Table of Contents

Comparative Criminal Procedure

Comparative Criminal Procedure

Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series

Edited by Jacqueline E. Ross and Stephen C. Thaman

This Handbook presents innovative research that compares different criminal procedure systems by focusing on the mechanisms by which legal systems seek to avoid error, protect rights, ground their legitimacy, expand lay participation in the criminal process and develop alternatives to criminal trials, such as plea bargaining, as well as alternatives to the criminal process as a whole, such as intelligence operations. The criminal procedures examined in this book include those of the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, India, Latin America, Taiwan and Japan, among others.

Chapter 3: Anticipatory bail in India: addressing misuse of the criminal justice process?

Vikramaditya S. Khanna and Kartikey Mahajan

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice


The Indian criminal justice system allows for the granting of bail to a person in anticipation of arrest (generally referred to as ‘anticipatory bail’).1 In essence, a court can issue an order, prior to an arrest, stating that a person is to be immediately released on bail should that person be arrested for the offenses listed, or related to those listed, in the order.2 This prevents a person from being taken into police custody, even for a few moments, while allowing a criminal investigation to continue. This unique concept is used with some regularity in India, but is rarely found, if at all, outside of South Asia.3 Nonetheless, anticipatory bail’s ubiquity and importance in India is highlighted by the number of Government reports, reform proposals, and Supreme Court of India decisions on it, which in turn suggests that this humble provision has greater impact than might appear at first blush. This chapter explores the development and operation of anticipatory bail in India in order to gain a deeper understanding of it and to provide a window into the investigative and adjudicative processes of the Indian criminal justice system.Before embarking on that journey it may prove useful to highlight some fairly typical examples of when anticipatory bail is requested and to discuss, in a thumbnail manner, some of the key institutional features of the Indian civil and criminal justice systems that led to its development.

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