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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Supreme Court has issued guidelines on the question of granting bail to defendants who are not detained while the charge sheet is being filed.
  • The suggestions given by Additional Solicitor General SV Raja and Senior Advocate SidharthLuthra in this regard were approved by the Bench of Justices Sanjay KishanKaul and MM Sundresh.
  • The necessary conditions for this guideline to apply are
  1. Not being arrested during the investigation
  2. Participated in the investigation throughout, including appearing before the Investigating Officer whenever necessary.

CATEGORIES

  • The offences are divided into four categories, A to D, and the guidelines have been established without limiting the judges' power and bearing in mind the statutory rules, the statement said.
  • CATEGORY (A) - Offenses in this category are those that are punishable by a sentence of seven years or less in jail and do not fall into categories B or D. Both police and complaint cases are included in this category. The guidelines issued for this category are:
  • After filing of chargesheet/complaint taking of cognizance:

a)Ordinary summons at the 1st instance/including permitting appearance through Lawyer.
b) If such an accused does not appear despite service of summons, then Bailable Warrant for physical appearance may be issued.
c) NBW on failure to appear despite issuance of Bailable Warrant.
d) NBW may be cancelled or converted into a Bailable Warrant/Summons without insisting physical appearance of the accused, if such an application is moved on behalf of the accused before execution of the NBW on an undertaking of the accused to appear physically on the next date/s of hearing.

(fourth slide)
e) Bail applications of such accused on appearance may be decided w/o the accused being taken in physical custody or by granting interim bail till the bail application is decided.

  • CATEGORY (B) and (D) - Offenses under category (B) are those that are punishable by death, life imprisonment, or a sentence of more than 7 years in jail.
  • Economic offences not protected by Special Acts are classified as Category (D). For these offences, the accused must appear in court and submit a bail application, which will be decided on the grounds.
  • CATEGORY (C) - The same guidelines as Category B & D apply, with the addition of compliance with the provisions of Bail under NDPS S. 37, 45 PMLA, 212(6) Companies Act, 43 d(5) of UAPA, POSCO, etc.
  • The court also agreed with the suggestion that, while considering bail, the trial court is not prohibited from providing temporary bail based on the accused's conduct during the investigation that did not merit detention.
  • The court directed that a copy of this order be sent to the Registrars of several High Courts, who would then forward it to the trial courts, so that no superfluous bail proceedings arise before the courts.
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