The Supreme Court has observed that High Court does not have the power to direct investigation to be conducted in a particular manner even under Articles 226 or 482 of the Constitution of India.

The Bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Vikram Nath remarked that whether bail is to be granted is solely within the discretion of the High Court and thus observed –

"However, directing the investigating agency to conclude the investigation by a particular date and after that date directing automatic release of the appellant, in our view would be to abdicate the function of the High Court to decide the question as to whether the applicant before it was entitled to grant of bail on merits or not."

The Appellant-State approached the Apex Court assailing the order of the Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court wherein the High Court had observed –

"Considering the above submissions, we direct that whatever further investigation is to be carried out, must be completed by 31st October, 2022 after expiry of which the petitioner shall automatically be released on the following terms and conditions."

Advocate Sunil Fernandes appeared for the Appellant while Advocate Ardhendu Mauli Prasad appeared for the Respondent before the Court.

The Apex Court while referring to the above direction of the High Court observed that such a direction is unknown to the law as held in the case of M.C. Abraham and Anr. v. State of Maharashtra & Anr. reported in 2003(3) SCC 649.

The Court thus observed, "The High Court even under Articles 226 and 482 of the Constitution of India does not have the power to direct the investigation to be conducted in a particular manner."

Accordingly, the Court allowed the appeals and quashed and set aside the directions of the High Court.

The Court however held that the Respondent would be entitled to file an application for bail.

Cause Title – State of West Bengal v. Sandip Biswas

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