21 Nov 2023 6:01 AM GMT
In a significant and groundbreaking judgment, the Supreme Court has held that High Courts and Sessions Court have power to grant interim/transit anticipatory bail even when the First Information Report (FIR) has been registered in another State. The Court finally set aside the judgment of Patna High Court in Syed Zafrul Hassan and the judgment of Calcutta High Court in Sadhan Chandra Kolay to...
In a significant and groundbreaking judgment, the Supreme Court has held that High Courts and Sessions Court have power to grant interim/transit anticipatory bail even when the First Information Report (FIR) has been registered in another State.
The Court finally set aside the judgment of Patna High Court in Syed Zafrul Hassan and the judgment of Calcutta High Court in Sadhan Chandra Kolay to the extent that they hold that the High Court does not possess jurisdiction to grant extra-territorial anticipatory bail i.e., even a limited or transit anticipatory bail.
The Court laid down the conditions for the grant of limited anticipatory bail as follows-
There should be some territorial nexus between the accused and the Court
The Court also drew attention to the potential abuse of the legal process. To address this, the court asserted the necessity for establishing a territorial connection or proximity between the accused and the court's jurisdiction where anticipatory bail is sought.
It opined “We’re conscious that this may also lead the accused to choose the court of his choice for seeking anticipatory bail. Forum shopping may become the order of the day as the accused would choose the most convenient court. This would also make the concept of territorial jurisdiction which is of importance under CrPC pale into insignificance. Therefore, in order to prevent the abuse process of a court by the accused, it is necessary for court to ascertain the territorial connection/proximity between accused and the territorial jurisdiction of court which is approached for such a relief. Such a link with territorial jurisdiction could be by way of place of residence or occupation, work or profession. By this, we imply that the accused cannot travel to another state only to seek anticipatory bail. There must be reasons to believe or an imminent apprehension of arrest for non bailable offence.”
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan was hearing an SLP against the judgment of Sessions Judge, Bangalore which had allowed the extraterritorial bail petition by the accused husband. Aggrieved by the same, the petitioner had approached the Apex Court in an SLP.
The Court began by tracing the origins of the word 'transit,' revealing that it is derived from the Latin word 'transitus,' signifying passage from one place to another.
Conditions For Transit Anticipatory Bail In FIRs Registered In Other States : #SupremeCourt Explainshttps://t.co/HBySTXFJAa pic.twitter.com/fqxaZ5stCZ— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) November 21, 2023
Conditions For Transit Anticipatory Bail In FIRs Registered In Other States : #SupremeCourt Explainshttps://t.co/HBySTXFJAa pic.twitter.com/fqxaZ5stCZ
Challenges in Cross-Jurisdictional Arrests: Need for transit remand
The issue is complicated in cases where the arrest is made beyond the place/jurisdiction where the offense is registered. The court acknowledged the power granted to the police under the CrPC to pursue an accused in other jurisdictions. Upon such arrest, the police has to secure a transit remand.
The Court observed, “Thus, the police is obligated to secure a transit remand of the accused for taking him from the place where he is arrested to the place where the crime is registered, for production before the competent magistrate in terms of the requirement of Article 22.”
Legal Innovation: 'Transit Anticipatory Bail' as a Remedial Measure
The judgment proposed 'transit anticipatory bail' as a necessary legal innovation to address the complexities arising from cross-jurisdictional arrests.
The court opined “From this from the aforesaid requirement of transit remand, has arisen the necessity of ‘transit anticipatory bail’ for, an affected person cannot be without a remedy.
Case title: Priya Indoria v. State of Karnataka
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 996
Click here to read the judgment