India court rules against anticipatory bail for individuals in custody for criminal cases
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India court rules against anticipatory bail for individuals in custody for criminal cases

The High Court of Rajasthan Monday held that an accused who is arrested and is in custody for any other criminal offence, whether it arises out of a similar or different offence, cannot be granted anticipatory bail.

The court discussed at length the issue of whether a person who is arrested in another case other than for which he had already been arrested can be granted anticipatory bail. It concluded that a person who is already in custody cannot have reasons to believe that he shall be arrested, as he was already arrested.

Once there is a First Information Report (FIR) against the accused in relation to an offence committed against any person, he cannot claim to be protected from offences which he may have committed with other persons who have their individual right of registering an FIR against such an accused. The accused is supposed to go through the process of criminal investigation and trial in relation to each and every case individually.

The court in its present judgment did not deal with the issue of whether the accused may be punished separately or jointly for other cases. However, the court decided that if a person is already in police or judicial custody, anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the CrPC cannot be granted. Hence, the bail application in the present case was dismissed by the court.

The court also observed that previously this issue regarding anticipatory bail has neither been addressed by the Supreme Court of India nor any other high court.