For Cover of Fundamental Rights, Person Must Adhere To Law: Supreme Court

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An ‘absconder’ who remains out of reach of an investigating agency deserves no concession or indulgence by a court, the Supreme Court has said.
A bench of justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose said when an accused is getting away and declared a proclaimed offender, there is no question of giving him the benefit of CrPC section 438 (direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest).

The top court also said the consideration of the case of an accused because of application of stringent provisions impinging his fundamental rights does not take away the impact of the blameworthy conduct of the person.

Any claim towards fundamental rights also cannot be justifiably made without the person concerned himself adhering to and submitting to the process of law, the court said.

“We have no hesitation in making it clear that any person, who is declared as an ‘absconder’ and remains out of reach of the investigating agency and thereby stands directly at conflict with law, ordinarily, deserves no concession or indulgence,” the bench said.

The observations came while dismissing an appeal filed by an accused challenging the judgement passed by the Bombay High Court by which it rejected his challenge to an order by the additional director general of police and the commissioner of police, Nagpur City, under section 23(2) of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1992 sanctioning prosecution of the appellant with five other accused persons for varying offences.

“Thus, challenge to the judgment as passed by the high court and to the sanctioning order was required to be rejected when the appellant had indeed been declared absconder.

“However, as observed hereinbefore, we have considered it proper to first examine the matter on merits because notices had been issued to the respondents and it had appeared serving the cause of justice to deal with the matter on merits.

“As noticed, all the contentions urged on behalf of the appellant remain baseless and the challenge herein ought to fail. Thus, we need not say any more in the present case as regards the effect of absconsion,” the bench said.

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