The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Rajasthan High Court order, issuing direction to its Registrar General and district courts not to list pre-arrest bail applications in cases where the maximum jail term is of three years.
A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B.R, Gavai stayed the single judge’s order passed on May 17. The plea filed by the High Court, through its Registrar General, said the single judge, erroneously by a blanket direction, directed not to list pre-arrest bail applications before the High Court as well as the Sessions courts.
“The single judge further erred by passing blanket order directing not to arrest in an offence in which punishment is up to 3 years and the offence is triable by First Class Magistrate. This shall create a situation of lawlessness,” said the petition.
Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, representing the HC’s registrar general, challenged the validity of the High Court order, which also gave blanket direction to state DGP not to arrest an accused till July 17, 2021.
The petition, which was supported by the state government, argued that the single judge erred in law by not giving notice to the High Court in administrative side before passing the order affecting the administration of the High Court and the people at large of the Rajasthan. The petition contended that the single judge exceeded his jurisdiction and illegally and erroneously interfered with the exclusive administrative domain of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
“It is submitted that there was no direction from the Chief Justice of the High Court not to list pre-arrest bail in the offence punishable for three years and the offence is triable by First Class Magistrate… this is a glaring defect in the impugned order…” added the plea.
The plea also argued that all cases relating to public interest are required to be heard by the division bench of the High Court as per the rules.