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Interim bail UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • The Supreme Court (SC) granted interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May 10.

  • The Delhi Chief Minister was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), due to his alleged connection to the Delhi excise policy case

  • This made him the first sitting chief minister in India to be put behind bars.

Interim Bail

  • It is a temporary form of bail granted during the pendency of an application for anticipatory or regular bail.

  • It provides a brief respite for the accused, temporarily releasing them from custody.

  • It is conditional and can be extended based on the circumstances.

  • If the interim bail expires and the accused fails to meet the requirements for its continuation or pay the necessary amount, their right to freedom is revoked, and they may be retaken into custody.

  • It serves as an interim measure until a final decision is made on the bail application, preventing unnecessary detention of the accused during this period.

  • In the case of Sukhwant Singh & Ors v. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court held that interim bail is a measure especially to safeguard the reputation of an accused

  • Also, the court has the inherent power to grant bail to a person whose bail application is still pending for disposal.

  • If the accused’s request for anticipatory bail or interim bail is denied by the court, the police may detain him without a warrant.

  • The ability of the High Court and Sessions Court to grant anticipatory bail is covered under Section 438 of the CrPC.

  • As per S.438 CrPC, the court has to consider the following in order to decide whether to reject the anticipatory bail application or to give an interim relief order:

    • The nature and gravity of the accusation

    • The background and criminal history of the accused, which include previous imprisonment due to any cognizable offence.

  • Probability of the accused escaping from justice

  • If there is a possibility that the intention behind the allegations made against the accused is to injure and degrade the accused through his arrest.


Current scenario

  • In granting interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Supreme Court of India has reversed a development that upset the level playing field for the ongoing general election. 

  • When Mr. Kejriwal was arrested in March for his alleged involvement in corruption in the formulation of a liquor policy for Delhi, it might not have seemed an obvious setback to federalism and democracy

  • But the arrest of a serving Chief Minister and a key figure in the Opposition, when the election process was already on, sent shock waves among regional parties. 

  • And, as he remained behind bars, it stoked fears that States run by parties other than those in power at the Centre could easily be undermined by getting central agencies to arrest Chief Ministers on charges that may or may not be based on evidence

  • In Mr. Kejriwal’s case, the Court is right in both citing the general election as a good enough reason to grant him interim bail until June 1, when the last phase of polling will be held, and in rejecting the Centre’s argument that it would amount to favourable treatment to politicians

  • As the Court has pointed out, interim release orders relate to the “peculiarities associated with the person in question and surrounding circumstances”

  • The absence of a notable leader from the campaign arena, especially when he is yet to be convicted, will be a factor that will cast a doubt on the free and fair nature of the election.

  • The Court has made his bail conditional on his keeping away from the Delhi Secretariat and the CM’s office

  • And he is to abide by his statement that he would not sign any official file, unless required to do so to get the Lieutenant General’s approval for something

  • That Mr. Kejriwal did not respond to several summonses from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) does not show him in a good light. 

  • But, at the same time, it cannot be forgotten that be it the CBI’s corruption charge, or the ED’s money-laundering charge, the case against him is based on a belated statement made by suspects who had turned approvers and obtained pardon on the promise of testifying against him

  • The probative value of these statements will be tested during trial. 

  • Another factor to be noted is that there are statutory restrictions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on seeking bail, resulting in many questioning the validity of their arrest, as Mr. Kejriwal has done, rather than file for bail

  • If only courts applied the basic principle of granting bail to those who are unlikely to flee from justice, with appropriate conditions to neutralise their likely influence over witnesses and to safeguard evidence, orders granting bail would not evoke political reactions and doubts whether the political class is being unduly favoured.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Interim bail UPSC NOTE
Interim bail UPSC NOTE
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