The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) has delivered 16 directives for its High Court Division regarding granting anticipatory bail, saying that accused of the cases involving grave offences like murder and rape will not be granted anticipatory bail.
The HC can grant anticipatory bail in only exceptional cases but not for more than eight weeks to the accused and such bail will not continue after submission of charge sheet of the case, the apex court said in a full text of its verdict which was released recently.
“The anticipatory bail granted by the court should ordinary be continued not more than eight weeks and shall not continue after submission of charge sheet, and the same must not be in connection with non-bailable offence,” the SC said in its verdict.
A seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain has delivered the verdict following 31 separate leave-to-appeal petitions filed by the government challenging the HC orders granting anticipatory bail to several BNP leaders and high profile persons including its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Barrister Mainul Hosein in different criminal cases.
The apex court had announced the verdict on April 18 this year saying that the leave-to-appeal petitions are disposed of. The full text of the verdict was released recently.
In the full text of the verdict, the appellate division has directed the accused persons to appear before the lower courts concerned in two weeks from the date of receiving copy of the judgement by the lower courts and to approach the respective courts for their regular bail.
The lower courts concerned shall consider their prayers for regular bail in accordance with law and facts of the respective cases if those are so made, the SC said.
In the directives, the apex court said the anticipatory bail being an extra ordinary privilege, should be granted only in exceptional cases.
The SC said while enlarging an accused on anticipatory bail, the court must direct the applicant to cooperate with the investigating officer in every step of holding proper investigation if the same is needed.
“The court granting anticipatory bail will be at liberty to cancel the bail if a case for cancellation of bail is otherwise made out by the state or compliant,” it said.
The appellate division in the verdict said that a condition must be imposed that the applicant shall not make any inducement or threat to the witnesses for tampering the evidence of the occurrence.
“The apprehension that the accused is in a position to influence, include or coerce witnesses to desist from furnishing relevant information to the investigating agency cannot be considered to be imaginary and the court ought to have considered that aspect seriously before granting anticipatory bail,” it said.
It also said, “A balance has to be struck between two factors, namely, no prejudice should be caused to free, fair and through investigation and there should be prevention of harassment, humiliation and unjustified detention of the accused”.