Himachal Pradesh HC :SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act does not restrict the Practice of accused surrendering and getting Interim Bail under section 439

The Himachal Pradesh High Court has held that an accused under Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, resorting to Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure and surrendering before Sessions Court or High Court and simultaneously obtaining ad-interim bail does not amount to bypassing the restrictions placed in Section 18 and 18-A of the Act.

“The interim bail is neither in contradiction to the judicial precedents nor obstructs Justice’s path. Thus, resorting to S. 439 CrPC and surrendering before Sessions Court or High Court and simultaneously obtaining ad-interim bail does not amount to bypassing the restrictions placed in S. 18 and 18-A of SCSTPOA. This practice of the accused surrendering and getting interim bail cannot be said to override the legislative intention of restraining the anticipatory bail to the violators of the SCSTPOA.”, the court observed.

The judge observed that, in the absence of any riders or restrictions under S. 439 CrPC, any person accused of a non-bailable offence, under any penal law, including the violations under the Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, can apply under section 439 CrPC, offering to surrender and simultaneously seeking interim bail.

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