0

The warrants either bailable or non-bailable should never be issued by Courts without proper scrutiny of facts and complete application of mind: High Court of Delhi

The attendance of the accused respondent can be best secured by issuing a bailable warrant or non bailable warrant and it is a matter which rests entirely in the discretion of the court. Although, the discretion is exercised judiciously, it is not possible to Computerize and reduce into immutable formulae on the basis of which this discretion is exercised. The issuance of non-bailable warrants involves interference with personal liberty, Arrest and imprisonment means deprivation of the most precious right of an individual. Therefore, the courts have to be extremely careful. These were stated by High Court of Delhi consisting, Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar in the case of Afzal Ahmed vs. State [CRL.M.C. 176/2022] on 24.01.2022.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner could not appear before the trial court timely and at 11.30 am the trial court issued non bailable warrants against the petitioner and also forfeited the bonds. The petitioner at around 12.30 pm appeared before the trial court, and moved an application for cancellation of his warrants on the ground that he got late because his motorcycle went out of order, so he could not reach the court on time. Non-appearance of the petitioner on time was neither intentional nor deliberate, however he was diligent and has moved the application for cancellation of warrants on the very same day in pre-lunch session. Further, the petitioner was taken into custody by the learned trial court. Therefore, a petition was filed by the petitioner under Section 482 Cr.P.C. seeking cancellation of NBWs issued against the petitioner and for setting aside of the impugned order.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that warrants were issued by the trial court during the early hours of morning, and that the petitioner moved the application for cancellation of warrants on the same very day, shows his bonafide. He further submitted that non-bailable warrants should not be issued casually and mechanically as the same involves interference with the personal liberty of an individual.

The Counsel for the respondent submitted that two police witnesses were present on the said date, and because of non-appearance of the accused-petitioner the witnesses had to be sent back unexamined. It was submitted by the witnesses that they couldn’t wait further as they had to attend their duties. As two witnesses were present in the morning and they could not be examined due to non-appearance of accused, it was contended that his non-appearance appeared intentional.

The High Court of Delhi held that the attendance of the accused respondent can be best secured by issuing a bailable warrant or non bailable warrant and it is a matter which rests entirely in the discretion of the court. Although, the discretion is exercised judiciously, it is not possible to Computerize and reduce into immutable formulae the diverse considerations on the basis of which this discretion is exercised. Broadly speaking, the court would take into account the various factors such as the nature and seriousness of the offence, the character of the evidence, and circumstances peculiar to the accused, possibility of his absconding, larger interest of the public and the State. The issuance of non-bailable warrants involves interference with personal liberty, Arrest and imprisonment means deprivation of the most precious right of an individual. Therefore, the courts have to be extremely careful. The warrants either bailable or non bailable should never be issued without proper scrutiny of facts and complete application of mind, due to the extremely serious consequences and ramifications which ensue on issuance of warrants. The Court, by keeping in view the totality of facts and circumstances application moved by the petitioner did not find favour with the learned trial court resulting in its dismissal on the very same day and petitioner was taken into custody, therefore, it was held that the impugned order in these circumstances cannot be sustained and was accordingly set aside.

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by Shristi Suman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat