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Indefinite Adjournment Of Anticipatory Bail Plea, That Too After Admitting It, Detrimental To Personal Liberty : Supreme Court

Srishti Ojha
27 Feb 2022 9:30 AM GMT
Indefinite Adjournment Of Anticipatory Bail Plea, That Too After Admitting It, Detrimental To Personal Liberty : Supreme Court
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"When an application for anticipatory bail was listed before the learned Single Judge, which was also accompanied by an application for ad-interim relief, the learned Judge should have decided the same one way or the other, so far as the ad-interim prayer or should have taken up for consideration after giving some reasonable time to the Stat."

The Supreme Court has disapproved the course adopted by the Chhattisgarh High Court in admitting an anticipatory bail application with a further direction to list in due course, without considering an application seeking interim protection.While disapproving the course adopted as a matter of procedure, a Bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli observed that...

The Supreme Court has disapproved the course adopted by the Chhattisgarh High Court in admitting an anticipatory bail application with a further direction to list in due course, without considering an application seeking interim protection.

While disapproving the course adopted as a matter of procedure, a Bench comprising CJI NV Ramana, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hima Kohli observed that when an application for anticipatory bail was listed before the High Court , accompanied by an application for ad-interim relief, the Judge should have decided the same one way or the other, so far as the ad-interim prayer or should have taken up for consideration after giving some reasonable time to the State.

According to the Bench, even if admitted, the Judge should have listed the same for final disposal on a specific date, keeping in view the nature of relief sought in the matter.

In the present special leave petition, the main grievance of the petitioner was that the High Court merely admitted the anticipatory bail application filed by him with a further direction to list in due course, but did not consider his I.A. seeking interim protection during pendency of the bail application although co-accused in the same FIR has been granted interim protection from arrest till the final disposal of application for anticipatory bail by the High Court.

The Supreme Court has taken the view that this type of indefinite adjournment in a matter relating to anticipatory bail, that too after admitting it, is detrimental to the valuable right of a person.

"When an application for anticipatory bail was listed before the learned Single Judge, which was also accompanied by an application for ad-interim relief, the learned Judge should have decided the same one way or the other, so far as the ad-interim prayer or should have taken up for consideration after giving some reasonable time to the State. Even if admitted, the learned Judge should have listed the same for final disposal on a specific date, keeping in view the nature of relief sought in the matter. Not giving any specific date, particularly in a matter relating to anticipatory bail, is not a procedure which can be countenanced"
"We are of the considered view that this type of indefinite adjournment in a matter relating to anticipatory bail, that too after admitting it, is detrimental to the valuable right of a person. We make it clear that we have not adverted to the merits involved in the case since it is premature for us to do so at this stage. However, having noted the manner in which the learned Single Judge has dealt with the matter we find it necessary to emphasize that when a person is before the Court and that too in a matter involving personal liberty, least what is expected is for such a person to be given the result one way or the other, based on the merit of his case and not push him to a position of uncertainty or be condemned without being heard, when it matters".

Without adverting to the merits involved in the case, the Bench emphasised that when a person is before the Court and that too in a matter involving personal liberty, least what is expected is for such a person to be given the result one way or the other, based on the merit of his case and not push him to a position of uncertainty or be condemned without being heard, when it matters.

The Bench therefore requested the Single Judge of the High Court to dispose of the anticipatory bail application, expeditiously and preferably within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the present order.

While asking the Court to consider the IA for interim relief on its own merits, the Bench has granted interim protection from arrest to the petitioner, and has clarified that this shall not influence the view to be taken by the Single Judge on merits

Case Title: Rajesh Seth v State of Chhattisgarh , SLP( Crl) 1247/2022

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 223


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