Anticipatory bail is a legal provision in India that allows a person to seek bail in anticipation of arrest, i.e., before the person is actually arrested.
The provision of anticipatory bail is enshrined under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which provides the right to an individual to seek bail from the court in case he/she has reason to believe that he/she may be arrested on a false or frivolous complaint.
To apply for anticipatory bail, the person must approach the High Court or the Session Court under whose jurisdiction the offence is committed. The person must make a written application to the court stating the apprehension of his/her arrest, along with the details of the offence alleged to have been committed.
The court may grant anticipatory bail to the person, subject to certain conditions, such as providing a surety or personal bond, undertaking to cooperate with the investigation, and not leaving the country without the court’s permission. The court may also impose additional conditions as it deems fit, depending on the nature of the offence.
Anticipatory bail can be granted in both cognizable and non-cognizable offences, and its validity extends until the conclusion of the trial.
However, if the person is arrested after being granted anticipatory bail, he/she must produce the order granting anticipatory bail before the arresting officer, and the officer must release the person immediately.
It is important to note that anticipatory bail is not an absolute right, and the court has the discretion to grant or reject the application based on the facts and circumstances of the case.