When there’s a reasonable apprehension of arrest then the person is entitled to approach the competent court of jurisdiction for relief : High Court of Meghalaya

When there’s a reasonable apprehension of arrest then the person is entitled to approach the competent court of jurisdiction for relief and if he/she abides by the guidelines, then an anticipatory bail can be granted as held by the High Court of Meghalaya by the learned bench lead by Justice W. Diengdohin the case of Mr. Hammed Balogun Vs. State of Meghalaya & Anr. (A.B No. 10 of 2021)

The brief facts of the case are that the Petitioner received a notice in connection with the said Dawki PS Case and had accordingly reported before the Dawki PS. After being questioned, he was allowed to leave the police station in the evening but was again directed to report before the said police station after three days and was threatened that next time he would be arrested. The Petitioner stated that he had been willingly cooperating with the investigation in all possible manner but due to the threat of arrest, he is apprehensive that he may be falsely implicated and arrested in the said Dawki PS case.

Mr. R. Gurung, learned counsel has submitted that the Petitioner was also involved in a case on an allegation that his visa was forged and that the trial in the said case is going on, however, he was since granted bail in the said case but all his documents such as passport and visa are in the custody of the Hon’ble Court. Petitioner keeps himself engaged by helping fellow Nigerians who are visiting Shillong with travel itinerary, etc. and gets paid for his services. In this manner, he had also helped one fellow Nigerian named Michael Okpeaifoh who had gone to Dawki. What the said Michael Okpeaifoh did at Dawki is not within his knowledge and has no connection with him and as such he cannot be implicated in any police case against Michael Okpeaifoh.

Mr. H. Abraham, learned GA on behalf of the State Respondent submitted that the conduct of the Petitioner herein in not responding to the direction of the police to appear before them, the second time he was called after having appeared before the Police on receipt of the notice u/s 41 Cr.PC and also the fact that he had received money from the wife of the said Michael Okpeaifoh who is the main accused in the said Dawki PS Case No. 16(6)2021 would make him liable for prosecution under the relevant provisions of law and as such, it is prayed that this application may not be allowed.

After hearing the learned counsel for the respective parties at length, the Hon’ble Court held, “While applying the above to the case of the Petitioner, it is apparent that he is not likely to abscond or flee from justice since he has his family at Shillong and that he has cooperated with the police by responding to the first notice issued to him u/s 41A Cr.PC also reflect on his antecedent. The nature and gravity of the allegation is also such that a heinous offence has not been committed by the Petitioner herein. This being the case, this Court is therefore inclined to allow the prayer of the Petitioner.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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