NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday favoured framing of some guidelines for regular bail after filing of charge sheet in criminal cases and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to give some suggestions.
The top court was hearing a plea of an accused who was not arrested during investigation of the case and was charge-sheeted by CBI in a corruption case.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M M Sundresh said, “in view of the submission in Court, it is deemed appropriate that some guidelines may be laid down so that the Courts are better guided and not troubled with the aspect of bail on charge sheet being filed”.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for CBI, said that he will submit certain suggested guidelines after deliberations with senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for one of the accused Satender Kumar Antil in the case.
The top court also made an interim direction passed on July 28 granting anticipatory bail as absolute after CBI counsel did not oppose it.
It listed the matter for further hearing on October 5 and refused a third party intervention in the present proceedings saying that the court is setting some legal principles and it would be appreciated if the intervenors give suggestions to the Additional Solicitor General on the issue.
On July 28, while granting interim protection from arrest to Antil, the top court had said, Prima facie, we cannot appreciate why in such a scenario is there a requirement for the petitioner being sent to custody.
Be that as it may, it will be appropriate to lay down some principles in this behalf.
It had said that a person’s custody may not be necessary after filing of charge sheet if he has remained out on bail during the investigation.
Antil’s counsel had earlier contended that his client was not in office when the incident took place but he had joined the investigation and a charge sheet has been.
He had said that Antil was not arrested and then there was no need to arrest him now.
The counsel had said that after the Court took cognizance of the charge sheet on January 20, 2021, he did not appear before the court and sought anticipatory bail.
“On his non-appearance, non-bailable warrants were issued on February 17, and the anticipatory bail application was dismissed,” he said.
The top court had asked the counsel as to why the petitioner did not appear after summons were sent in pursuance to cognizance being taken as logically, Antil ought to have appeared and applied for regular bail and there should have been no case for anticipatory bail at that stage.
The counsel replied that the system which is sought to be followed especially in the Uttar Pradesh is that even if a person is not arrested during investigation, on charge sheet being filed, more so, in such cases of CBI a person is sent to custody and thus, his appearance and applying for bail would have resulted in his being sent to custody.
The top court had then directed that the accused be not arrested and stayed execution of non-bailable warrants but had directed him to appear before the Court on the next date.
Antil was working as an assistant provident fund commissioner when he was accused last year of being a beneficiary of Rs 9 lakh bribe paid to an officer working under him.
The CBI filed the charge sheet in the case in October last year, which was taken cognizance this year in January.
Antil did not appear before the court and instead filed an anticipatory bail plea, which was rejected by the trial court.
A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him.