No Inflexible guidelines or straitjacket formula can be provided for grant or refusal anticipatory bail: Manipur High Court

Frivolity in prosecution should still be considered, and if there is any uncertainty as to the genuineness of the prosecution, the victim is entitled to an application of anticipatory bail in the usual course of events. There should be no rigid rules or formulas for granting or refusing anticipatory bail. The judgment was passed by The High Court of Manipur in the matter of Ningthoujam Dijen Singh v. State of Manipur and Ors. [AB No.43 of 2020] by Division Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice Mr M.V. Muralidaran.

According to the facts of the case, the plaintiff filed a written complaint with the women’s police station, claiming that she was abducted by the petitioner Ningthoujam Dijen Singh and his friends numbered 7/8 from the backward way of Waikhom Mani Girl’s College in Thoubal. Following that, the petitioner threatened to kill her if she told her parents about the incident, and he raped her without her consent under the guise of marrying her.

The learned counsel for the petitioner said that the plaintiff and the appellant were in love and that the complaint was filed as a result of a dispute between the two families. He argued that both the petitioner and the complainant eloped to marry and that the petitioner never abducted the complainant. In reality, the petitioner and complainant’s elopement was well known to the complainant’s parents, who had agreed to their marriage. However, owing to a misunderstanding, the union was not completed, and the suit was filed 11 months after the elopement with false charges.

The learned counsel for the respondent contended that the petitioner kidnapped the complainant and threatened the complainant to be killed if she disclosed to her parents and raped the complainant without her consent and against her will. Hence, he strongly opposes the grant of anticipatory bail.

Relying on the supreme court judgment in the case of Bhadresh Bipinbhai Sheth V. State of Gujarat and anr. it was held 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 anticipatory bail. It should necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each in consonance with the legislative intention.”

While allowing the petition court held that “The law is well settled that anticipatory bail is not to be granted as a matter of rule and it has to be granted only when the Court is convinced that exceptional circumstances exist to resort to that extraordinary remedy. Presumption of innocence is a human right. No doubt, placing the burden of proof on the accused in certain circumstances may be permissible, but there cannot be a presumption of guilt to deprive a person of his liberty without an opportunity before an independent forum or Court. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”

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