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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76371 Find in a Library
Title: Anticipatory Bail in India
Author(s): H C Goel
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: India
Annotation: A paper presented at the 54th International Seminar on Arrest and Pre-Trial Detention explores the laws governing police detention of suspected offenders and anticipatory bail in India.
Abstract: Arrest and interrogation of suspects in police custody for 24 hours without interposition of the courts was expressly authorized by the Indian Code of Criminal Procedures of 1898. While police power to arrest without warrant was retained after independence in 1950 for practical reasons, the new Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973 introduced the concept of anticipatory bail. This innovation was deemed necessary because of the growing number of cases in which influential persons attempted to implicate their rivals falsely to disgrace them or have them detained in jail. According to the anticipatory bail provision, the High Court or Court of Session can release a person who expects to be arrested without warrant for an offense not subject to bail if the nature of the accusation and the evidence, the potential punishment, and the unlikelihood of flight or commission of further crimes make such action acceptable. The released suspect must make himself available for police interrogation, must post a bond, must not threaten witnesses, and may not leave India without court permission. Two decisions of the Supreme Court have shown how the provision is to be interpreted. In the case of Balchand vs. the State of Madhya Pradesh, a businessman accused of illegal kerosene sales was released on anticipatory bail because the court found that there were not adequate grounds to support his guilt, which under the purportedly violated act made him eligible for anticipatory bail. In the case of Shri Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia and Others vs. the State of Punjab, the Supreme Court held that court discretion to grant anticipatory bail cannot be limited just because the crime is punishable with death or imprisonment or involves possible blatant corruption at the higher level of power. The law also provides safeguards against abuse of the anticipatory bail provision: the power to grant anticipatory bail is reserved to the higher judiciary, and the power can only be exercised after ample notice to the Public Prosecutor. Although the Metropolitan Police in Delhi feel that the anticipatory bail provision has hampered their ability to deal with habitual or dangerous offenders, the provision has spared a number of citizens the agony and humiliation of arrest and served to protect individual rights.
Index Term(s): Arrest and apprehension; Arrest warrants; Bail reform; Bail/Financial Release; India; Judicial discretion; Police legal limitations; Rights of the accused
Note: Paper presented at the 54th International Seminar on Arrest and Pre-Trial Detention, Toyko, Japan, February-March, 1980.
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