Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: While considering an anticipatory bail application concerning an FIR registered in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh; the Bench of Sanjay Dhar, J., deliberated on the issue that whether this High Court, under S. 438, CrPC, has the jurisdiction to grant bail in a case that has been registered beyond its local limits of jurisdiction. It was held that this Court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain and decide the instant bail application which relates to an FIR that has been registered beyond this Court’s local limits, even though the accused/petitioner may be residing within the jurisdiction of this Court.  

Background and Contentions- As per the facts, petitioner No. 1 and the complainant had entered into wedlock in 2013 and out of this marriage, a son was born. However, things turned sour and an FIR against the petitioners (the husband and in-laws of the complainant) was lodged in Madhya Pradesh alleging commission of offences under S. 498-A of IPC.  

The counsel appearing for the petitioners argued that they are entitled to the grant of anticipatory bail as the Supreme Court has time and again emphasised that in cases of matrimonial offences, arrest of an accused should not be made as a matter of course. 

Observations and Conclusion: Perusing the facts and the contentions, the Court first noted that the FIR itself has been registered at a place which lies beyond the jurisdiction of this Court. Secondly, the Bench observed that a similar issue was raised and answered by this Court in Mohan Singh Parihar v. Commissioner of Police, 1982 SCC OnLine J&K 35 in which it was held that the High Court has no jurisdiction to grant anticipatory bail to a person against whom a case has been registered with a police station which is situated outside the local limits of its jurisdiction under the Code. 

With the aforementioned observations and reference, Sanjay Dhar, J., noted that the petitioners in the instant case, are not seeking transit bail but are seeking bail in anticipation of their arrest on a permanent basis. He however, based on the above stated precedent, concluded that this High Court lacks jurisdiction to grant bail in anticipation, despite the fact that the petitioners are residing in the jurisdiction of this Court.   

[Nasir Ahmad Wani v. Police Station, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 452 decided on 03-06-2022] 

Appearing for the petitioners- S.T. Hussian, Senior Advocate and Ms. Nida, Advocate 

†Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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