The Allahabad High Court has recently observed 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.
"...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 Court stressed.
With this, the bench of Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan granted transit anticipatory bail to a man booked under Sections 406 & 420 IPC in connection with a case registered in Maharashtra.
For context, the concept of "transit anticipatory bail" comes into the picture when a person is apprehending arrest by police of a State other than the State where he/she is presently situated. As the word "transit" suggests, it is an act of being moved or carried from one place to another.
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.
In the instant case, accused Ajay Agarwal is a businessman dealing with safety products, who has been implicated in a case registered in the state of Maharashtra related to some commercial transaction. He moved the Court with the instant plea with the submission that since the investigation is going on in Maharashtra, therefore, he is required to participate in such investigation in Maharashtra, and since, he is apprehensive of his arrest, thus, he should be granted transit bail till the time he applies for bail before the proper jurisdictional court.
At the outset, the Court noted that transit bail is protection from arrest for a certain definite period as granted by the Court granting such transit bail. The Court stressed that the mere fact that an accused has been granted transit bail, does not mean that the regular court, under whose jurisdiction the case would fall, would extend such transit bail and would convert such transit bail into anticipatory bail.
The Court clarified that upon the grant of transit bail, the accused person, who has been granted such transit bail, has to apply for anticipatory bail before the regular court and such court would consider such plea anticipatory bail, on its own merits.
Now, against this backdrop, noting that the commercial transaction ensued between the applicants and the complainant and there are criminal cases lodged by the parties against each other and thus, the Court found it to be a fit case where the applicant should get the privilege of transit pre-arrest bail.
Hence, the Court directed that in the event of arrest of applicant/Ajay Agarwal, he shall be released on transit bail on executing a personal bond of Rs.50,000/- with two sureties of the like amount. This protection has been granted for a period of six weeks.
Case title - Ajay Agarwal v. State Of U.P. Thru. Addl. Chief Secy. Home Lko. And 3 Others [CRIMINAL MISC ANTICIPATORY BAIL APPLICATION 438 CR.P.C. No. - 1669 of 2022]