The Jurisprudence surrounding issuing of Non-Bailable Warrants
The law for issuance of warrants has been laid down in The Code of
Criminal Procudure, 1973 under Chapter VI (part b) from sections 70 to 81.
The issuance of non-bailable warrants involves interference with personal
liberty. Arrest and imprisonment means deprivation of the most precious
right of an individual. Therefore, the courts have to be extremely
careful before issuing non-bailable warrants. Only when in the larger
interest of the Public and the State it becomes absolutely imperative to
curtail freedom of an individual for a certain period, should non-bailable
warrants be issued. Just as liberty is precious for an individual so is
the interest of the society in maintaining law and order. Both are
extremely important for the survival of a civilized society. Sometimes in
the larger interest of the Public and the State it becomes absolutely
imperative to curtail freedom of an individual for a certain period.
Geeta Sethi v. State, it was emphasized that courts administering
justice on criminal side must always remain alive to the “presumption of
innocence” which is the hallmark of criminal jurisprudence and, thus, a
natural consequence is that every accused is clothed with the presumption
of innocence and entitled to just, fair and decent trial and the aim of
the criminal trial is not humiliating or harassing an accused, but to
determine the guilty of the innocence. In the recent case of
Goswami & Another Vs. State of Uttaranchal & Others, this Hon’ble court
had laid down few guidelines for the courts with regards to issuance of
non-bailable warrants : “it is reasonable to believe that the person
will not voluntarily appear in court; or the police authorities are unable
to find the person to serve him with a summon; or it is considered that
the person could harm someone if not placed into custody immediately.”
Further observed that a non-bailable warrant could be issued if: “…an
accused is charged with the commission of an offence of a heinous crime
and it is feared that he is likely to tamper or destroy the evidence or is
likely to evade the process of law….”
The warrants either bailable or non-bailable should never be issued
without proper scrutiny of facts and complete application of mind, due to
the extremely serious consequences and ramifications which ensue on
issuance of warrants. In the aforementioned case it was opined that
first the court should direct serving of the summons along with the copy
of the complaint. If the accused seem to be avoiding the summons, the
court, in the second instance should issue bailable-warrant. In the third
instance, when the court is fully satisfied that the accused is avoiding
the courts proceeding intentionally, the process of issuance of the non-bailable
warrant should be resorted to. It was also held that Personal liberty is
paramount; therefore courts were cautioned at the first and second
instance to refrain from issuing non-bailable warrants. The power being
discretionary must be exercised judiciously with extreme care and caution.
The court should properly balance both personal liberty and societal
interest before issuing warrants.
State of U.P. v. Poosu & Another, it was held that “broadly
speaking, the court would take into account the various factors such as
the nature and seriousness of the offence, the character of the evidence,
circumstances peculiar to the accused, possibility of his absconding,
larger interest of the public and the State.”
However it must be borne in the mind that whether in the circumstances of
the case, the attendance of the accused respondent can be best secured by
issuing a bailable warrant or non-bailable warrant is a matter which rests
entirely in the discretion of the court. Although, the discretion is
exercised judiciously it is not possible to computerize and reduce into
immutable formulae the diverse considerations on the basis of which this
discretion is exercised.
Inder Mohan Goswami & Another Vs. State of Uttaranchal & Others 2007
(12) Scale15. at para 52
 Inder Mohan Goswami & Another Vs. State of Uttaranchal & Others 2007
(12) Scale15. at para 52.
 91 (2001) DLT 47
 2007 (12) Scale15.
 supra. at para 53.
 Supra. at para 56.
 Supra. at para 54., Omwati v.State of UP & Another (2004) 4 SCC 425.
 Supra. at para 55.
 (1976) 3 SCC 1 at para 13.
 State of U.P. v. Poosu & Another (1976) 3 SCC 1 at para 13; Inder
Mohan Goswami & Another Vs. State of Uttaranchal & Others 2007 (12)
The author can be reached at: email@example.com
/ Ph: +919818815800
Added Date: 11 Sep 2009