Monday 12 June 2023

Can the police arrest an accused person who has been released on bail if subsequently serious offense is added against them?

  In Pradeep Ram v. State of Jharkhand And Anr. MANU/SC/0881/2019 : (2019) 17 SCC 326 called upon to deal with a situation where an Accused had been bailed out in a criminal case in which new offences were added subsequently and a question arose as to whether it would be necessary to cancel the bail granted earlier for taking the Accused in custody, a Division Bench of this Court took pains to examine the view taken by several High Courts including the High Courts of Rajasthan, Madras, Allahabad and Jammu and Kashmir as also the observations made by this Court in previous decisions on this aspect and held thus:

31. In view of the foregoing discussions, we arrive at the following conclusions in respect of a circumstance where after grant of bail to an Accused, further cognizable and non-bailable offences are added:

31.1. The Accused can surrender and apply for bail for newly added cognizable and non-bailable offences. In event of refusal of bail, the Accused can certainly be arrested.

31.2. The investigating agency can seek order from the court Under Section 437(5) or 439(2) Code of Criminal Procedure for arrest of the Accused and his custody.

31.3[Ed. : Para 31.3 corrected vide Official Letter dated 31-7-2020.]. The court, in exercise of power Under Section 437(5) or 439(2) Code of Criminal Procedure, can direct for taking into custody the Accused who has already been granted bail after cancellation of his bail. The court in exercise of power Under Section 437(5) as well as Section 439(2) can direct the person who has already been granted bail to be arrested and commit him to custody on addition of graver and non-bailable offences which may not be necessary always with order of cancelling of earlier bail.

31.4. In a case where an Accused has already been granted bail, the investigating authority on addition of an offence or offences may not proceed to arrest the Accused, but for arresting the Accused on such addition of offence or offences it needs to obtain an order to arrest the Accused from the court which had granted the bail. {Para 19}

20. As can be discerned from the observations made in Pradeep Ram (supra), addition of a serious offence can be a circumstance where a Court can direct that the Accused be arrested and committed to custody even though an order of bail was earlier granted in his favour in respect of the offences with which he was charged when his application for bail was considered and a favourable order was passed. The recourse available to an Accused in a situation where after grant of bail, further cognizable and non-bailable offences are added to the FIR, is for him to surrender and apply afresh for bail in respect of the newly added offences. The investigating agency is also entitled to move the Court for seeking the custody of the Accused by invoking the provisions of 437(5)16 and 439(2)17 Code of Criminal Procedure, falling under Chapter XXXIIII of the Statute that deals with provisions relating to bails and bonds. On such an application being moved, the Court that may have released the Accused on bail or the Appellate Court/superior Court in exercise of special powers conferred on it, can direct a person who has been released on bail earlier, to be arrested and taken into custody.


Criminal Appeals No. 822-823 of 2023 

Decided On: 17.03.2023

 X  Vs. The State of Maharashtra and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

A.S. Bopanna and Hima Kohli, JJ.

Author: Hima Kohli, J.

Citation: MANU/SC/0264/2023.

Read full Judgment here :Click here

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