Whether Sec 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 empowers to grant anticipatory bail by any High Court or Court of Sessions within the Country irrespective of the Place of Commission of Offence | High Court of J&K and Ladakh

High Court of J&K
Source: JK Legal Forum
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  • Post published:April 10, 2022
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The Bench of Justice Mohan Lal has observed that the High Court having the territorial/geographical limits where the offences are allegedly committed has the power/jurisdiction u/s 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure for granting anticipatory bail, and High Court of each State shall exercise its powers within the State without encroaching upon or interfering within the jurisdiction of other High Courts.

In the instant case, the applicant had sought interim anticipatory bail under Section 438 CRPC for enabling him to file regular anticipatory bail application before the High Court of Delhi as the offence was allegedly committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court of New Delhi.

It was the plea of the applicant the he is the sole proprietor of firm M/S T.S. Traders dealing in the purchase of Khairwood from the farmers of U.T. of J&K and supplying the same to the factories directly or through dealers outside the U.T. of J&K and due to failure of supply of raw material, the complainant has lodged the FIR under sections 420/406/506/120-B IPC against the applicant in Police Station Panchim Vihar, East New Delhi.

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The Counsel for the applicant vehemently insisted for grant of interim anticipatory bail dispensing notice to the other side/respondents, and strenuously argued, that the anticipatory bail can be granted by the High Court irrespective of the fact whether it has jurisdiction or not.

Observations of the Court:

At the outset the Court framed only one question for determination of the application:

Whether Sec. 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (hereinafter referred to as Code) empowers to grant anticipatory bail by any High Court or Court of Sessions within the Country irrespective of the place of commission of offence?

The Court after relying upon the judgment of the Culcutta High Court in Sailesh Jaiswal Vs. State of West Bengal and Ors observed that:

Ratio of Sailesh Jaiswal’s Judgment (Supra) makes the legal proposition abundantly clear, that the High Court having the territorial/geographical limits where the offences are allegedly committed has the power/jurisdiction u/s 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure for granting anticipatory bail, and High Court of each State shall exercise its powers within the State without encroaching upon or interfering within the jurisdiction of other High Courts.

Ratio of the judgment (Supra) squarely applies to the facts of the case in hand, wherein, FIR No. 1217/2021 u/ss 420/406/506/120-B IPC is allegedly registered in Police Station Panchim Vihar East New Delhi within the jurisdiction of High Court of Delhi.

The Court ultimately held that the High Court of Delhi only has the jurisdiction u/s 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure to entertain/grant bail to the applicant in hand and not the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

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Case Details:
TARSEEM SINGH SALARIA versus Union Territory of J&K
Bail App No. 118/2022
Coram: Justice Mohan Lal