Singh Vs. State of Rajasthan & Ors  INSC 9 (12 January 1987)
M.P. (J) Thakkar, M.P. (J) Ray, B.C. (J)
1987 AIR 737 1987 SCR (1) 979 1987 SCC (1) 466 JT 1987 (1) 141 1987 SCALE (1)66
of Criminal Procedure, 1973: s.438--Anticipatory bail--When not to be granted.
the matter regarding the unnatural death of the daughter in-law at the house of
her father-in-law was still under investigation the High Court grunted
anticipatory bail to the accused in disregard of the magnitude and seriousness
of the matter.
to the filing of the appeal by special leave by the father of the deceased the
investigation had been concluded by the police and challan filed, and the
accused were released on bail by the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
the appeal as infructuous, the Court,
The High Court was under no compulsion to exercise its jurisdiction to grant
anticipatory bail in a matter of this nature. [980D] The appropriate course to
adopt was to allow the con- cerned Magistrate to deal with the case on the
basis of the material before him at the point of time of accused's arrest in
case they were arrested. It was, therefore, neither prudent nor proper for the
High Court to have granted antic- ipatory bail which order was very likely to
occasion preju- dice by its very nature and timing. [980B-D]
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal Appeal No. 22 of 1987.
the Judgment and Order dated 29.10.1986 of the Rajasthan High Court in Crl. M.B.A.
No. 1395/86 Gopal Subramaniam, A.M. Garg and R. Venkataramani for the
Bhandari for the Respondents.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by THAKKAR, J. The widespread belief
that dowry deaths are even now treated with some casualness at all levels seems
to be well grounded. The High Court has granted anticipatory bail in such a
matter. We are of the opinion that the High Court should not have exercised its
jurisdiction to release the accused on anticipatory bail in disregard of the magni-
tude and seriousness of the matter. The matter regarding the unnatural death of
the daughter-in-law at the house of her father-in-law was still under
investigation and the appro- priate course to adopt was to allow the concerned
Magistrate to deal with the same on the basis of the material before the Court
at the point of time of their arrest in case they were arrested. It was neither
prudent nor proper for the High Court to have granted anticipatory bail which
order was very likely to occasion prejudice by its very nature and timing. We
therefore consider it essential to sound a seri- ous note of caution for
future. The High Court is under no compulsion to exercise its jurisdiction to
grant anticipato- ry bail in a matter of this nature. So far as the present
matter is concerned, since it has become infructuous, we do not propose to pass
any order. Subject to these observa- tions, the appeal is dismissed.