Petitioners can directly move High Court for Anticipatory Bail : Allahabad High Court

A five-judge bench of Allahabad High Court on Monday ruled it’s not mandatory to approach the sessions court first, before moving the High Court for anticipatory bail.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur, Justice Ramesh Sinha, Justice Sunita Agarwal, Justice Yashwant Verma & Justice Rahul Chaturvedi observed, “Section 438 of CrPC doesn’t mandate or require an individual to be relegated to the sessions court before being granted the right of audience before HC.” Now, a person can directly move High Court & file an anticipatory bail plea.

Those who move sessions court & their plea is rejected can appeal before High Court.

‘Case doesn’t merit any explanation’

The matter came up before a larger bench after reference by a single judge, disagreeing with the judgment passed in the case of one Vinod Kumar.

The five-judge bench was of view that “we would consequently answer the reference by holding that the decision in the Vinod Kumar case doesn’t merit reconsideration or explanation. There can be no exhaustive exposition of circumstances in which an applicant may be held entitled to approach the HC directly. The court would err in attempting to draw a uniform code ordictum that may guide the exercise of discretion vested in the court. The discretion left unfettered by the legislature must be recognised. The contingencies spelled out in Vinod Kumar case as illustrative of special circumstances may, where duly established, constitute the ground to petition HC directly.”

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