The Supreme Court has reiterated that successive bail applications filed by an accused should be placed before the same Judge who had refused bail in the first instance, unless that Judge is not available.
In this case (Gati Limited vs.T. Nagarajan Piramiajee), the FIR was registered against the accused for the offences punishable under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468 and 472 of the Indian Penal Code. He filed an anticipatory bail before the Madras High Court which was rejected by a judge of the Madurai bench. This order was upheld by the Apex court by dismissing the SLP filed against it. After 13 days, the accused filed a second application for anticipatory bail which came to be heard by another Judge, though the Judge who had heard the first application was available.
In the appeal filed before the Apex Court, the bench comprising Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar referred to ShahzadHasan Khan v. Ishtiaq Hasan Khan and other judgments which have held that such cases of successive bail applications should be placed before the same Judge who had refused bail in the first instance, unless that Judge is not available. The bench said:
"It is clear that the well settled principle of law enunciated in the decisions cited supra has not been followed, inasmuch as the second application for anticipatory bail was heard by a different Judge in spite of the availability of the Judge who had disposed of the first application."
The court also observed that the bail should not have been granted since there has been no change of circumstance for grant of anticipatory bail in the second application since the disposal of the first.