Anticipatory Bail is a legal remedy in criminal law where a person can be released from custody before a trial or conviction. The person must apply for anticipatory bail in a court of law and provide reasons why they should be granted bail before arrest. The court will then determine whether to grant the bail and if so, under what conditions the person must comply with while on bail. The purpose of anticipatory bail is to prevent the person from being arrested, as well as to ensure that they will be available for trial.
In India, anticipatory bail is governed by Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The section lays down the conditions under which a court may grant anticipatory bail and the procedure to be followed.
An anticipatory bail can be sought by an accused person who has reason to believe that they may be arrested for a non-bailable offense. The purpose of anticipatory bail is to prevent the arrest of a person who may be falsely implicated in a crime or to protect the rights of a person who may be subjected to illegal detention or arrest.
When a person seeks anticipatory bail, the court examines the facts and circumstances of the case and considers factors such as the gravity of the offense, the evidence against the accused, and the likelihood of the accused absconding or tampering with evidence. If the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting anticipatory bail, it may issue an order directing the police to release the accused on bail if they are arrested for the offense in question.
The order for anticipatory bail is usually issued for a specific period, after which it may be extended or revoked. The court may also impose conditions on the accused, such as surrendering their passport, reporting to the police regularly, or not leaving the jurisdiction of the court without prior permission.
The grant of anticipatory bail is subject to the discretion of the court, and it is not a right guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. However, the court must exercise its discretion in a judicious and reasonable manner, keeping in mind the facts and circumstances of the case and the principles of natural justice.
In case the person is arrested despite the anticipatory bail granted then he has to be released on bail within a period of 24 hours.
It’s important to note that anticipatory bail is not applicable in certain situations such as:
· When the offense is of a heinous nature, like murder.
· When there is a likelihood of the accused tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses.
· When there is a likelihood of the accused committing a more serious offense while on bail.
· The grant of anticipatory bail is not a final acquittal of the accused, whereas it provides the accused with an opportunity to apply for regular bail after their arrest.
In conclusion, anticipatory bail is a useful tool to protect the rights of the accused and to prevent the abuse of police powers. It helps to prevent the arrest of innocent persons who may be falsely implicated in a crime. However, it’s not a guaranteed right and the court exercises its discretion in a judicious manner taking into account the facts of the case.