Case Name: Rajiv Narayan Singh v. The State of Bihar.
Judge Name: Justice Ashwani Kumar Singh
Counsel for Petitioner: Dr. Anjani Prasad
Counsel for the Opposite Party: Mr. Anil Prasad
Poor knowledge of the law and legal processes prevalent in certain parts of the country came to light in front of Patna High Court. Patna High Court found out that certain judges and lawyers in the state were not well versed with even basic procedural knowledge and understanding of the concept of bail and anticipatory bail.
Facts of the Case
The petitioner, in this case, moved an application for anticipatory bail or pre-arrest bail in front of the learned Session Judge, Sheikhpura. Petitioner feared that he will be arrested for committing offences under Section 341,323,342 and 504 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code. Offences under the above-mentioned section are Punishment for wrongful restraint, Punishment for causing for voluntarily causing hurt, Punishment for wrongful confinement, Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace and common intention. Interestingly, Sessions Court rejected his application not because it was not maintainable but because of the seriousness of offence and participation of the petitioner into the commission of the crime. Disturbed by the above decision of the Session’s Judge Petitioner moved to Patna High Court seeking same relief in the same offences.
The Decision of the Case
The matter came before learned Single Judge Justice Ashwini Kumar Singh. Counsel for the petitioner submitted that petitioner had no criminal record before this incident and is being framed in a false case. This is being done to ruin his career. Opposite party being represented by learned Additional Public Prosecutor responded by saying that anticipatory bail should not be granted because of the seriousness of the offence.
Learned Single Judge after considering the charges mentioned in FIR said that
“right to claim bail in the present case is absolute and indefeasible right. There is no question of discretion”
Instead of appearing before Magistrate Court and seeking bail, the lawyer went to Session judge seeking anticipatory bail and Session Judge instead of sending the matter to lower court rejected the anticipatory bail application of the petitioner. Court further said that
“The order speaks a volume about the casual manner in which the learned Session Judge is disposing of the bail matters. He ought to have rejected the application on the ground of its non-maintainability considering the provisions prescribed under Section 438(1) of the Cr.P.C”
Moreover, the court also slammed the lawyer presenting either party in the case and said that
“ ..lawyers assisting the court either for the petitioner or the prosecution are supposed to conduct the case responsibly. They have failed to do so in the courts below and also before this court. They are officers of the court. They have a duty towards both their clients and towards the court.”
Learning of the Case
From this case, we learn that bail is a matter of record in bailable offence and knowledge of the law and legal process is very poor in our country.