The Supreme Court held that mere pendency of an application for anticipatory bail does not bar a trial court from issuing steps for proclamation against absconding accused under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Despite the charge sheet initially only including one accused, the Trial Court later found sufficient evidence to proceed against other accused for offences under Sections 341, 323 and 504 IPC. Despite efforts by the accused to seek anticipatory bail, the Trial Court proceeded with proceedings under Sections 82 and 83 Cr.PC, resulting in the dismissal of the bail application.

The Supreme Court had to determine that when an application seeking anticipatory bail filed by a person apprehending arrest was pending without any interim protection, whether initiation of proceeding for the issuance of proclamation under Section 82 CrPC would make that application worthy for further consideration on its own merits.

Justice C.T. Ravikumar and Justice Sanjay Kumar observed, “There can be no room for raising a contention that when an application is filed for anticipatory bail, it cannot be adjourned without passing an order of interim protection. A bare perusal of Section 438 (1), Cr.PC, would reveal that taking into consideration the factors enumerated thereunder the Court may either reject the application forthwith or issue an interim order for the grant of anticipatory bail.

Advocate Sachin Chopra represented the petitioner, while Advocate Praveen Mishra appeared for the respondent.

The accused had argued that “the well-nigh settled position of law in respect of pre-arrest bail as above, is inapplicable in a case where a person apprehending arrest has already filed an application seeking anticipatory bail and it is pending sans any interim orders and during its pendency if the Trial Court issues proclamation under Section 82, Cr.PC.

The State on the other hand submitted that the issuance of a non-bailable warrant and initiation of the proceedings under Section 82 Cr.PC was justiciable.

The Court explained that the issuance of a warrant for arrest and issuance of proclamation under Section 82 Cr.PC could be adopted as a ruse to escape its impact and consequences by filing successive applications for anticipatory bail.

The Court held that “in the absence of any interim order, pendency of an application for anticipatory bail shall not bar the Trial Court in issuing/proceeding with steps for proclamation and in taking steps under Section 83, Cr.PC, in accordance with law.

The Court further clarified that when a warrant of arrest or proclamation is issued, an applicant would not be entitled to invoke the extraordinary power of grant of anticipatory bail but “this will not deprive the power of the Court to grant pre-arrest bail in extreme, exceptional cases in the interest of justice.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

Cause Title: Srikant Upadhyay & Ors. v. State of Bihar & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 202)


Petitioner: Sr. Advocate Basant R; AOR Anand Shankar; Advocates Debashis Mukherjee, Param Nand, Kavinesh Rm and Onkar Nath

Respondent: AOR Prem Prakash and Abha R. Sharma; Advocates Anshul Narayan, Bhanwar Pal Singh Jadon, Susheel Tomar, Satya Prakash and Chetan Jadon

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