Anticipatory bail does not automatically end when the charge sheet is filed: SC

The Supreme Court has reiterated that once the Court grants anticipatory bail, it doesn’t automatically end when the charge sheet is filed.

In the instant case, Allahabad High Court ruled that the Trial Court’s anticipatory bail ended when the police filed the charge sheet and ordered the accused to surrender and apply for regular bail.

Before the Supreme Court, the accused challenged the aforementioned order and placed reliance on Sushila Agarwal & Ors vs NCT of Delhi and argued that no principle of law stated that anticipatory bail ends when a charge sheet is filed. The State opposed this contention and contended that Sushila Agarwal judgement was pronounced after Allahabad High Court passed the impugned order.

Hon’ble Apex Court observed that Sushila Agarwal judgment reads that if an accused is granted relief u/s 438, it doesn’t mean that when a charge sheet is filed, the accused has to surrender file an application for regular bail.

The Court opined that the duration of anticipatory bail doesn’t end when charges are framed, or the accused is summoned by Court but can continue till the end of the trial. 

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However, the Court can limit the tenure of anticipatory bail if there are peculiar or special circumstances that necessitate such a step.

Lastly, the Court ruled that the High Court erred while ruling that anticipatory bail would end when the charge sheet is filed and allowed the instant appeal.

However, the Bench clarified that the parties could approach the trial court to get the anticipatory bail cancelled.

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