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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

granting interim protection from arrest, the Court would not go on to the extent of including the provision of anticipatory bail as a blanket provision. = in certain cases, the High Courts, while dismissing the application under Section 482 CrPC are passing orders that if the accused-petitioner surrenders before the trial magistrate, he shall be admitted to bail on such terms and conditions as deemed fit and appropriate to be imposed by the concerned Magistrate. Sometimes it is noticed that in a case where sessions trial is warranted, directions are issued that on surrendering before the concerned trial judge, the accused shall be enlarged on bail. Such directions would not commend acceptance in light of the ratio in Rashmi Rekha Thatoi (supra), Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia (supra), etc., for they neither come within the sweep of Article 226 of the Constitution of India nor Section 482 CrPC nor Section 438 CrPC. This Court in Ranjit Singh (supra) had observed that the sagacious saying “a stitch in time saves nine” may be an apposite reminder and this Court also painfully so stated. 25. Having reminded the same, presently we can only say that the types of orders like the present one, are totally unsustainable, for it is contrary to the aforesaid settled principles and judicial precedents. It is intellectual truancy to avoid the precedents and issue directions which are not in consonance with law. It is the duty of a Judge to sustain the judicial balance and not to think of an order which can cause trauma to the process of adjudication. It should be borne in mind that the culture of adjudication is stabilized when intellectual discipline is maintained and further when such discipline constantly keeps guard on the mind. 26. In view of the aforesaid premises, we allow the appeal, set aside the impugned order of the High Court and direct that the investigation shall proceed in accordance with law. Be it clarified that we have not expressed anything on any of the aspects alleged in the First Information Report.

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                     CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  1144  OF 2016
             (@ SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NO. 5478  OF 2015)


THE STATE OF TELANGANA                      …APPELLANT(S)


                             VERSUS


HABIB ABDULLAH JEELANI & ORS    …RESPONDENT(S)





                               J U D G M E N T

Dipak Misra, J.

      The seminal issue that arises for consideration  in  this  appeal,  by
special leave,  is  whether  the  High  Court  while  refusing  to  exercise
inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal  Procedure  (CrPC)
to interfere in an application  for  quashment  of  the  investigation,  can
restrain the investigating agency not to arrest the accused  persons  during
the course of investigation.
2.    The facts lie in a narrow compass.  On the basis of a  report  by  the
informant under Section 154 CrPC, FIR  No.  205/2014  dated  26.07.2014  was
registered at Chandrayanagutta Police Station, Hyderabad  for  the  offences
punishable under Sections 147, 148 149 and 307  of  the  Indian  Penal  Code
(IPC).  Challenging the initiation of criminal  action,  the  three  accused
persons, namely, accused Nos. 1, 2 and  5,  (respondent  Nos.  1,  2  and  3
herein)  invoked  inherent  jurisdiction  of  the  High  Court  in  Criminal
Petition No. 10012 of  2014  for  quashing  of  the  FIR  and  consequential
investigation. As the impugned order would show, the  learned  single  Judge
referred to the FIR and took note of the submissions of the learned  counsel
for the petitioners therein that all the allegations that  had  been  raised
in the FIR were false and they had been falsely  implicated  and  thereafter
expressed his disinclination to interfere on the  ground  that  it  was  not
appropriate to stay the investigation of the case. However, as a  submission
had been raised that the accused persons were innocent and  there  had  been
allegation of false implication, it  would  be  appropriate  to  direct  the
police  not  to  arrest  the  petitioners  during  the   pendency   of   the
investigation and, accordingly, it was so directed.
3.    It is  submitted  by  Mr.  Harin  P.  Raval,  learned  senior  counsel
appearing for the State that the informant had sustained  grievous  injuries
and was attacked by dangerous weapons and  custodial  interrogation  of  the
accused persons is absolutely essential. According to him,  the  High  Court
in exercise of inherent power under Section 482 CrPC can  quash  an  FIR  on
certain well known parameters but while declining  to  quash  the  same,  it
cannot extend the privilege to the accused persons which is  in  the  nature
of an anticipatory bail.  Learned  senior  counsel  would  submit  that  the
nature of the order passed by the High Court is absolutely  unknown  to  the
exercise of inherent jurisdiction under Section 482 CrPC and, therefore,  it
deserves to be axed.

4.    Ms. Nilofar Khan, learned counsel appearing for the respondent Nos.  1
to 3 in support of the order passed by the High  Court  submitted  that  the
custodial interrogation is not necessary in  the  facts  of  the  case.  She
would further submit that the plentitude of  power  conferred  on  the  High
Court under
Section 482 CrPC empowers it to pass  such  an  order  and  there  being  no
infirmity in the order, no interference is warranted  by this Court.
5.    The controversy compels one to visit the earlier decisions.  In   King
Emperor v. Khwaja Nazir Ahmad[1] while deliberating on the  scope  of  right
conferred on the police under Section 154 CrPC, Privy Council observed:-
“… so it  is  of  the  utmost  importance  that  the  judiciary  should  not
interfere with the police in matters which are  within  their  province  and
into which the law imposes upon them the duty of enquiry. In India,  as  has
been shown, there is a  statutory  right  on  the  part  of  the  police  to
investigate  the  circumstances  of  an  alleged  cognizable  crime  without
requiring any authority from the judicial  authorities,  and  it  would,  as
their Lordships think, be  an  unfortunate  result  if  it  should  be  held
possible to interfere with those statutory rights  by  an  exercise  of  the
inherent jurisdiction of the Court. The functions of the judiciary  and  the
police  are  complementary,  not  overlapping,  and   the   combination   of
individual liberty with a due observance of law and  order  is  only  to  be
obtained by leaving each to exercise its  own  function,  always  of  course
subject to the right of the Court to intervene in an appropriate  case  when
moved under Section 491 of the Criminal Procedure Code  to  give  directions
in the nature of habeas corpus. In such a case as the present, however,  the
Court's functions begin when a charge is preferred before it and  not  until
then.”


6.    Having stated  what  lies  within  the  domain  of  the  investigating
agency, it is essential to refer  to  the  Constitution  Bench  decision  in
Lalita Kumari v. Government of Uttar Pradesh and Ors[2]. The  question  that
arose for consideration before the Constitution Bench was whether “a  police
officer is bound to register a first information report upon  receiving  any
information relating to commission of a  cognizable  offence  under  Section
154 CrPC or the police officer has  the  power  to  conduct  a  ‘preliminary
inquiry’  in  order  to  test  the  veracity  of  such  information   before
registering the same”?  While  interpreting  Section  154  CrPC,  the  Court
addressing itself to various facets opined that Section 154(1)  CrPC  admits
of no  other  construction  but  the  literal  construction.  Thereafter  it
referred to the legislative intent of Section 154 which has been  elaborated
in State of Haryana and Ors. v. Bhajan Lal and  Ors.[3]  and  various  other
authorities.  Eventually the larger  Bench  opined  that  reasonableness  or
credibility of  the  information  is  not  a  condition  precedent  for  the
registration of a case. Thereafter there was advertence to  the  concept  of
preliminary inquiry. In that context, the Court opined thus:-

“103. It means that the number  of  FIRs  not  registered  is  approximately
equivalent to the number of FIRs actually registered. Keeping  in  view  the
NCRB  figures  that  show  that  about  60  lakh  cognizable  offences  were
registered in India during the year 2012, the burking of  crime  may  itself
be in the range of about 60 lakhs every year. Thus, it is seen that  such  a
large number of FIRs are  not  registered  every  year,  which  is  a  clear
violation of the rights of the victims of such a large number of crimes.

104. Burking of crime leads to dilution of the rule  of  law  in  the  short
run; and also has a very negative impact on the rule of law in the long  run
since  people  stop  having  respect  for  the  rule  of  law.  Thus,   non-
registration of such a large number of FIRs leads to a definite  lawlessness
in the society.

105. Therefore, reading Section 154 in any other  form  would  not  only  be
detrimental to the scheme of the Code but also to the society  as  a  whole.
It is thus seen that this Court  has  repeatedly  held  in  various  decided
cases that registration of FIR is mandatory if the information given to  the
police under  Section  154  of  the  Code  discloses  the  commission  of  a
cognizable offence.”


7.    While dealing with the likelihood of  misuse  of  the  provision,  the
Court ruled thus:-
“114. It is true that a delicate balance has to be  maintained  between  the
interest of the society and protecting the  liberty  of  an  individual.  As
already discussed above, there are already  sufficient  safeguards  provided
in the Code which duly protect the liberty  of  an  individual  in  case  of
registration of false FIR.  At  the  same  time,  Section  154  was  drafted
keeping in mind the interest of the victim and the  society.  Therefore,  we
are of the cogent view that mandatory registration  of  FIRs  under  Section
154 of the  Code  will  not  be  in  contravention  of  Article  21  of  the
Constitution as purported by various counsel.”


8.    The exceptions that were carved  out  pertain  to  medical  negligence
cases as has been stated in Jacob Mathew v. State of Punjab[4].   The  Court
also referred to the authorities in              P. Sirajuddin v.  State  of
Madras[5] and CBI v. Tapan Kumar Singh[6] and  finally  held  that  what  is
necessary is only that the information given to  the  police  must  disclose
the commission of a cognizable offence. In such  a  situation,  registration
of an FIR is mandatory. However, if no cognizable offence  is  made  out  in
the information given, then the FIR need not be registered  immediately  and
perhaps the police  can  conduct  a  sort  of  preliminary  verification  or
inquiry for the limited purpose of ascertaining as to whether  a  cognizable
offence has been committed. But, if the information given  clearly  mentions
the commission of a cognizable offence, there is  no  other  option  but  to
register an FIR forthwith. Other considerations  are  not  relevant  at  the
stage of registration of FIR, such as, whether the  information  is  falsely
given, whether the  information  is  genuine,  whether  the  information  is
credible, etc.  At the stage of registration of FIR, what is to be  seen  is
merely whether the information given ex facie discloses the commission of  a
cognizable offence.
9.    Be it noted,  certain  directions  were  issued  by  the  Constitution
Bench, which we think, are apt to be extracted:-

“120.5. The scope of preliminary inquiry is not to verify  the  veracity  or
otherwise of the information received but  only  to  ascertain  whether  the
information reveals any cognizable offence.

120.6. As to what type and in which  cases  preliminary  inquiry  is  to  be
conducted will depend on the facts  and  circumstances  of  each  case.  The
category of cases in which preliminary inquiry may be made are as under:

(a) Matrimonial disputes/family disputes
(b) Commercial offences
(c) Medical negligence cases
(d) Corruption cases
(e) Cases where  there  is  abnormal  delay/laches  in  initiating  criminal
prosecution, for example, over 3  months’  delay  in  reporting  the  matter
without satisfactorily explaining the reasons for delay.

The aforesaid are only illustrations and not exhaustive  of  all  conditions
which may warrant preliminary inquiry.

120.7. While ensuring and protecting the  rights  of  the  accused  and  the
complainant, a preliminary inquiry should be  made  time-bound  and  in  any
case it should not exceed 7 days. The fact of such delay and the  causes  of
it must be reflected in the General Diary entry.

120.8. Since the General Diary/Station Diary/Daily Diary is  the  record  of
all  information  received  in  a  police  station,  we  direct   that   all
information  relating  to  cognizable   offences,   whether   resulting   in
registration of FIR or leading  to  an  inquiry,  must  be  mandatorily  and
meticulously reflected in the said diary  and  the  decision  to  conduct  a
preliminary inquiry must also be reflected, as mentioned above.”


10.   We have copiously referred to the aforesaid  decision  for  the  simon
pure reason that at the instance of the informant the FIR was lodged and  it
was registered which is in accord with  the  decision  of  the  Constitution
Bench.
11.   Once an FIR is registered, the accused  persons  can  always  approach
the High  Court  under  Section  482  CrPC  or  under  Article  226  of  the
Constitution for quashing of the FIR.  In Bhajan Lal (supra)  the  two-Judge
Bench after referring to Hazari Lal  Gupta  v.  Rameshwar  Prasad[7],  Jehan
Singh  v.  Delhi  Administration[8],  Amar  Nath  v.  State  of  Haryana[9],
Kurukshetra University v. State of Haryana[10], State  of  Bihar  v.  J.A.C.
Saldanha[11], State of West Bengal v. Swapan Kumar  Guha[12],  Smt.  Nagawwa
v. Veeranna  Shivalingappa  Konjalgi[13],  Madhavrao  Jiwajirao  Scindia  v.
Sambhajirao Chandrojirao Angre[14], State of Bihar  v.  Murad  Ali  Khan[15]
and some other authorities that had dealt with the contours of  exercise  of
inherent  powers of the High  Court,  thought  it  appropriate  to   mention
certain category of cases by way of illustration wherein  the  extraordinary
power under Article 226 of the Constitution or inherent power under  Section
482 CrPC could be exercised either to prevent abuse of the  process  of  any
court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. The  Court  also  observed
that it may not be possible to lay down any  precise,  clearly  defined  and
sufficiently channelized and inflexible guidelines or rigid formulae and  to
give an exhaustive list  of  myriad  cases  wherein  such  power  should  be
exercised.  The illustrations given by the Court need to be  recapitulated:-

“(1) Where the allegations made in  the  first  information  report  or  the
complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in  their
entirety do not prima facie constitute  any  offence  or  make  out  a  case
against the accused.

(2) Where  the  allegations  in  the  first  information  report  and  other
materials, if any,  accompanying  the  FIR  do  not  disclose  a  cognizable
offence, justifying  an  investigation  by  police  officers  under  Section
156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the  purview
of Section 155(2) of the Code.

(3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR  or  complaint  and
the  evidence  collected  in  support  of  the  same  do  not  disclose  the
commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused.

(4) Where, the allegations  in  the  FIR  do  not  constitute  a  cognizable
offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence,  no  investigation  is
permitted  by  a  police  officer  without  an  order  of  a  Magistrate  as
contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code.

(5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint  are  so  absurd  and
inherently improbable on the basis of  which  no  prudent  person  can  ever
reach a just conclusion that  there  is  sufficient  ground  for  proceeding
against the accused.

(6) Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of  the  provisions
of the Code or the concerned Act  (under  which  a  criminal  proceeding  is
instituted) to the institution and continuance  of  the  proceedings  and/or
where there is a specific provision  in  the  Code  or  the  concerned  Act,
providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party.

(7) Where a criminal  proceeding  is  manifestly  attended  with  mala  fide
and/or where the proceeding  is  maliciously  instituted  with  an  ulterior
motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view  to  spite  him
due to private and personal grudge.”


      It is worthy to note that  the  Court  has  clarified  that  the  said
parameters  or  guidelines  are  not  exhaustive  but   only   illustrative.
Nevertheless, it throws light on  the  circumstances  and  situations  where
court’s inherent power can be exercised.
12.   There can be no dispute over the proposition that inherent power in  a
matter of quashment of FIR has to be exercised sparingly  and  with  caution
and when and only when such exercise is justified by the  test  specifically
laid down in the provision itself. There is no denial of the fact  that  the
power under Section 482 CrPC is very wide but it needs no  special  emphasis
to state that conferment of  wide  power  requires  the  court  to  be  more
cautious. It casts an onerous and more diligent duty on the Court.
13.   In this regard, it  would  be  seemly  to  reproduce  a  passage  from
Kurukshetra University (supra) wherein  Chandrachud,  J.  (as  His  Lordship
then was) opined thus:-

“2. It surprises us in the extreme that the High Court thought that  in  the
exercise of its inherent powers under Section 482 of the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure, it could quash a first information report.  The  police  had  not
even commenced investigation into the complaint filed by the Warden  of  the
University and no proceeding at all was pending in any  court  in  pursuance
of the FIR. It ought to be realised that inherent powers do  not  confer  an
arbitrary jurisdiction on the  High  Court  to  act  according  to  whim  or
caprice.  That  statutory  power  has  to  be  exercised   sparingly,   with
circumspection and in the rarest of rare cases.”

14.   We have referred to the said decisions only to stress upon the  issue,
how the exercise of jurisdiction by the High Court in a proceeding  relating
to quashment of FIR can be  justified.   We  repeat  even  at  the  cost  of
repetition that the said power has to be exercised in a very sparing  manner
and is not  to  be  used  to  choke  or  smother  the  prosecution  that  is
legitimate.  The surprise that was expressed  almost  four  decades  ago  in
Kurukshetra University’s case  compels  us  to  observe  that  we  are  also
surprised by the impugned order.
15.   In the instant case, the High Court has not  referred  to  allegations
made in the FIR or what has come out in the  investigation.   It  has  noted
and  correctly  that  the  investigation  is  in  progress  and  it  is  not
appropriate to stay the investigation of the case. It has  disposed  of  the
application under Section 482 CrPC and while  doing  that  it  has  directed
that the investigating agency shall not arrest the  accused  persons.   This
direction “amounts” to an order  under  Section  438  CrPC,  albeit  without
satisfaction of the conditions of  the  said  provision.   This  is  legally
unacceptable.
16.   To appreciate the nature of the order passed, it is necessary to  have
a survey of the authorities that deal with grant of anticipatory  bail.   In
Rashmi Rekha Thatoi and Anr.  v. State  of  Orissa  and  Ors.[16]  the  High
Court while rejecting the application for  anticipatory  bail  had  directed
that if the accused persons surrender, the trial  magistrate  shall  release
them on bail on such terms and conditions as he may  deem  fit  and  proper.
Analysing the scope of Section 438 CrPC as  expressed  by  the  Constitution
Bench   in  Gurbaksh  Singh  Sibbia  v.  State  of  Punjab[17]   and   other
decisions, the Court held thus:-
“33. We have referred to the aforesaid pronouncements to highlight  how  the
Constitution Bench  in  Gurbaksh  Singh  Sibbia  (supra)  had  analysed  and
explained the intrinsic underlying concepts under Section 438 of  the  Code,
the nature of orders to be passed while conferring the said  privilege,  the
conditions that are imposable and the discretions to be used by the  courts.
On a reading of the said  authoritative  pronouncement  and  the  principles
that have been culled out  in  Savitri  Agarwal[18]  there  is  remotely  no
indication that the Court of Session or the High Court  can  pass  an  order
that on surrendering of the  accused  before  the  Magistrate  he  shall  be
released on bail on such terms and conditions as the learned Magistrate  may
deem fit and proper or the superior court would impose conditions for  grant
of bail on such surrender. When the High  Court  in  categorical  terms  has
expressed the view that it is not inclined to  grant  anticipatory  bail  to
the petitioner-accused it could not  have  issued  such  a  direction  which
would tantamount to conferment of benefit by which the accused would  be  in
a position to avoid arrest.  It  is  in  clear  violation  of  the  language
employed in the statutory provision and in flagrant violation of the  dictum
laid down in Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia (supra) and the principles culled out  in
Savitri Agarwal (supra). It is clear as crystal the  court  cannot  issue  a
blanket order restraining arrest and it can only issue an interim order  and
the interim order must also conform to the requirement of  the  section  and
suitable conditions should be imposed.”


Elaborating further, the Court held:-
“36. In the case at hand the direction to admit the accused persons to  bail
on their surrendering has no sanction in law and, in fact,  creates  a  dent
in the sacrosanctity of law. It is contradictory in terms and law  does  not
countenance paradoxes. It gains respectability and  acceptability  when  its
solemnity is maintained. Passing such kind of orders  the  interest  of  the
collective at large and that of the individual victims is jeopardised.  That
apart, it curtails the power of the regular  court  dealing  with  the  bail
applications.

37. In this regard it is to be borne in mind that a court of law has to  act
within the statutory command and not deviate from it. It is  a  well-settled
proposition of law what cannot be done directly, cannot be done  indirectly.
While exercising a statutory power a court is bound to act within  the  four
corners thereof. The statutory exercise  of  power  stands  on  a  different
footing than exercise of power of judicial review. This has been  so  stated
in Bay Berry Apartments (P) Ltd. v.  Shobha[19]  and  U.P.  State  Brassware
Corpn. Ltd. v. Uday Narain Pandey[20].”


17.   In Ranjit Singh v. State of  Madhya  Pradesh  and  Ors.[21]  the  High
Court had directed that considering the nature of  the  allegation  and  the
evidence collected in the case-diary, the petitioner shall surrender  before
the competent court and shall apply for regular bail and the same  shall  be
considered  upon  furnishing  necessary  bail  bond.   The  said  order  was
challenged before  this  Court.  The  two-Judge  Bench  was  constrained  to
observe:-
“It is the duty of  the  superior  courts  to  follow  the  command  of  the
statutory provisions and be guided by the precedents  and  issue  directions
which are permissible in law. We are  of  the  convinced  opinion  that  the
observations made by the learned Single  Judge  while  dealing  with  second
application under Section 438 CrPC were  not  at  all  warranted  under  any
circumstance as it was neither in consonance with the language  employed  in
Section 438 CrPC nor in  accord  with  the  established  principles  of  law
relating to grant of anticipatory bail.  We  may  reiterate  that  the  said
order has been interpreted  by  this  Court  as  an  order  only  issuing  a
direction to the accused to  surrender,  but  as  we  find,  it  has  really
created colossal dilemma in the mind  of  the  learned  Additional  Sessions
Judge. We are pained to say that passing of these kind of orders has  become
quite frequent and the sagacious saying, “a stitch in time saves  nine”  may
be an apposite reminder now. We painfully part with the case by saying so.”

18.   At this juncture, we are obliged to refer  to  the  decision  in  Hema
Mishra v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors.[22] .  In the said  judgment,  the
Court was dealing with the power of the High Court of  Allahabad  pertaining
to grant of  pre-arrest  bail  in  exercise  of  extraordinary  or  inherent
jurisdiction and it is significant,  for  in  the  State  of  Uttar  Pradesh
Section 438 CrPC has been deleted by the State  Legislature.   Be  it  noted
that constitutional validity of the said deletion was challenged before  the
Constitution Bench in Kartar Singh v. State of  Punjab[23]  wherein  it  has
been held that deletion of the application of Section 438 CrPC in the  State
of Uttar Pradesh is constitutional. The Constitution Bench  has  ruled  held
that claim for pre-arrest protection is neither  a  statutory  nor  a  right
guaranteed under Article 14, Article 19 or Article 21  of  the  Constitution
of India.   The larger Bench has further observed thus:-
“368. (17) Though it cannot be said that the High Court has no  jurisdiction
to entertain an application for bail under Article 226 of  the  Constitution
and pass orders either way, relating to the cases under the 1987  Act,  that
power should be exercised sparingly, that too only in rare  and  appropriate
cases in extreme circumstances. But the judicial discipline  and  comity  of
courts require that the High  Courts  should  refrain  from  exercising  the
extraordinary jurisdiction in such matters.”


19.   The Allahabad High Court has taken similar view in several  judgments,
namely, Satya Pal v. State of U.P.[24], Ajeet Singh v.  State  of  U.P.[25],
Lalji Yadav v. State of U.P.[26], Kamlesh Singh v.  State  of  U.P.[27]  and
Natho Mal v. State of U.P.[28].
20.   In  Hema  Mishra  (supra)  the  Court  referred  to  the  decision  in
Amarawati v. State of U.P.[29]  which has been affirmed  by  this  Court  in
Lal Kamlendra Pratap Singh v. State of U.P.[30].   In Lal  Kamlendra  Pratap
Singh (supra) it has been held thus:-
“6. The learned counsel for the  appellant  apprehends  that  the  appellant
will be arrested as there is no  provision  for  anticipatory  bail  in  the
State of U.P. He placed reliance on a decision of the Allahabad  High  Court
in Amarawati v. State of U.P. (supra) in which a seven-Judge Full  Bench  of
the Allahabad High Court held that the court, if it deems fit in  the  facts
and circumstances  of  the  case,  may  grant  interim  bail  pending  final
disposal of the bail application. The Full Bench also observed  that  arrest
is not a must whenever an FIR of a cognizable offence is  lodged.  The  Full
Bench placed reliance on the decision of this Court  in  Joginder  Kumar  v.
State of U.P.[31]”


21.   After referring to the same, Radhakrishnan, J. opined thus:-
“I may, however, point out that there is  unanimity  in  the  view  that  in
spite of the fact that Section 438 has been specifically  omitted  and  made
inapplicable in the State of Uttar Pradesh,  still  a  party  aggrieved  can
invoke the  jurisdiction  of  the  High  Court  under  Article  226  of  the
Constitution of India, being extraordinary jurisdiction and the vastness  of
the powers naturally impose considerable responsibility in its  application.
All the same, the High Court  has  got  the  power  and  sometimes  duty  in
appropriate cases to grant reliefs, though it is not  possible  to  pinpoint
what are the appropriate cases, which have to be left to the wisdom  of  the
Court exercising powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.”

22.   Sikri, J. in his  concurring  opinion  stated  that  though  the  High
Courts have very wide powers under Article 226, the  very  vastness  of  the
powers imposes on it the responsibility to use them with circumspection  and
in  accordance  with  the  judicial   consideration   and   well-established
principles, so much so that while entertaining writ petitions  for  granting
interim protection from arrest, the Court would not go on to the  extent  of
including the provision of anticipatory bail as  a  blanket  provision.   It
has been further observed that  such  a  power  has  to  be  exercised  very
cautiously keeping in view,  at  the  same  time,  that  the  provisions  of
Article 226 are a device to advance justice and not  to  frustrate  it.  The
powers are, therefore, to be exercised to  prevent  miscarriage  of  justice
and to prevent abuse of process of law by the  authorities  indiscriminately
making pre-arrest of the accused persons. In entertaining  such  a  petition
under Article 226, the High Court is supposed to balance the two  interests.
On the one hand, the Court is to ensure that such a power under Article  226
is not to be exercised liberally so as to convert it into Section  438  CrPC
proceedings, keeping in  mind  that  when  this  provision  is  specifically
omitted in the State of Uttar Pradesh, it cannot  be  resorted  to  as  back
door entry via Article 226. On the  other  hand,  wherever  the  High  Court
finds that in a given case if  the  protection  against  pre-arrest  is  not
given, it would amount to gross miscarriage of justice and no case, at  all,
is made for arrest pending trial, the High Court would be free to grant  the
relief in the nature of anticipatory bail in exercise  of  its  power  under
Article 226 of the Constitution. Keeping in mind that this power has  to  be
exercised sparingly in those cases where  it  is  absolutely  warranted  and
justified.
23.   We have referred to the authority  in  Hema  Mishra  (supra)  as  that
specifically deals with the case that came from the State of  Uttar  Pradesh
where Section 438 CrPC has been deleted.  It has  concurred  with  the  view
expressed in  Lal  Kamlendra  Pratap  Singh  (supra).   The  said  decision,
needless to say, has to be read in the context of State  of  Uttar  Pradesh.
We do not intend to elaborate the said principle as that  is  not  necessary
in this case.  What needs to  be  stated  here  is  that  the  States  where
Section 438 CrPC has not been deleted and kept  on  the  statute  book,  the
High Court should be well advised that while  entertaining  petitions  under
Article 226 of the Constitution  or  Section  482  CrPC,  exercise  judicial
restraint.  We may hasten to clarify that  the  Court,  if  it  thinks  fit,
regard being had to  the  parameters  of  quashing  and  the  self-restraint
imposed by law,  has the jurisdiction to quash  the  investigation  and  may
pass appropriate interim orders as  thought  apposite  in  law,  but  it  is
absolutely inconceivable and unthinkable to pass an  order  of  the  present
nature while declining to interfere or expressing opinion  that  it  is  not
appropriate to stay  the  investigation.   This  kind  of  order  is  really
inappropriate and unseemly.  It has no sanction in law.  The  Courts  should
oust  and  obstruct  unscrupulous  litigants  from  invoking  the   inherent
jurisdiction of the Court on the drop of a hat  to file an  application  for
quashing of launching an FIR or investigation and  then seek  relief  by  an
interim order.  It is the obligation of the court to keep such  unprincipled
and unethical litigants at bay.
24.   It has come to the notice of the Court  that  in  certain  cases,  the
High Courts, while dismissing the application under  Section  482  CrPC  are
passing orders that if the accused-petitioner surrenders  before  the  trial
magistrate, he shall be admitted to bail on such  terms  and  conditions  as
deemed fit and appropriate  to  be  imposed  by  the  concerned  Magistrate.
Sometimes it is noticed that in a case where sessions  trial  is  warranted,
directions are issued  that  on  surrendering  before  the  concerned  trial
judge, the accused shall be enlarged on bail.   Such  directions  would  not
commend acceptance in light of the ratio in  Rashmi  Rekha  Thatoi  (supra),
Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia (supra), etc., for they neither come within the  sweep
of Article 226 of the  Constitution  of  India  nor  Section  482  CrPC  nor
Section 438 CrPC.  This Court in Ranjit Singh (supra) had observed that  the
sagacious saying “a stitch in time saves nine” may be an  apposite  reminder
and this Court also painfully so stated.
25.   Having reminded the same, presently we can only say that the types  of
orders like the present one, are totally unsustainable, for it  is  contrary
to  the  aforesaid  settled  principles  and  judicial  precedents.   It  is
intellectual truancy to avoid the precedents and issue directions which  are
not in consonance with law.  It is the  duty  of  a  Judge  to  sustain  the
judicial balance and not to think of an order which can cause trauma to  the
process of adjudication.  It should be borne in mind  that  the  culture  of
adjudication is stabilized when intellectual discipline  is  maintained  and
further when such discipline constantly keeps guard on the mind.
26.   In view of the aforesaid premises, we allow the appeal, set aside  the
impugned order of the High Court and direct  that  the  investigation  shall
proceed in accordance with law.  Be it clarified that we have not  expressed
anything on any of the aspects alleged in the First Information Report.



                                             .............................J.
                                                                      [Dipak
Misra]



                                             ............................ J.
                                [Amitava Roy]
New Delhi;
January 06, 2017
-----------------------
[1]    AIR 1945 PC 18
[2]    (2014) 2 SCC 1
[3]    AIR 1992 SC 604
[4]    (2005) 6 SCC 1
[5]    (1970) 1 SCC 595
[6]    (2003) 6 SCC 175
[7]     (1972) 1 SCC 452
[8]     AIR 1974 SC 1146
[9]     (1977) 4 SCC 137 : AIR 1977 SC 2185
[10]   (1977) 4 SCC 451 : AIR 1977 SC 2229
[11]   AIR 1980 SC 326
[12]   AIR 1982 SC 949
[13]   AIR 1976 SC 1947
[14]   (1988) 1 SCC 692 : AIR 1988 SC 709
[15]   (1988) 4 SCC 655 : AIR 1989 SC 1
[16]    (2012) 5 SCC 690
[17]    (1980) 2 SCC 565 : AIR 1980 SC 1632
[18]    (2009) 8 SCC 325
[19]   (2006) 13 SCC 737
[20]   (2006) 1 SCC 479
[21]   (2013) 16 SCC 797
[22]   (2014) 4 SCC 453
[23]   (1994) 3 SCC 569
[24]   2000 Cri LJ 569 (All)
[25]   2007 Cri LJ 170 (All)
[26]   1998 Cri LJ 2366 (All)
[27]   1997 Cri LJ 2705 (All)
[28]   1994 Cri LJ 1919 (All)
[29]   2005 Cri LJ 755 (All)
[30]   (2009) 4 SCC 437
[31]   (1994) 4 SCC 260


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