In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court has held that once anticipatory bail is given, “the protection should ordinarily be available till the end of the trial” to the person who is either apprehending arrest in a criminal case or has been named accused by the investigating agency.
A two-judge SC bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and K S Radhakrishnan made these observations while granting anticipatory bail to one Siddharam Mhetre, a Congress leader from Maharashtra named accused in a murder of a BJP leader.
Ruling out the view taken by some superior courts that anticipatory bail should be for a limited period of time, the bench has observed that such orders are not in consonance with the Criminal Procedure Code and a judgment of the Constitution Bench of the SC.
It is a general practice adopted by courts in India that the competent courts grant anticipatory bail for a stipulated time to a person who is apprehending arrest. And the person procures regular bail from the trial court if the investigating agency arrests him within the stipulated time. If that time expires, then the person has to either go for the extension of the anticipatory bail or to get it afresh.