Anticipatory bail plea can be filed from outside country: HC

The Kerala High Court has observed that an anticipatory bail petition can be filed by a person residing outside the country.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, while allowing the anticipatory bail plea by actor-producer Vijay Babu on Wednesday, pointed out that Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) did not contain a restrictive mandate that a person residing outside the country could not file an application for anticipatory bail. The only limitation was that prior to the final hearing, the applicant must be inside the country to enable the court to impose and enforce conditions contemplated under the statutory provisions.

The prosecution, while opposing the plea of the actor, submitted that the practice of filing applications for bail by a person sitting outside the country should not be entertained. The actor had filed his anticipatory bail application after going abroad.

The court observed that it was possible that a person could apprehend arrest even outside the country for an offence that occurred in India. With the advancement in investigative technology and communication, the various agencies of investigation could even be deployed to arrest a person outside the country.

An apprehension of arrest could arise even while the applicant was residing outside the country. Thus, when a bona fide apprehension existed, the statute conferred power on such a person to seek protection from arrest. The court cannot read into Section 438 of the CrPC such a restriction which the legislature did not incorporate, the court added.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2022 9:26:51 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/anticipatory-bail-plea-can-be-moved-from-outside-country-hc/article65553407.ece