Dr. Ankit Todi
(E-mail your questions to: [email protected])
For offences committed outside the State of residence, there is the option of Transit Bail.
Q: I am a resident of Guwahati and recently my name got involved in a criminal case registered at Kolkata in an incident that took place two years ago when I was temporarily working there. I am apprehensive that I can be arrested at any moment. Can I apply for a bail in Guwahati? – Shyam
Ans: There are situations when the accused person is residing in another State other than the State in which the offence has been committed or the case has been registered, and the police of that other State can arrest the person from his hometown without granting him opportunity to apply for a bail before the jurisdictional court. The only option left then would be to apply for regular bail on being arrested and produced before the jurisdictional court.
An Anticipatory Bail allows a person to seek bail in anticipation of an arrest on accusation of non-bailable offence alleged to have been committed by him. It is a direction issued by the jurisdictional court even before the person is arrested, to release him on bail, and thus can be used in the event of arrest to secure bail. Normally, an Anticipatory Bail can be granted by the court having jurisdiction over the place where the offence has been committed or the case has been registered. But in a situation where the accused person is residing in another State other than the State in which the case has been registered, one can apply for “Transit Anticipatory Bail” or “Transit Bail”, which can be granted even by a court not having jurisdiction over the place where the offence was committed or the case has been registered.
The words ‘transit bail’ or ‘transit anticipatory bail’ are neither defined under the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other law in force, nor do they find any specific reference under the law of criminal procedure. However, the roots of this concept can be traced under the Code of Criminal Procedure where the law on grant of transit anticipatory bail is a judicial interpreted law. The purpose of Transit Anticipatory Bail is to grant bail to a person till the time he reaches the appropriate jurisdictional court and applies for appropriate bail, in the event that the police want to effect the arrest. Such a bail is given on the condition that the accused person co-operates in the investigation throughout the ongoing investigation process, and it is granted only for a limited period to enable the accused to approach the court having regular jurisdiction to seek appropriate bail.