Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court: In a criminal appeal challenging the trial court’s order rejecting appellant’s anticipatory bail, a single-judge bench comprising of Vishal Dhagat, J., after observing that the Investigating Officer did not seek the appellants’ immediate arrest, disposed of the appeal with the direction to appellants to cooperate in the investigation, appear during the filing of the charge sheet, and appear before the Investigating Officer as required.

In the instant matter, the appellant filled the present first criminal appeal under Section 14-A(2) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act), challenging the trial court’s rejection of anticipatory bail for the appellants, who are facing charges under various Sections of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and the SC/ST Act.

The appellants asserted their innocence and claimed to be falsely implicated. It was argued that they did not abuse the complainant or disrupt government work. It was further contended that the complaint was lodged seven days after the alleged incident, suggesting it was an afterthought. The State opposed anticipatory bail, stating that notice under Section 41-A of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) has been issued to the appellants. The State argued that there is no imminent arrest, as the police do not intend to apprehend the appellants.

The Court observed that the appellants were given notice under Section 41-A of CrPC by the Investigating Officer, directing them to cooperate in the investigation. Considering the circumstances of the present case, the Court referred to Supreme Court’s directions in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, (2014) 8 SCC 273, emphasising the need to avoid unnecessary arrests. The Court concluded that since the Investigating Officer does not intend to arrest the appellants, filing the appeal for anticipatory bail is unnecessary.

The Court disposed of the appeal application and directed the Investigating Officer to comply with the directions issued in Arnesh Kumar (Supra) regarding arrests and bail. The appellants are instructed to appear before the trial court at the time of filing the charge sheet and to cooperate in the investigation. Non-cooperation may lead to action in accordance with the CrPC and Supreme Court’s directions.

[Brajesh Pandey v. State of M.P., CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 14156 of 2023, order dated 22-11-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Shri Manan Agrawal, Counsel for the Appellants

Shri D. K. Paroha, Govt. Advocate, Counsel for the Respondents

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