Interim Bail in Habeas Petition Challenging Detention Only In Exceptional Cases: Madras HC

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A Division Bench comprising of Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana of the Madras High Court has observed that interim bail in habeas corpus petitions challenging preventive detention can be granted only in exceptional circumstances, when it is made out that the intervention of the court is indispensable.

The Court recalled an ordered passed on June 15th to grant interim bail to a detenu, after considering the objections raised by the Tamil Nadu government against his release in the case of Government of Tamil Nadu & Anr v. S Indira Moorthy.

The High Court observed that, “we are of the view that though this Court has got jurisdiction to grant interim bail in deserving cases, the exercise of such jurisdiction and power has intrinsic restrictions, as has been laid down in a catena of decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”

The Court also held that, “we have no hesitation to hold that the prayer for interim bail cannot be normally entertained by this Court in Habeas Corpus Petition, unless and until, it has been made out that intervention of this Court is indispensable at that stage.”

The Court also mentioned that, “it is amply clear that this Court while dealing with habeas corpus petitions under Article 226 of the Constitution, wherein, the validity of the detention orders are sought to be questioned, has jurisdiction to grant interim bail, but the exercise of the said jurisdiction is inevitably circumscribed by the considerations which are special to such proceedings and which have relevance to the object which is intended to be served by orders of detention properly and validly passed under the Act 14 of 1982.