0

Bar against anticipatory bail u/s 18 of the SC/ST Act could only be invoked if a prima facie case is made out: High Court of Delhi

High Court has inherent powers to grant pre-arrest bail in appropriate cases and bar against Anticipatory Bail under Section 18 of the SC/ST Act could only be invoked if a prima facie case is made out. Section 18 of the SC/ST Act bars anticipatory bail generally and only in such circumstances where it is prima facie shown that the Applicant had not committed an offence against the Complainant “knowingly” that the lady is from an SC/ST community, bail can be granted and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Chandra Dhari Singh in the case of JOY DEV NATH vs. STATE (NCT OF DELHI) [BAIL APPN. NO. 4511/2021] on 28.01.2022.

The facts of the case are that the Complainant was a divorced woman belonging to Scheduled Caste category and was living along with her daughter. The Petitioner used to regularly visit Complainant’s house and he continued to visit her even after her divorce. The Petitioner used to extort money from complainant by blackmailing her.

The present application has been filed on behalf of the petitioner praying anticipatory bail. He prayed that he was falsely implicated in the present case with a view to harass him.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the Petitioner has been falsely implicated in the present case. It is submitted that the Petitioner never abused or passed any casteist remarks against the Complainant in the public or otherwise. Hence no offence under SC/ST Act is made out against the Petitioner. There is also an extraordinary delay in lodging the instant FIR without any explanation and such an unexplained delay casts a prima facie doubt on the complaint itself, thereby entitling the Petitioner for Anticipatory Bail u/s 438 of the Cr.P.C.

According to facts and circumstances, Court disposed of the case on terms that as per the complaint filed by the complainant, the case does not make out prima facie case for the applicability of the provisions of SC/ST Act, therefore, the bar created by Sections 18 and 18A will also not be applicable.

The Court observed, “High Court has inherent powers to grant pre-arrest bail in appropriate cases and bar against Anticipatory Bail under Section 18 of the SC/ST Act could only be invoked if a prima facie case is made out. Section 18 of the SC/ST Act bars anticipatory bail generally and only in such circumstances where it is prima facie shown that the Applicant had not committed an offence against the Complainant “knowingly” that the lady is from an SC/ST community, bail can be granted.”

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