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Transit Anticipatory Bail Across Jurisdictions

Context:

The Supreme Court of India, in the case of Priya Indoria vs State of Karnataka and Ors, 2023, ruled that a Sessions Court or the High Court in a state has the authority to grant transit anticipatory bail to an accused when an FIR is registered outside their jurisdiction. The ruling underscores the constitutional imperative of safeguarding citizens’ right to life and personal liberty, as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Transit Anticipatory Bail: SC Guidelines and Ruling
  2. Bail in India: Overview and Types

Transit Anticipatory Bail: SC Guidelines and Ruling

  • Definition: Transit anticipatory bail provides protection from arrest until the accused reaches a court with territorial jurisdiction for the alleged offense.
  • Legislation: The term is not explicitly defined in the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) or any other legislation.
  • Introduction: The Supreme Court introduced the concept in the 1998 case of State of Assam v. Brojen Gogol.
SC’s Ruling:
  • Granting Authority: High Court/Sessions Courts should grant transit anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the CrPC for FIRs outside their jurisdiction.
  • Reasoning: An absolute jurisdiction bar could lead to unjust consequences, especially for genuine applicants facing wrongful or politically motivated prosecution.
  • Preventing Abuse: Acknowledges the possibility of forum shopping and emphasizes a territorial connection between the accused and the court to prevent abuse.
Conditions for Interim Protection:
  • Mandatory Notice: Notice to the investigating officer and public prosecutor is mandatory during the first hearing.
  • Explicit Recording: The order must explicitly record reasons for anticipating an inter-state arrest and the potential impact on the investigation.
  • Satisfaction of the Court: The applicant must satisfy the court about their inability to seek anticipatory bail in the jurisdiction of the FIR.
  • Basis of Satisfaction: Reasons may include threats to life, concerns about arbitrariness, or medical issues.

Bail in India: Overview and Types

  • Bail: Conditional/provisional release of a person held under legal custody, pledging to appear in court as required. It involves a security/collateral deposited before the court for release.
  • Principle: In the Supt. and Remembrancer of Legal Affairs v. Amiya Kumar Roy Choudhry (1973) case, the Calcutta High Court explained the principle behind granting bail.
Types of Bail:

Regular Bail:

  • Direction by any court to release a person already under arrest and in police custody.
  • Application filed under Sections 437 and 439 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.

Interim Bail:

  • Temporary and short-term bail granted by the court while the application for Anticipatory Bail or Regular Bail is pending.

Anticipatory Bail or Pre-arrest Bail:

  • Legal provision allowing an accused to seek bail before arrest.
  • Granted under Section 438 of the CrPC.
  • Issued by Sessions Court and High Court.
  • Discretionary, considering the nature of the offense, antecedents of the accused, and other factors.
  • Conditions may be imposed, like surrendering the passport or reporting to the police regularly.

Statutory Bail:

  • Distinct from bail under regular CrPC sections.
  • Granted when the police or investigating agency fails to file a report/complaint within a specified time (Section 167(2) of the CrPC).

-Source: Indian Express


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