Prayagraj, June 7 () The Allahabad High Court has held that a child, who is accused of any offence (child in conflict with the law), has a right to seek his remedy of anticipatory bail (pre-arrest bail) under Section 438 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) like any other citizen but with the restrictions imposed in the said provision itself.
While answering a reference made by a single judge, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Samit Gopal further held Juvenile Justice Act does not exclude the application of anticipatory bail to a child in conflict with the law after the FIR is registered against him as there is no provision contrary in the Juvenile Act 2015 to the CrPC to make it inapplicable.
A juvenile or a child in conflict with law cannot be left remediless till the time of his arrest or apprehension of arrest.
Hence, he can explore the remedy of anticipatory bail, if the need arises.
The division bench held that Juvenile Justice Act does not, in any manner, bar the power of the court to grant anticipatory bail.
The exclusion of access to anticipatory bail as a remedy impinges upon human liberty. A child enjoys equal rights with other persons. Therefore, it would be in violation of all the principles and provisions to deny an opportunity to exercise the right of preferring an application for anticipatory bail, the court said.
A reference was made before the present division bench as in the case of Shahaab Ali (minor) and another vs. state of Uttar Pradesh, in which it was held by the single judge that a petition for anticipatory bail at the behest of a child in conflict with the law would not be maintainable.
On the other hand, in another case of a juvenile, another single judge bench observed that anticipatory bail can very well be granted to a Juvenile and the same shall continue till an inquiry is conducted by the board regarding a child in conflict with the law as provided under section 14 and 15 of the Act 2015.