In the matter of Ankit Bharti v. State of UP & Anr. (2020) the Allahabad High court saw a significant ruling of the five Judge Bench consisting of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justices Ramesh Sinha, Sunita Agarwal, Yashwant Verma and Rahul Chaturvedi, while observing that under special circumstances a person who is apprehending arrest may approach the High Court directly seeking an anticipatory bail without first approaching the Sessions Court.
The Bench noted that Sec. 438 CrPC does not make it mandatory for a party to approach the Sessions Court prior to applying to the High Court seeking grant of an anticipatory bail. Contrary to this supposition, this provision in fact confers concurrent jurisdiction on both the Courts with regard to granting of the anticipatory bail.
However, at the same time the Court also made note of the necessity of such special circumstances in order to approach the High Court directly without availing the provisions of approaching the Sessions Court.
In addition to this, the Court also clarified that the said special circumstances for moving the High Court directly must not necessarily be enumerated, but can be left to the judicious discretion of the Court to be exercised with reference to the facts and issues of each case.
Thus, the court concluded by stating that there can be no exhaustive or general exposition of circumstances in which an applicant would be held to be completely entitled to approach the High Court directly.
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Link to Judgement: Ankit Bharti v. State of UP