The scheme of Section 37 reveals that the exercise of power to grant bail is subject to the limitations contained under Section 439 of the CrPC: High Court of Tripura

The underlying object of Section 37 that in addition to the limitations provided under the CrPC, or any other law for the time being in force, regulating the grant of bail, was its liberal approach in the matter of bail under the NDPS Act was indeed uncalled for. Such an opinion was held by The Hon’ble High Court of Tripura before The Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.G. Chattopadhyay in the matter of Shri Bikash Ray Vs. The State of Tripura [A.B. No. 78 of 2021]. 

The facts of the case were associated with an application for granting a pre-arrest bail under section 438 Cr.P.C to the petitioner. It was reported that a similar application was submitted previously but was rejected. The Counsel representing the petitioner contended that no contraband item was found physically from the petitioner and thereby he urged the court for anticipatory bail to the petitioner. It was stated by the counsel, representing the petitioner that he was granted a pre-arrest bail on the same allegations by an order dated 20.08.2021. 

The Counsel for the opposition opposed the statements of the petitioner’s counsel and contended that according to the CDR reports, it was found that the petitioner was in regular touch with the carrier of the contraband and that he is the principal accused of this case. The counsel for the opposition also stated that according to the stringent parameters laid down by the Apex Court regarding bail under NDPS Act, the petitioner does not deserve pre-arrest bail in this case. 

The Hon’ble Court considering all the facts stated that “In view of the parameters laid down by the Apex Court in several judicial pronouncements for granting anticipatory bail particularly in NDPS cases and all other facts and circumstances of the case, this court is of the view that the benefit of custodial immunity by granting pre-arrest bail cannot be allowed to the accused in the present case. Therefore, his bail application stands rejected and in terms of the above, the matter is disposed of.”

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Judgment reviewed by Bipasha Kundu

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