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Anticipatory bail cannot be cancelled even if there is a lookout circular, read the orders

Supreme Court found the reasoning of High Court flawed and reversed the cancellation of anticipatory bail of a murder accused.
A bench of Justice Nariman and Justice Kaul has passed the order in case titled VIJAYAKUMAR vs THE INSPECTOR OF POLICE on 22.04.2019.

Petitioner had earlier approached the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail. The High Court granted him the required relief.

Then the victim approached the High Court with a miscellaneous application asking for cancellation of the anticipatory bail.

High Court noted “Today, when the matter was taken up for hearing, the learned Government counsel (Crl. side) submitted that final report was filed in this case on 07.07.2016 and the case has been taken up by the Committal Court in P.R.C.No.32 of 2016. It is also submitted that a look out circular has been issued against Vijayakumar / petitioner on 10.04.2018. The person against whom look out circular has been issued is obviously not entitled to seek the relief of anticipatory bail”.

High Court then opined “Therefore, it is thus seen that the grant of anticipatory bail in favour of Vijayakumar was vitiated as these relevant facts which were not taken into account. It is reiterated that a wrong submission was made by the prosecution that investigation is still going on. It has now been admitted that this a wrong statement. Charge sheet was filed as early as on 07.07.2016 and the matter is pending at P.R.C.No.32 of 2016, on the file of the Judicial Magistrate No.II, Ramanathapuram. The second circumstance is the pendency of look out circular against the petitioner that was issued on 10.04.2018”.

High Court then held “As already submitted a person against whom look out circular has been issued cannot invoke the jurisdiction available under Section 438 of Cr.P.C. Since both these aspects were not brought to the notice of this Court, anticipatory bail granted to the petitioner by this Court on 16.05.2018 in Crl.O.P.(MD).No.8155 of 2018 stands cancelled”.

Accused challenged the cancellation of anticipatory bail before the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court observed and held “Given the reasoning of the impugned judgment, we are of the view that anticipatory bail that was granted earlier ought not to have been cancelled. Accordingly, no coercive steps can be taken against the petitioner during the period of the trial. The Special Leave Petition stands disposed of accordingly”. (emphasis supplied).

Read the orders here:

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