The Tripura High Court has directed a man accused of posting defamatory posts about the Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb to surrender before the Magistrate Court which had granted him bail earlier.
Anupam Paul was earlier arrested on an allegation that he had posted provocative malicious defamatory publication and photographs in the social media concerning the Chief Minister and the other leaders of the State. He was later granted bail by a Magistrate’s Court. Pursuant to this, offences under Section 505(1)(c)/153(A) of the Indian Penal Code were added. The prosecution then moved a petition seeking permission to arrest the accused. The magistrate rejected this plea observing that the court has the only power to order for re-arrest under Secton-437(5) Cr.P.C. which this Court can not apply in a case the bail has been granted under Section-436 Cr.P.C.
Referring to principles enunciated in recent judgment of the Supreme Court in Pradeep Ram vs. State of Jharkhand, Justice Arindam Lodh observed:
The Ld. Court of Magistrate ought to have considered that cancellation of bail, and on the other hand, to pass an order of arrest in exercise of power under Section 437(5) of CrPC, are two distinct features in Criminal Jurisprudence. To pass an order, according permission to the investigating agency to arrest a person and to take him to custody, the cancellation of earlier bail is not a sine qua non.
…the Court of Magistrate has vested with the power to accord permission on receipt of an application from the investigating agency to arrest the accused and to take him in the custody since it is the same Court which allowed the accused to go on bail and for this cancellation of the earlier bail is not at all necessary.
The court then directed Anupam Paul to surrender before the Magistrate a period of seven days and pray for bail and also directed the Magistrate to hear and consider the said bail application on merit. Alternately, in the event of failure to surrender, the learned Magistrate shall permit the prayer of Investigating Agency to arrest the respondent Anupam Paul and take him to custody, the court added.
The court also summarized the principles enunciated in Pradeep Ram.
(i) In a given circumstance where after grant of bail to an accused, further cognizable or non-bailable offences are added, the accused may surrender to the Court which had granted him bail and on being refusal of bail, the accused can be arrested. (ii) Further, the investigating agency can take recourse of Section 437(5) or Section 439(2) of CrPC and seek an order from the Court for arrest of the accused and his custody. (iii) However, on addition of a non-bailable offence or offences, the police may not proceed to arrest the accused, but for arresting the accused, the investigating agency needs to obtain permission or order to arrest the accused from the Court which had granted the bail.
Inputs from livelaw.in