has the power to grant transit anticipatory bail to an accused in connection with an offence regsitered/about to be registered outside its jurisdiction/state.
"...there is no fetter on the part of the High Court in granting a transit anticipatory bail to enable the applicants to approach the Courts including High Courts where the offence is alleged to have been committed and the case is registered," the bench of Justice Siddharth held on Wednesday.
The case in brief
The Court was dealing with the plea filed by 7 persons who had approached the Allahabad High Court seeking transit / anticipatory bail in F.I.R. registered against them under Sections- 504, 506, 384, 467, 468, 120-B IPC lodged at the Police Station- Mansarovar, Jaipur City (South), Rajasthan.
Essentially, the commercial transaction ensued between the applicants and the complainant, pursuant to which, criminal cases were lodged by the parties against each other.
It was their plea that they are the residents of District – Agra in the State of U.P and are willing to appear before the court concerned at Jaipur, Rajasthan for the purpose of getting bail.
However, they contended that they may be granted transit anticipatory bail for a short time so that they may appear before the competent court at Jaipur under limited protection granted by this court by way of time-bound transit anticipatory bail.
Opposing the plea of the applicants, the AGA submitted that the High Court has no jurisdiction to grant any protection to the applicants since the offence has taken place outside the state and thus, they may appear before the court concerned and apply for bail / anticipatory bail.
At the outset, the Court explained that transit anticipatory bail refers to bail granted to any person who is apprehending arrest by police of a State other than the State he is presently located in.
The Court also stressed that transit bail is a temporary relief that an accused gets for a certain period of time so that he/she could apply for anticipatory bail before the regular court.
Further, the Court referred to Section 438 of the CrPC to observe that this provision specifies direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest and confers power only upon the High Court and the Court of Sessions to grant anticipatory or transit bail if they deem fit.
Now, differentiating an ordinary bail plea from transit anticipatory bail, the Court remarked thus:
"Ordinary bail is granted after arrest, releasing the accused from custody while anticipatory bail is granted in the anticipation of arrest i.e., it precedes detention of the accused and is effective immediately at the time of the arrest. In plain words, when an accused is arrested in accordance with the order of the court and whereas the accused needs to be tried in some other competent court having jurisdiction in the aforementioned matter, the accused is given bail for the transitory period i.e., the time period required for the accused to reach that competent court from the place he is arrested in."
The Court also referred to the Bombay High Court's ruling in the case of Teesta Atul Setalvad & Anr. Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors. (Anticipatory Bail Application No. 14 0f 2014), wherein it was held that the High Court of one State can grant transit bail in respect of a case registered within the jurisdiction of another High Court in the exercise of power under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Against this backdrop, the Court granted them the benefit of transit anticipatory bail by observing that it was within the power to grant transit anticipatory bail to the accused so as to enable them to apply for regular bail before the appropriate court.
In related news, a division bench of the Bombay High Court has recently referred to a full bench the question as to whether the trial courts or High Courts can grant transit anticipatory bail to an accused when the offence against him is registered in another state, beyond the court's jurisdiction.
Significantly, in N.K. Nayar, Director, Hastinapur Metals Ltd. Bombay and others Vs. State of Maharashtra and others, the Bombay HC had observed that an order of anticipatory bail would have relevancy to the moment of the arrest of the concerned person and, therefore, the High Court would have the jurisdiction if a person was likely to be arrested at a place within the jurisdiction of this Court even if the offences were allegedly committed outside the State of Maharashtra.
Case title - Amita Garg And 6 Others v. State Of U.P. And 3 Others [CRIMINAL MISC ANTICIPATORY BAIL APPLICATION U/S 438 CR.P.C. No. - 5286 of 2022]
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 311
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