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Bombay HC Refers Issue of Transit Anticipatory Bail to Larger Bench

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Bombay High Court LAW INSIDER IN

Khushi Gupta

Published on: May 13, 2022 at 15:31 IST

A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court referred to a Larger Bench, the issue of whether a High Court or any other Court can grant Transit Anticipatory Bail to a person booked for an offence in another state.

The reference made by a Division Bench was prompted by a difference of opinion on the issue between the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) for the Union of India and the Advocate General (AG) for the state on one side and the Lawyers for the Petitioners.

While the Additional Solicitor General and the Advocate General submitted that in light of the observations made by a previous Bench of the High Court, a Court could not grant protection to an Offender beyond its Jurisdiction, the Counsel for the Petitioner argued that the Liberty and Freedom of an individual was of paramount importance.

Senior Counsel Amit Desai submitted that maintainability of an Anticipatory Bail application should not be decided on the basis of consideration of Territorial Jurisdiction.

“A reasonable apprehension of any person of his/her arrest should be the guiding factor and not the territorial jurisdiction,” he said.

The Advocates submitted that as there was a question on Constitutional and Statutory Rights, courts could merge both under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and grant not only Transit Bail but also Permanent Anticipatory Bail.

Though the High Court at its principal seat and the Aurangabad Bench granted the Transit Anticipatory Bail, they suggested that the issue needed to be clarified by a Larger Bench.