SUPREME COURT OF INDIA – NON BAILABLE WARRANTS CAN NOT BE ISSUED UNLESS AN ACCUSED IS LIKELY TO TAMPER THE EVIDENCE OR IS LIKELY TO EVADE THE PROCESS OF LAW
Date of Judgement: 16 August 2013
There cannot be any straight-jacket formula for issuance of warrants but as a general rule, unless an accused is likely to tamper or destroy the evidence or is likely to evade the process of law, issuance of non-bailable warrants should be avoided. …. This could be when firstly it is reasonable to believe that the person will not voluntarily appear in court; or secondly that the police authorities are unable to find the person to serve him with a summon and thirdly if it is considered that the person could harm someone if not placed into custody immediately. In the absence of the aforesaid reasons, the issue of non-bailable warrant a fortiori to the application under Section 319 of the Cr.P.C. would extinguish the very purpose of existence of procedural laws which preserve and protect the right of an accused in a trial of a case. …. We modify the orders passed by the Trial Court and confirmed by the High Court, and direct that summons be issued against the appellant for his appearance instead of non- bailable warrants which were ordered to be issued against him.