The Madras High Court has directed lawyers and litigants to approach district sessions courts first for anticipatory bail before moving the high court following CrPC section 144 clamped in the state due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Chief Justice AP Sahi passed the order in the wake of restrictions imposed under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"Since the government has invoked Section 144 of CrPC throughout the state, free movement of the citizens and vehicles stands crippled and police administration is required to afford protection for maintaining essential services.
Therefore, the public prosecutors in the high court are unable to obtain proper instructions for the anticipatory bail petitions filed directly in the high court," a circular issued by the high court registry said.
According to the circular, it is convenient and far easier for investigation officers to have access to the courts of principal district and sessions judge than to the high court for rendering their instructions in the anticipatory bail petitions as they are locally available.
Restrictions on free movement inter-district or pan-state is causing impediment as a result whereof, the anticipatory bail petitions under CrPc Section 438 cannot be effectively and expeditiously disposed of even if they are extremely urgent by the high court, it said.
To facilitate the expeditious disposal of the anticipatory bail pleas lawyers andlitigants are requested to approach the principal district and sessions court concerned first before directly filing a plea in the high court.
It is only after dismissal of such extremely urgent petitions by the district and sessions court, the remedy be availed before the high court that too, even in urgent and emergent cases,the circular added.
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