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Rajasthan High Court Restrains Police From Arresting Accused Charged With Offences Carrying Upto 3 Yrs Jail Term Till July 17, 2021

Sparsh Upadhyay
20 May 2021 1:53 PM GMT
Rajasthan High Court Restrains Police From Arresting Accused Charged With Offences Carrying Upto 3 Yrs Jail Term Till July 17, 2021
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The Rajasthan High Court on Monday (May 17) restrained the Police, for the time being, from making the arrest of the accused persons, who are charged with an offence where the maximum sentence is up to three years, till 17th July, 2021.The Bench of Justice Pankaj Bhandari directed the DGP to issue instructions to all the officers concerned in the State of Rajasthan not to make the arrest...

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The Rajasthan High Court on Monday (May 17) restrained the Police, for the time being, from making the arrest of the accused persons, who are charged with an offence where the maximum sentence is up to three years, till 17th July, 2021.

The Bench of Justice Pankaj Bhandari directed the DGP to issue instructions to all the officers concerned in the State of Rajasthan not to make the arrest of persons in cases where the accused is charged under an offence where the maximum sentence extends up to three years and the offence is triable by First Class Magistrate.

The matter before the Court

The Court was hearing an anticipatory bail application filed for offences under Sections 457 and 354 of IPC read with Section 67 of I.T. Act, wherein, the maximum sentence, which may be awarded after conviction, may extend to 3 years.

Apprehending arrest, the petitioner moved an anticipatory bail application before the Sessions Judge and on dismissal of the same, he approached the High Court.

Importantly, the court noted,

"There is a huge pendency of bail applications and as on date, as many as five Judges at Jaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court are hearing bail matters in addition to Miscellaneous Petitions, Criminal Appeals etc., which are assigned to them."

Further, the Court noted that it was alive of the fact that in cognizable and nonbailable offences, police has a right to arrest the accused, however, taking note of the grave condition of the pandemic, lockdown and various guidelines issued by the State the Court asked the Additional Advocate General,

"Whether the police, which is involved in other more important tasks of enforcing the lock-down, be directed not to arrest an accused charged with offence punishable with a term, which may extend upto 3 years till situation normalizes and for the time being, till 17th of July, 2021?"

To this, the Additional Advocate General replied in affirmative.

Thus, the Court opined that the arrest of persons in cases where imprisonment extends up to 3 years and are triable by First Class Magistrate under present circumstances will prove to be counter-productive and if a person, who is arrested and produced before the Magistrate and thereafter, sent to Jail is an asymptomatic carrier of Covid-19, the inmates may be put at risk.

Lastly, the Court also directed that the copy of the order be sent to the Registrar General for issuance of necessary directions and the Registrar (Judicial), Jaipur Bench, Jaipur & the Registrar (Judicial), Principal Seat, Jodhpur, have been directed not to list bail applications under Section 438 Cr.P.C in offences where maximum sentence extends upto three years and the offence is triable by First Class Magistrate till reopening of Courts after Summer Vacation.

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