Getting an anticipatory bail is not a fundamental right: Punjab and Haryana HC
An application was filled in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by a person who was involved in a case under Narcotics and Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,1985.
But the HC of Punjab and Haryana dismissed the application by clearly stating that right to get anticipatory bail is not a fundamental right. It was also observed by Justice Rajbir Sehrawat that the power of court to to grant pre arrest bail is an extraordinary power, it is not even available in some parts of the country, and even if available in the entire country it is only available for some offences under special statues. When the court said it is not available in some parts of the country it referred to the state of UP where the anticipatory bail provision has been omitted earlier during emergency and was only re inserted recently.
In his judgment he stated that no doubt an individual has right to life and liberty under article 21 of the Indian constitution but the same right can be curtailed by procedure established by law. And this procedure allows the Investigating Officer to arrest an accused even without warrants and the without interference of the court in the interest of justice and for administration of criminal justice. The extra ordinary power is given to the court under section 438 of CrPc to prevent any harassment that the accused have to face at the hands of authorities when the prima facie case reveals innocence of the accused.
While giving this decision the court relied on the arguments that while looking at the police file the report contained incriminating material that can also lead to some positive connection in the case. Therefore the court dismissed the petition and observed that it found no reason or ground to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner.