The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Refusal of bail no signal for arrest: SC

New Delhi, Jan. 5 (PTI): The Supreme Court has held that rejection of an anticipatory bail plea need not result in the arrest of a person, which would depend on the facts and circumstances of the case.

A bench of Justices N. Santosh Hegde and B.P. Singh gave the ruling while allowing appeals by some of the directors of the Maharashtra Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Bombay High Court had ordered the arrest of the directors after rejecting their anticipatory bail pleas.

“The mere fact that the bail applications of some of the appellants had been rejected is no ground for directing their immediate arrest,” Justice Singh said.

The provident fund commissioner had lodged a complaint against the directors of the sick unit. A public interest litigation alleged that police were not properly investigating the complaint.

The high court said the only course open to the police was to arrest them. It then put on notice the police commissioners of Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune, saying failure to arrest the directors would warrant the personal appearance of the police chiefs before the court.

The apex court, setting aside the high court judgment, said: “A person whose petition for grant of anticipatory bail has been rejected may or may not be arrested by the investigating officer.”

Justice Singh said the arrest of a person would depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, the nature of the offence, the background of the accused, the facts disclosed in the course of investigation and other relevant considerations.

“In the very nature of things, a person may move the court on mere apprehension that he may be arrested. The court may or may not grant anticipatory bail, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case and the material placed before it,” Singh said.

He observed that there could be cases where anticipatory bail was denied, but not enough evidence was found after investigation against the accused to put him on trial.

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