In this case, the accused filed a bail petition before the High Court. The accused was charged under the Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The Court granted interim bail to the petitioner, as he was not eligible for a normal or instant bail. Thus, the Court allowed the petition until it was of the view that his custody was necessary.
Facts of the case
The petitioner was accused of caste discrimination. He was found fleeing his arrest after an FIR was filed against him by the respondent, on 27.6.2020. The charges against the petitioner were under Sections 3(1)(s), 3(1) (za)(C) of the above-mentioned Act. The charges filed against the petitioner were non-bailable offenses. Not only this, but the petitioner also surrendered himself to the court. Thereafter, he prayed for bail.
Sections 18 and 18A of the Act restrict an accused charged from filing an anticipatory bail. The accused person, who apprehends an arrest file for an anticipatory bail petition.
Also, the Court had not yet acquired the status report of the case. The prima facie status was that the accused was not eligible for normal bail. It said that once the Court has received the status report, it can look into the facts of the case. After determining the details, the Court can grant normal bail. The petitioner, however, prayed for interim bail until the Court acquires the status report. The petitioner prayed that the Court could later look into the possibility of a normal bail. The provision for interim bail falls under Section 439 of the CrPC.
Arguments before the Court
The petitioner argued the accusations made against him were false and baseless. He claimed that the case was fictional, and not true. Moreover, he stated that he deserved bail on the above grounds. The petitioner assured the Court that he will abide by all the orders of the Court. Further, he assured the Court that he would cooperate with the investigation.
The Petitioner was a permanent resident of the village. This happens to be the place where the crime was allegedly committed. He assured the Court that due to these reasons, he will not elope again. The learned Advocate General for the respondent (state) waived the service of notice.
Observations made by the Court
The Court observed that there may be more charges under the SC/ST Act in the FIR. The Court stated that the petitioner may not be aware of these charges, under which he can be accused. Moreover, the Court noted that the petitioner’s custody will not serve any purpose. Hence, the Court opined that it required the status report for further determination. The Court also mentioned the need to gather the respondent’s response.
The court deemed the granting of interim bail as fit for the petitioner.
The Court agreed to grant interim bail to the petitioner. This would be valid until it received information about the potential custody of the petitioner.
Further, the petitioner has to follow the orders of the Court. The Court stated he cannot disturb or try to manipulate the investigation. He has to cooperate with the investigation. Also, he should not hamper any evidence or threaten or influence any witnesses. Thus, the Court granted bail.
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