Recalling of warrant without presence of accused depends on facts, says court

Courts can entertain petitions to recall non-bailable arrest warrants (NBWs) without insisting on the presence of people against whom they had been issued, but it does not mean the practice should be followed invariably in all cases irrespective of the conduct of the person concerned, the Madras High Court Bench here has said.

Justice S. Vimala made the observation while rejecting the plea of Shanmugapandian, an accused in a criminal case, to direct the Valliyoor Judicial Magistrate in Tirunelveli district to recall an NBW without insisting upon his appearance.

The judge said the Magistrate could at most be directed to consider the plea for recall of warrant right on the day when the petitioner surrenders.

She pointed out that the Magistrate was constrained to issue the arrest warrant not only because the petitioner did not appear in the court on a particular day but also because he failed to file an application either under Section 317 or Section 205 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking the permission of the court to dispense with his appearance on that day.

However, now that the petitioner had given an undertaking to appear before the lower court regularly the judge said that his application for recall of the arrest warrant could be considered on the day of his surrender. Though the counsel for the accused cited a judgment passed by the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai in a similar case to drive home his point that presence of the accused was not a sine qua non for recalling arrest warrants, the judge said the ruling could not be applied universally to all cases without considering the facts and circumstances related to every case.

“That judgment (passed by the Principal Seat) is an authority for the proposition that petition to recall the warrant can be entertained without the personal presence of the accused but it is not an authority for the proposition that invariably under all circumstances, irrespective of the conduct of the accused, the proposition can be applied,” Ms. Justice Vimala said.

Court holds that a ruling regarding recall of non-bailable warrant cannot be applied universally

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 3:00:20 PM |

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