Case Name: Satindar Kumar Antil V. CBI& Anr.(2022)

The Divisional Bench of two Supreme Court judges expressed their displeasure with the prospect of frequent arrests in the case of Satender Kumar Antil v. CBI &Anr. They also believed that it was critical to establish some guidelines in this regard and developed new guidelines for granting bail. These new standards are intended to avoid unwarranted arrests of the accused in the course of an investigation, both before and after the chargesheet is filed. In addition, the Supreme Court delineated four classifications for criminal crimes. Additionally, these rules offer some helpful recommendations to avoid the accused individual being taken into custody while the inquiry is ongoing.

Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the conclusion of an investigation, stipulating that the investigative agency must present its final findings to the court after filing a police report. Conversely, Section 170 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 3 empowers the investigating agency to seek the remand of the accused in judicial custody from the relevant Magistrate, provided they assert having gathered sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case. However, the accused may avoid judicial custody if capable of furnishing a personal bond or a surety bond, guaranteeing their appearance in court as required.

Brief of the Case

Examining the Antil cases, the petitioner faced accusations in an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), where the investigation concluded without an arrest. A chargesheet was filed and acknowledged by the court, even though the accused was absent. Subsequently, the court issued summons for the accused to appear, but instead, the individual filed an anticipatory bail application. Despite rejection, the accused failed to show up, prompting the court to issue a non-bailable warrant. This led to the matter reaching the Supreme Court.

In its initial interim order on July 28, 2021, the Supreme Court questioned the necessity of anticipatory bail when the petitioner was avoiding court appearances. The petitioner argued against the prevalent practice in Uttar Pradesh, asserting that filing for bail post chargesheet often resulted in custody. The Supreme Court deemed this legal stance incorrect and decided to establish principles addressing this issue.

Issue Raised

  • In the instant case, the Supreme Court clarified that the twin bail conditions provided under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act have been struck down. Furthermore, the Apex Court laid down guidelines for the grant of bail to ease the procedure of bail, as the lower courts are hesitant to grant bail even after the cooperation of the accused.
  • The main issue that the Supreme Court came across is that of unnecessary arrest of the accused person during an investigation, or before as well as after filing of the charge sheet.

Case Analysis

In Satender Kumar Antil v. CBI court gives the following guidelines for arrest and bail-

On July 11, 2022, a division bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices M.M. Sundresh and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, issued guidelines for bail in specific Criminal Procedure Code offenses. The bench recommended the central government consider creating a bail act to streamline the bail process, emphasizing the high number of individuals awaiting trials in the country’s prisons.

The court issued specific instructions binding both courts and investigative authorities. These instructions, based on the Arnesh Kumar case, Sections 41 and 41A of the Code, mandate compliance from investigative authorities and officials. The court emphasized resolving bail petitions within two weeks, with a six-week window for anticipatory bail requests, unless legal requirements dictate otherwise. A distinct category of “economic offenses” has been established, exempt from special acts. The Supreme Court has categorized offenses into four groups, seeking to establish bail rules while considering legislative constraints and without limiting the authority of relevant courts.

For each category, SC has established particular rules:

Category: A

  • Offences punishable less than 7 years (includes both police case & complaint case)
  • In addition, there are some guidelines issued with regard to this category.
  • Taking cognizance after filing the charge sheet
  •  First Summons
  • Then bailable warrant
  • Non-bailable warrant if still not appearing
  • If the accused is taking an undertaking then, he will appear on the next hearing NBW canceled or changed to bailable warrant or summons.
  • Considering bail application without taking custody &Grand interim bail.

Category B & D

  • Death or Life imprisonment Offences or offences punishable more than 7 years & economic offences that are not covered by special Acts which are classified as Category C

Category C

 Special Acts like UAPA, PMLA, or NDPS

Guidelines on granting bail:

  •  Parliament may bring new legislation called the “Bail Act”.
  • No insistence on bail while considering bail application under Sec. 88, 170, 204 & 209 of the code.
  • Dispose of bail application within two weeks.
  • Anticipatory bail is disposed of within 6 weeks.

For the Compliance of these orders;

  • State & Central Government has to comply with the directions issued by the court.
  • Need for Special court– High court has to undertake the exercise in consultation with the state government.
  • Vacancies of presiding Officers to be filled expeditiously.
  • Bond amount shouldn’t be excessive.
  • If the accused has undergone detention for half of the maximum prescribed punishment during the investigation, he shall be released on bail.


In conclusion, the importance of the right to life and personal liberty cannot be overstated. The importance of these inalienable rights of individuals has been repeatedly highlighted by the Indian judicial and legal systems, particularly when it comes to the permission or rejection of bail. However, the courts must remember that when dishonest litigants and individuals take advantage of and abuse judicial instruments, they must be dealt with severely. The law certainly benefits and upholds the righteous, but it cannot be used to further or carry out a dishonest scheme.

There is also a significant desire for a comprehensive reform of the bail system that takes into account the socioeconomic status of the bulk of our population. When granting bail, the court must consider the accused’s socioeconomic situation and be empathetic towards them. A thorough investigation may be conducted to discover whether the accused has roots in the community that would dissuade him from escaping the court.

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