In the circumstance of the investigation going in the right way and limited allegations levelled against petitioners, if the anticipatory bail is granted to the petitioners, no prejudice would be caused either to the victim or the prosecution. This was said in the case of Thokchom Thai Singh vs The Officer-In-Charge [AB No.2,3 of 2021] by Mr. Justice M.V. Muralidaran in The High Court Of Manipur
The facts of the case are that a petition has been filed by the petitioners under Section 438 Cr.P.C. seeking to grant anticipatory bail in connection with an FIR registered under Section 376, 366-A, 417 IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act
The petitioners contended that the names of the petitioners do not appear in the FIR, however, the police personnel came to house for causing arrest. Secondly, it was contended that there is no material on record to show that the petitioners involved in the commission of the crime alleged in the FIR. Thirdly, it was contended that the petitioners are law abiding citizens and they are always ready and willing to co-operate with the investigating officer of the case and that there is no question of hampering or tampering the prosecution witnesses and/or evidence when they are released on bail. It was further contended that based on the statement of the victim, the respondent police is trying to implicate the petitioners in this case.
Per contra, the respondents contended that the investigation so far done reveals that the petitioners had indeed participated in the commission of the crime and since the investigation is in full swing, the petitioners cannot be granted anticipatory bail. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor further contended that since the allegations levelled against the petitioners are serious in nature, their petitions must be dismissed
The Court referred to the case of Bhadresh Bipinbhai Sheth v. State of Gujarat and another [(2016) 1 SCC 152] wherein it was said that “frivolity in prosecution should always be considered and in the event of there being some doubt as to the genuineness of the prosecution, in the normal course of events, the accused is entitled to an order of anticipatory bail. No inflexible guidelines or straitjacket formula can be provided for grant or refusal of anticipatory bail. It should necessarily depend on facts and circumstances of each case in consonance with the legislative intention”.
The Court after perusing the materials available on record in the light of the above judgment opined that, “Though the offence alleged in the instant case is grave in nature, which includes the offence under Section 4 of the POCSO Act, the petitioners were not named in the FIR. It is an admitted case that the petitioners herein have helped the accused for elopement. Since the allegations levelled against the petitioners are limited in nature of helping the accused and prima facie the said act of the petitioners would not attract the commission of offence under the POCSO Act in respect of the petitioners, in the interest of justice they are entitled to get the anticipatory bail”. Hence, the petition was allowed.