Archive for the 'Anticipatory Bail' Category

SC Explains Anticipatory Bail – 2009

This judgment is a must read for anyone fearing an arrest in India for any reason. Most of the times, the Indian lawyers don’t know jack about what an anticipatory bail is. One such luminary is a lawyer from the state of Andhra Pradesh, a professed 498A fighter, who famously remarked that a 498a case is an automatic arrest warrant !!

Jackass !!

In 498A cases, the moment you get an anticipatory bail, the police are eliminated as  a factor and you’ve pretty much won the most difficult part of this fight.

Here is one important point to be kept in mind with regard to anticipatory bail:

The filing of First Information Report (FIR) is not a condition precedent to the exercise of power under Section 438. The imminence of a likely arrest   founded on a reasonable belief can be shown to exist even if an FIR is not yet filed.

Here is the coverage from The Hindu

The Supreme Court of India explains the meaning of Anticipatory Bail and lays the conditions for granting it. Here are the 9 guidelines as laid down by a constitution bench, which the  Courts are required to keep in mind while dealing with an application  for grant of anticipatory bail:

i)    Though the power conferred under Section 438 of  the Code can be described as of an extraordinary  character, but this does not justify the conclusion that the power must be exercised in exceptional  cases only because it is of an extraordinary  character. Nonetheless, the discretion under the  Section has to be exercised with due care and circumspection depending on circumstances  justifying its exercise.

ii)   Before power under sub-section (1) of Section 438  of the Code is exercised, the Court must be        satisfied that the applicant invoking the provision  has reason to believe that he is likely to be arrested  for a non-bailable offence and that belief must be  founded on reasonable grounds. Mere “fear” is not  belief, for which reason, it is not enough for the  applicant to show that he has some sort of vague  apprehension that some one is going to make an  accusation against him, in pursuance of which he  may be arrested. The grounds on which the belief of  the applicant is based that he may be arrested for a  non-bailable offence, must be capable of being  examined by the Court objectively. Specific events  and facts must be disclosed by the applicant in  order to enable the Court to judge of the reasonableness of his belief, the existence of which  is the sine qua non of the exercise of power  conferred by the Section.

iii)  The observations made in Balchand Jain’s case  (supra), regarding the nature of the power conferred  by Section 438 and regarding the question whether the conditions mentioned in Section 437 should be  read into Section 438 cannot be treated as conclusive on the point. There is no warrant for  reading into Section 438, the conditions subject to  which bail can be granted under Section 437(1) of  the Code and therefore, anticipatory bail cannot be  refused in respect of offences like criminal breach of  trust for the mere reason that the punishment provided for is imprisonment for life. Circumstances  may broadly justify the grant of bail in such cases  too, though of course, the Court is free to refuse anticipatory bail in any case if there is material  before it justifying such refusal.

iv)   No blanket order of bail should be passed and the  Court which grants anticipatory bail must take care  to specify the offence or the offences in respect of  which alone the order will be effective. While  granting relief under Section 438(1) of the Code,  appropriate conditions can be imposed under        Section 438(2) so as to ensure an uninterrupted  investigation. One such condition can even be that  in the event of the police making out a case of a likely discovery under Section 27 of the Evidence  Act, the person released on bail shall be liable to be  taken in police custody for facilitating the recovery.  Otherwise, such an order can become a charter of lawlessness and a weapon to stifle prompt investigation into offences which could not possibly be predicated when the order was passed.

v)    The filing of First Information Report (FIR) is not a condition precedent to the exercise of power under Section 438. The imminence of a likely arrest  founded on a reasonable belief can be shown to exist even if an FIR is not yet filed.

vi)   An anticipatory bail can be granted even after an FIR is filed so long as the applicant has not been arrested.

vii)  The provisions of Section 438 cannot be invoked after the arrest of the accused. After arrest, the accused must seek his remedy under Section 437 or Section 439 of the Code, if he wants to be released on bail in respect of the offence or offences for which he is arrested.

viii) An interim bail order can be passed under Section 438 of the Code without notice to the Public Prosecutor but notice should be issued to the Public Prosecutor or to the Government advocate forthwith and the question of bail should be re-examined in the light of respective contentions of the parties.  The ad-interim order too must conform to the requirements of the Section and suitable conditions    should be imposed on the applicant even at that stage.

ix)   Though it is not necessary that the operation of an order passed under Section 438(1) of the Code be limited in point of time but the Court may, if there are reasons for doing so, limit the operation of the order to a short period until after the filing of FIR in respect of the matter covered by the order. The applicant may, in such cases, be directed to obtain an order of bail under Section 437 or 439 of the Code within a reasonable short period after the filing of the FIR.

Here is the judgment:



Justice Dhingra Denies 498A Anticipatory Bail

If any moron accuses this judge of being biased or being anti-women, then he/she should read this order.

Here is the order denying anticipatory bail application: Justice Dhingra Denies 498A Anticipatory Bail


The Ashish Marwah Bail Order

Ashish and his family are among the multitude of Indians against whom the law is being used to settle scores. Fortunately, it looks like the courts are taking note of this.

I am posting his bail order where the magistrate specifically says, and I quote:

“During the course of arguments I find that each of the accused/applicants are ready and willing to settle the matter but it is only the applicant/wife who is adamant. She wants to ensure that each of the accused/applicant must go to jail.”

The bail order is in pdf form. It is a little grainy and hard to read and I had to sharpen it. It is 400Kb in size.

Here is the Ashish Marwah bail order: Ashish Marwah Bail Order (pdf)

Here is a Hi Res jpg if the pdf has problems (270Kb):

Ashish Marwah Hi Res

Here is the same bail order in jpg format 90Kb in size:

Ashish Marwah-JPG


Madras HC: No Time Frame For AB

-UNI 18 July 2007


The Madras High Court has held that an order of anticipatory bail should not be limited to a particular period of time.
The full bench, comprising Mr Justices R Balasubramanyam, S K Krishnan and R Raghupathy, passed the order on a matter referred to it by the Chief Justice, through an administrative order on June 26, 2007.
The full bench was appointed to hear a case in which two persons, Sudhakaran and Palani Kumar, approached the Madurai bench of Madras High Court to get anticipatory bail. A single judge had granted anticipatory bail, but only for a limited
The Madurai Bar had argued before the single judge that if the court decided to grant anticipatory bail, it should do so without limiting the
The single judge had pointed out the conflict in the Supreme Court judgement on whether the court had the power to grant anticipatory bail for a limited period or not. He had asked the Registry to present the papers before the Chief Justice. The matter was first referred to a Division Bench and later to the full Bench.
The full bench observed that the Supreme Court held conflicting views on the matter and pointed out the Apex Court observation that as per the law of precedence, if a High Court faced conflicting views, it should follow the opinion expressed by the larger Bench.
It also referred to the Constitutional Bench judgement in the case of one Gurupaksh Singh, in which it was held that the operation of the order should not be limited to a particular period of time.


A Guide To Indian Laws

Here is the link: A Guide To Indian Laws

Also some other links:


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Some Interesting Stats On Arrests Of Women

In 1930, the British govt arrested 17,000 women for their involvement in the Dandi Yatra (Salt March). During 1937 to 1947 (10 Years), they arrested 5,000 women involved in the freedom struggle. From 2004 to 2006, the govt of India arrested 90,000 women of all ages under 498A. On the average, 27,000 women per year are being arrested under this flawed law. These are stats from the NCRB.

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The family of the writer was tortured by the Indian Police in an attempt to extort over a $100,000 by holding them in custody for over a week. The police, in cahoots with the magistrate and the PP, did this due to the ridiculous allegations made in a 498A case by his embittered ex-wife. She filed the case years after he and his family had last seen her. Thousands of 498A cases are filed each year in India by women seeking to wreak vengeance on their husbands and in-laws. Enormous sums are extorted from intimidated families implicated in these cases by corrupt Indian police officers and elements of the Indian judiciary. The author and his family haven't bribed any public official nor have they given in to the extortion. This blog aims to raise awareness of due process in India. The content of this blog constitutes, opinions, observations, and publicly available documents. The intent is not to slander or defame anyone or any institution and is the manifestation of the author's right to freedom of expression – with all the protections this right guarantees.

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