December 16, 2021:- The Bombay High Court has said that an accused can be granted anticipatory bail even if he is in jail for another offence. A Single-judge bench of Justice VG Bisht stressed that every case registered against the accused should be decided on the basis of their own merits.
While dealing with an anticipatory bail plea under section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) the court faced with the question- will the anticipatory bail application of an accused who has already been arrested and is in magisterial custody for other offences be maintained?
Justice VG Bisht started by mentioning that he was making exceptions to the proportion of Narendra Singh as he had different reasons.
"Its cardinal principle of law that every law is design to promote and further the ends of justice. Statutory interpretation, purpose and the spirit of the provision must be gathered from its intendment."
He said neither the CRPC nor any other law would prevent the court from deciding on an anticipatory bail application for someone already in custody for another offence. Restrictions may not be extended to include arrest for any other offence as it would be contrary to the purpose of the provision.
Referring to the principles laid down in Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia Vs State of Punjab, 1980 SC 70, barring or restricting the exercise of the power to grant anticipatory bail would not be maintainable if a person remained in the custody for similar offences.
The Judge opined that Narinderjit Singh Sahni and Another(Supra) on the maintenance of section 32 where relief was sought in the nature of section 438. Even so, the aforesaid judgement does not explicitly state that a person arrested for one offence cannot seek relief under section 438 of the CRPC for another offence simply because he has been arrested for another district offence.
In view of the above, it was decided that the accused has all the right, even if he is arrested in more than one case, has the right to proceed with every offence recorded against him irrespective of whether he is already in custody but for different offences. And another crime where he is already in custody must be decided on the basis of merit.
Tiasha Sinha Ray
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