SC: Grant of Anticipatory Bail does not Automatically Entitle Accused to Regular Bail


April 06, 2018

Case name: Satpal Singh v. The State of Punjab


Date of Judgement: march 27, 2018

In the case, the Appellant approached the Supreme Court against High Court’s order, whereby the Court had rejected his anticipatory bail application. The Appellant had been accused for offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act). The High Court had rejected the Appellant anticipatory bail application under Section 438 of CrPC  on the ground that Section 37 of NDPS Act  stated that offences under the NDPS Act are cognizable and non-bailable. Here it would be relevant to mention that co-ordinate Bench of the High Court in the case had granted anticipatory bail to the appellant earlier.

Also read All you Need to Know about Bail Application in India.

One of the main issue that arose in the case was that when the application for anticipatory bail was the subject matter before the High Court, the Appellant approached the Sessions Court to seek regular bail.

The Three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court while upholding the High Court’s view, noted that:

  • The protection under Section 438 of CrPC is available to the accused only till the court summons the accused based on the charge sheet. On such appearance, the accused has to seek regular bail under Section 439 CrPC  and that application has to be considered by the Court on its own merits.
  • That merely because an accused was under the protection of anticipatory bail granted under Section 438 of CrPC that does not mean that he is automatically entitled to regular bail under Section 439 CrPC .
  • That the satisfaction of the court for granting protection under Section 438 of CrPC is different from the one under Section 439 CrPC while considering regular bail.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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