Assam & ANR Vs. R.K. Krishna Kumar & Ors, Saeed Kidwai & Ors 
INSC 801 (24 October 1997)
MUKHERJEE, K.T. THOMAS
APPEAL NO. 1005 OF 1997 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 3163 of 1997) WITH CRIMINAL
APPEAL NO. 1006 OF 1997 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 3262 of 1997)
of Assam and its Director General of Police
have filed these appeals challenging the orders of the Bombay High Court as per
which some officers of M/s Tata Tea Ltd.
are arrayed as respondents herein) were granted anticipatory bail facility. It
appears that those respondents are suspected to have given aid to militant
groups which have been banned under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act, 1967. Assam Police are wanting to interrogate all the
suspected persons, including the respondents, in connection with investigation
of the cases registered for the above crimes by the appellants.
moved the Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail and a learned Single Judge,
without even affording an opportunity to the appellants for a hearing directed
the appellants to release the respondents, if arrested, on bail of Rs. 10,000/-
each with one or two sureties of the like amount.
arguments have been raised by Shri K.T.S. Tulsi, learned counsel appearing for
the appellants, in challenge of the impugned orders. Learned counsel appearing
for the respondents, while arguing in reply to the appellants' contention did
not dispute that Government of Assam or the Director General of Police of the
State of Assam were not heard, in spite of they being made parties in each of
the applications for anticipatory bail.
to Shri Tulsi, only the Courts of Session in Assam and High Court of Guwahati have jurisdiction to entertain
the applications for anticipatory bail in respect of the activities alleged
against the respondents vis-a-vis the two banned organizations because all such
crimes were committed within the territorial limits of the State of Assam.
not think it necessary to decide whether Bombay High Court has jurisdiction to
entertain the applications filed by the respondents. All the same, the question
of granting anticipatory bail to any person who is allegedly connected with the
offences in question must for all practical purposes be considered by the High
Court of Guwahati within whose territorial jurisdiction such activities should
have been perpetrated. In view of the conceded position that appellants were
not heard by the High Court we set aside the impugned orders on that ground
applicants are to be disposed of after hearing the appellants also. For that
purpose we order that the applications for anticipatory bail filed by the
respondents would stand transferred to the High Court of Guwahati where those
applications would be heard by a Division Bench of that High Court and
appropriate orders be passed thereon. We request of Chief Justice of High Court
of Guwahati to allot these cases to a Division bench to hear the applications,
preferably on 4.11.1997.
order to avoid conflicting decisions and opinions, we think it necessary that
all future petitions for anticipatory bail made by any one in common or related
matters referring to such activities committed within the territorial limits of
Guwahati High Court shall be heard only by the same Division Bench. We further
direct that no such application for anticipatory bail shall be entertained by
any court other than the Division Bench of the High Court of Guwahati indicated
as on today will be maintained by the appellants vis-a-vis the respondents
herein till 7.11.1997 which is necessary to enable the Division Bench of the
High Court of Guwahati to pass appropriate orders on the applications filed by
direct the Registry to take immediate steps to ensure that the applications
filed by the respondents for anticipatory bail in Bombay High Court are despatched
to Guwahati High Court so as to reach there on or before 3.11.1997.
appeals are thus disposed of.