Boutique Litigation Law Firm - Retain Lawyers - Research based Law Firm - Complete legal services

The High Court cannot issue directions to the State, while deciding bail application of an accused; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice L. Nageswara Rao

The SC {STATE REP. BY THE INSPECTOR OF POLICE v. M. MURUGESAN & ANR.} holds that inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code cannot be exercised to do something which is expressly barred under the Code. It was held that inherent powers cannot be exercised assuming that the statute conferred an unfettered and arbitrary jurisdiction, nor can the High Court act at its whim or caprice. The Code does not confer unlimited/unfettered jurisdiction on the High Court as the “ends of justice” and “abuse of the process of the court” have to be dealt with in accordance with law and not otherwise. The High Court has not been given nor does it possess any inherent power to make any order, which in the opinion of the court, could be in the interest of justice as the statutory provision is not intended to bypass the procedure prescribed. It was also held that the High Court can always issue appropriate direction in exercise of its power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India at the behest of an aggrieved person, if the court is convinced that the power of investigation has been exercised by an investigating officer mala fide or the matter is not investigated at all, but even in such a case, the High Court cannot direct the police as to how the investigation is to be conducted but can insist only for the observance of due process as provided in the Code. 

The SC in the present case holds that the HC has committed grave illegality in retaining the file after grant of bail to the accused on 18th February, 2019. The jurisdiction of the High Court came to an end when an application for grant of bail under Section 439 of the Code was finally decided. It cannot issue directions while exercising jurisdiction under Section 439 of the Code, as done in present case.

In the present case, the State was aggrieved against an order passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras on 24th April, 2019 constituting a Heterogeneous Committee of named persons to give its recommendations on the reforms that can be brought into practice for reformation, rehabilitation and re-integration of the convict/accused person to society and best practices for improving the quality of investigation. Such directions came to be passed by HC in a matter pertaining to grant of bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 after grant of bail, and by retaining its file even after that - which order has been set aside by the SC.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published