Sunday 24 December 2023

Supreme Court lays down conditions for grant of transit anticipatory bail

 In view of what we have discussed above, we are of the view that considering the constitutional imperative of protecting a citizen's right to life, personal liberty and dignity, the High Court or the Court of Session could grant limited anticipatory bail in the form of an interim protection Under Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure in the interest of justice with respect to an FIR registered outside the territorial jurisdiction of the said Court, and subject to the following conditions:

(i) Prior to passing an order of limited anticipatory bail, the investigating officer and public prosecutor who are seized of the FIR shall be issued notice on the first date of the hearing, though the Court in an appropriate case would have the discretion to grant interim anticipatory bail.

(ii) The order of grant of limited anticipatory bail must record reasons as to why the Applicant apprehends an inter-state arrest and the impact of such grant of limited anticipatory bail or interim protection, as the case may be, on the status of the investigation.

(iii) The jurisdiction in which the cognizance of the offence has been taken does not exclude the said offence from the scope of anticipatory bail by way of a State Amendment to Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure.

(iv) The Applicant for anticipatory bail must satisfy the Court regarding his inability to seek anticipatory bail from the Court which has the territorial jurisdiction to take cognizance of the offence. The grounds raised by the Applicant may be -

a. a reasonable and immediate threat to life, personal liberty and bodily harm in the jurisdiction where the FIR is registered;

b. the apprehension of violation of right to liberty or impediments owing to arbitrariness;

c. the medical status/ disability of the person seeking extra- territorial limited anticipatory bail.

{Para 36}

37. It would be impossible to fully account for all exigent circumstances in which an order of extra territorial anticipatory bail may be imminently essential to safeguard the fundamental rights of the applicant. We reiterate that such power to grant extra-territorial anticipatory bail should be exercised in exceptional and compelling circumstances only which means where, denying transit anticipatory bail or interim protection to enable the Applicant to make an application Under Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure before a Court of competent jurisdiction would cause irremediable and irreversible prejudice to the applicant. The Court, while considering such an application for extra-territorial anticipatory bail, in case it deems fit may grant interim protection instead for a fixed period and direct the Applicant to make an application before a Court of competent jurisdiction.


Criminal Appeal Nos. ... of 2023 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos. 11423-11426 of 2023 (Arising out of Diary No. 7943 of 2023))

Decided On: 20.11.2023

Priya Indoria Vs. State of Karnataka and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

B.V. Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan, JJ.

Author: B.V. Nagarathna, J.

Citation:  MANU/SC/1246/2023.

Read full Judgment here: Click here

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