Del HC | No bail for an accused charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act where reasonable grounds for believing prima facie case exist

Delhi High Court: Siddharth Mridul, J. dismissed an appeal filed under Section 21(4) of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 assailing an order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge whereby the appellant’s bail application was rejected.

The appellant was standing trial under Sections 18, 18-B and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. M.S. Khan and Prashant Prakash, Advocates representing the appellant asserted that he was entitled to be released on bail ex debito justitiae. Per contra, Ravi Nayak, Assistant Public Prosecutor appeared for the State.

At the outset, the High Court observed that relevant provision of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in relation to grant of bail to an accused person is enunciated as a non-obstante clause, which clearly and unequivocally postulates: “if the Court is of the opinion that, there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against such person are prima facie true, he shall not be released on bail.” Further, the provision stipulates that the restrictions contained in Section 437 (1) CrPC, are also applicable.

The order on charge led the Court to an inescapable conclusion that of a prima facie involvement of the appellant in grave and serious offences which attract a sentence that may extend to imprisonment for life upon conviction. Furthermore, a perusal of the report under Section 173 CrPC filed against the appellant and the circumstance that he was declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ in the present proceedings, as well as, his propensity to furnish fabricated documents, suffice in our view to believe that, he represents a flight risk.

In such view of the matter, no interference with the impugned order was warranted, and consequently, the appeal was dismissed. [Syed Mohd. Zishan Ali v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2019 SCC OnLine Del 8396, decided on 29-04-2019]

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