The Supreme Court has observed that mere inconvenience in the matter of approaching the court seeking permission to travel abroad cannot be a reason to dilute such condition imposed in an Anticipatory bail order.
The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Ravindra Bhat observed thus in an appeal filed by a victim's father against the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that diluted conditions in the anticipatory bail order by allowing an application filed by the accused.
In his application, the accused contended that he frequently travels abroad and the condition of having to secure prior permission was cumbersome and extremely inconvenient. Allowing his plea, the High Court modified the order and held that the accused is no longer under an obligation to seek permission to travel abroad, and directed him, instead to furnish an undertaking in writing before the Investigating Agency, that he would make himself available during the course of investigation or trial as and when required, apart from furnishing the details of his travel to the Investigating Officer including the place where he was likely to stay, the countries he proposed to visit, and the date of departure and return.
Disapproving the approach of the High Court, the Apex Court bench (in Barun Chandra Thakur vs. Ryan Augustine Pinto) observed that the condition should not have been deleted altogether. It said:
There could be no gainsaying to that the right to travel abroad is a valuable one and an integral part of the right to personal liberty. Equally, however, the pre-condition of securing prior permission before travelling abroad is a crucial ingredient which undoubtedly was engrafted as a condition for the grant of anticipatory bail in this case. Mere inconvenience in the matter of approaching the court, therefore- absent of any significant change of circumstances (i.e. framing of charges or no significant or serious material emerging during the trial, in the course of deposition of key witnesses, as to the role of the respondent), ought not to have led to dilution of the terms of the High Court's previous consistent orders. At best, the condition for seeking permission before travelling abroad could have been regulated, not deleted altogether.
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