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Adri Dharan Das v. State of West Bengal

Adri Dharan Das v. State of West Bengal

Section 438 is a procedural provision aimed at safeguarding the personal liberty of an individual who maintains innocence, as they are not convicted of the offence for which bail is sought at the time of application. The applicant must demonstrate a ‘reason to believe’ that they may be arrested for a non-bailable offence, indicating that this belief must be founded on reasonable grounds, not mere fear. The grounds for such belief must be capable of examination.

When an application is made to the High Court or the Court of Session, it is their prerogative to decide if the circumstances warrant granting the relief sought. However, these provisions cannot be invoked after the accused has been arrested. Blanket orders should not be routinely issued, as they may potentially cover a wide range of unlawful activities.

An order under Section 438 serves to secure an individual’s liberty and should not be viewed as a license for criminal activity or a shield against accusations. In the present case, considering the legal principles outlined above, it does not appear prima facie that an order under Section 438 of the Code should be granted.

CItation: (2005) 4 SCC 303

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

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