न्यायानिर्णय Judgement

Judgement : Police Must Verify Interim Orders Before Arresting Accused with Pending Bail Application - Kerala High Court

  • High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam emphasizes police responsibility in an important ruling.
  • Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan, the judge presiding over the case, delivered an important order regarding the duty of law enforcement officers to follow court orders.
  • Mr. Niyasali, a 37-year-old petitioner, requested bail under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • When he filed the bail application, the court issued an interim order, explicitly instructing the police not to arrest him.
  • Unfortunately, the Station House Officer of Thamarassery Police Station ignored this order and arrested Mr. Niyasali.
  • The court took immediate action to address this violation.
  • The court summoned the Station House Officer and demanded an explanation for the unauthorized arrest.
  • During the hearing, the officer admitted his mistake and sought the court’s understanding.
  • The complainant, representing the State of Kerala and the Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE), argued that no interim order was in effect at the time of the arrest, which happened on April 29, 2023.
  • However, the court noted an earlier hearing where the bail application had been rescheduled to January 16, 2023, with an extension of the interim order.
  • Unfortunately, due to an error by the court registry, the case was not listed for the rescheduled date, leading to the petitioner’s arrest.
  • Although the court recognized that the Station House Officer was not responsible for the registry’s mistake, it emphasized that he should have verified the presence of any interim order with the prosecutor’s office before making the arrest.
  • The court firmly stated that it is the duty of every police officer to contact the prosecutor’s office and confirm the existence of an interim order before carrying out an arrest.
  • In response to this incident, the court directed the registry to provide a copy of the order to the State Police Chief and instructed them to distribute appropriate guidelines to all police stations.
  • The court’s objective is to ensure that law enforcement agencies diligently follow court orders and protect the rights of the accused.
  • As a result of the arrest, the court declared the bail application in question irrelevant since the petitioner had already been apprehended.
  • However, the court granted Mr. Niyasali the opportunity to file a fresh bail application under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the jurisdictional court.
  • Additionally, the court instructed the jurisdictional court to consider the bail application in light of the previous interim order issued by the High Court.
  • With these findings, the High Court of Kerala has concluded the bail application.

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