Arrest should be avoided if accused cooperates in probe: SC

 The Supreme Court has said that custodial interrogation should be avoided if the accused cooperates in the probe, as "a great ignominy, humiliation and disgrace is attached to arrest".

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 02, 2015, 23:21 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that custodial interrogation should be avoided if the accused cooperates in the probe, as "a great ignominy, humiliation and disgrace is attached to arrest".

"In cases where the court is of the considered view that the accused has joined the investigation and he is fully cooperating with the investigating agency and is not likely to abscond, in that event, custodial interrogation should be avoided. A great ignominy, humiliation and disgrace is attached to arrest.

"Arrest leads to many serious consequences not only for the accused but for the entire family and at times for the entire community. Most people do not make any distinction between arrest at a pre-conviction stage or post-conviction stage," a bench of Justices A K Sikri and R F Nariman said.

The bench said while dealing with anticipatory bail plea, the gravity of charge and the exact role of the accused must be properly comprehended and before arrest, the officer must record valid reasons for the arrest in the case diary.

It said once the accused is released on anticipatory bail, it would be unreasonable to compel him to surrender before the trial court and again apply for regular bail.

The court made the observation while granting anticipatory bail to an accused in a 17-year-old sexual assault case in which rape charge was framed only in 2014.

The bench added that "there is no requirement that the accused must make out a 'special case' for exercise of power to grant anticipatory bail".

"A person seeking anticipatory bail is still a free man entitled to the presumption of innocence," it said.

The court, however, made it clear that "no inflexible guidelines or straitjacket formula can be provided for grant or refusal of anticipatory bail because all circumstances and situations of future cannot be clearly visualised for the grant or refusal of anticipatory bail".

The bench said while dealing with anticipatory bail, the nature and gravity of the accusation and the exact role of the accused must be properly comprehended before his arrest.

"The possibility of the applicant to flee from justice, the possibility of the accused's likelihood to repeat similar or other offences," must also be considered, it said.