Pak SC | Anticipatory bail: An extraordinary remedy in criminal law – Person seeking pre-arrest bail must demonstrate malafide intention in arrest

Pakistan Supreme Court: A Full Bench of Manzoor Ahmad Malik, Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, JJ. set aside an anticipatory bail order on the ground that pre-requisites for issuing such an order were not satisfied.

In the present case, the High Court of Lahore granted anticipatory bail to one Muhammad Akram who was required in a criminal case registered under Section 489-F of Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 upon failure of a bank cheque issued by him towards re-payment of loan. The learned judge confirmed ad-interim bail on the ground that respondent did not ‘misuse’ ad interim bail and that he was going to be released on post-arrest bail if at all, remitted into custody.

The Court opined that grant of pre-arrest bail is an extraordinary remedy in criminal jurisdiction; it is a diversion of the usual course of law, arrest in cognizable cases; protection to the innocent being hounded on trumped-up charges through abuse of process of law. Therefore, a person seeking judicial protection is required to reasonably demonstrate that intended arrest is calculated to humiliate him with taints of mala fide.

Reliance was placed on Hidayat Ullah Khan v. Crown, 1948 SCC OnLine Lah 20 wherein it was held that, anticipatory bail is granted to protect innocent beings from abuse of process of law, therefore a petitioner who sought anticipatory bail should have been able to demonstrate that intended arrest was with malafide intentions or abuse of process of law, wherein Court must not hesitate to rescue innocent. But in the case at hand, these situations were missing.

Thus, the impugned order was set aside as it was not in accordance with settled judicial principles and anticipatory bail granted to the private respondent was set aside.[Rana Abdul Khaliq v. State, 2019 SCC OnLine Pak SC 6, decided on 13-05-2019]

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