Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
The Union government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court suggesting there was a trend of people accused in high-value economic offences approaching the Supreme Court directly — instead of an appropriate court — to get protection from arrest.
- In 44 such instances where economic offenders had approached SC, the court had granted relief to them, significantly affecting the ability of investigative agencies to go about their probes into these cases.
- Large-scale financial frauds, the accused were consciously not resorting to the remedy available under the law — applying to the court of sessions or high court for bail – under section 438 of the CrPC (criminal procedure code) or other statutory remedies.
- Instead they approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32 of the Constitution for protection from arrest by investigating agencies.
- The grounds cited for claiming such relief is usually that the constitutional validity of the special laws under which action is being taken against them, are under challenge.
Handling the situation
- The Government wanted SC to ask the petitioners to follow the prescribed legal route by appearing before the appropriate lower courts.
- The CJI has asked for a list of such cases heard by different benches and has listed the matter “along with other similar matters”.
- Under Indian criminal law, there is a provision for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
- This provision allows a person to seek bail in anticipation of an arrest on accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence.
- Anticipatory bail is a direction to release a person on bail, issued even before the person is arrested.
- It is only issued by the Sessions Court and High Court.
- When any person apprehends that there is a move to get him arrested on false or trumped up charges, or due to enmity with someone, or he fears that a false case is likely to be built up against him, he has the right to move for grant of bail in the event of his arrest, and the court may, if it thinks fit, direct that in the event of such arrest, he shall be released on bail.
-Source: Hindustan Times