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High Courts Can Grant Protection To Accused While Dismissing Anticipatory Bail Plea In Exceptional Circumstances: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court observed that a High Court, while dismissing anticipatory bail applications, can issue protective orders only when there are exceptional circumstances. The bench headed by CJI Ramana also observed that such orders should explain the reasons for issuing such protection. “Even when the Court is not inclined to grant anticipatory bail to an accused, there may be circumstances where the High Court is of the opinion that it is necessary to protect the person apprehending arrest for some time, due to exceptional circumstances, until they surrender before the Trial Court. For example, the applicant may plead protection for some time as he/she is the primary caregiver or breadwinner of his/her family members, and needs to make arrangements for them. In such extraordinary circumstances, when a strict case for grant of anticipatory bail is not made out, and rather the investigating authority has made out a case for custodial investigation, it cannot be stated that the High Court has no power to ensure justice. It needs no mentioning, but this Court may also exercise its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to pass such an order.”, the bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose observed.

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