Satender Kumar Antil vs Central Bureau of Investigation

Satender Kumar Antil vs Central Bureau of Investigation


Supreme Court


Civil Appeal Number 7598 of 2021

Date of Judgement:

7th October 2021


Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul

Justice M.M Sundaresh


Appellant – Satendar Kumar Antil

Respondent Central Bureau of Investigation


In the case of Satendar Kumar Antil vs. CBI & Anr, the Divisional Bench of two judges of the Supreme Court raised dissatisfaction with the regular arrest as well as the importance of setting down a few recommendations in this regard and developed fresh guidelines for the issuance of bail.

The aim of guidelines is to prevent the unnecessary arrest of an accused person during an investigation or after filing a charge sheet. Furthermore, the Supreme Court defined four categories into which criminal offenses should be classified. These guidelines provide some suggestions to prevent the accused person from getting arrested during the investigation.


Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that the investigation is finished when the investigative agency presents the conclusion to the court once the police report has been filed.

In the last year, the Supreme Court has given a series of three decisions attempting to answer the critical query of whether a person who has not been arrested by the investigation agency should be taken into custody by the court upon filing a charge sheet and its appearance in such court.

This judgment saves unnecessary harassment in certain instances where arrest is not made throughout the investigation and a person is subsequently arrested simply because the investigation is over.

The Supreme Court provided clarity on granting bail in cases where a person hadn’t been arrested at the time of filing the charge sheet.

There are some guidelines for this case.

  • It was considered a special leave petition.

In addition to the guidelines, as in Arnesh Kumar’s case, some more guidelines were added in this case regarding arrest. They are.

  • The investigation agency should check sections 41 and 41A of the CrPC and guidelines in the Arnesh Kumar case.
  • The Court will decide based on sections 41 and 41 A of the CrPC.

Guidelines for granting bail are another area that is covered in this case. The court observed that there are some “necessities” to consider the application.

  • Accused of not being arrested during the investigation.
  • The accused cooperated throughout the investigation. (Which means he appeared before the investigation officers whenever they called.)

Definition of trail:

The word trail is not explained or defined under code. The meaning must be given for this word for the purpose of enlargement on bail. Informer-stage arrest followed by police custody may be warranted through investigation. Keeping this in mind, the consequences to be drawn are more favourable conditions for the expansion of the investigation. Similarly, an appeal or revision should be considered as a suspension of bail.

 Definition of bail:

Bail is nothing but the surety of a personal bond from the accused. It means the release of the accused person either by the orders of the court or by the police or investigation agency.

 Bail is the rule:

The principal laid in this bail is rule, and jail is an exception. According to Article 21 of the Constitution of India, it deals with nothing less than the rights to life and personal liberty of the citizens of India and other persons. It is not only an article but also a fundamental rights chapter (along with Article 20) that cannot be suspended even in an emergency. At present, Article 21 is a repository for a vast number of substantive and procedural rights.

 Background of the Case:

Let us briefly consider the background of the Antil case. The petitioner was implicated in the FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Following the investigation, the person was not arrested, and a chargesheet was filed with the court. In the absence of the accused, the court acknowledges the charge sheet issued and the summons for the person to appear on the specific date. Despite this, the accused did not show up and instead filed an anticipatory bail application, which was later rejected. Consequently, the court issued a non-bailable warrant, leading the case to eventually reach the Supreme Court.

 Facts of the case:

In this specific case, the accused sort of received anticipatory bail after the filing of the chargesheet due to his absence during proceedings. The application was denied, leading to non-bailable warrants. A special leave petition was filed in the Supreme Court, addressing the

accused absence and the anticipatory bail application seeking clarification on the amended Section 45 PMLA Act. The Court noted inconsistencies and offenses. Categorization emphasized; the intent of Section 45 was to simplify bail procedures. The court suggested limiting bail hearings and exploring alternative legal avenues, such as Section 88 of the CrPC.


  • Whether striking down Section 45 of the PMLA is right or not?
  • Whether the unnecessary arrest of the person charged during an inquiry or both before and after the chargesheet was filed is valid or not.?

 Legal Provisions:

  • Section 45 of the PMLA Act: non- Non cognizable and non-bailable offenses.
  • Section 19 of the PMLA Act: The Power to Arrest.
  • Section 88 of the CrPC: The Power to Take Bound for Appearance.
  • Section 41 of the CrPC states that arrests can be made by the police without a warrant or mandate for reasons to be recorded in writing for every arrest and non-arrest.
  • Section 41(A) of the CrPC states that Notice must be sent by the investigating agencies before making an arrest under certain conditions prescribed by the code.

 How is a person arrested?

  • Arrest is a simple form, and it can be defined as. “When one is taken and restrained from his liberty.”
  • The court said that investigating agencies and their officers have a duty to comply with sections 41 and 41A of the directions issued in the Arnesh Kumar case.
  • Police have wide powers to arrest under the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973.


M.M. Sudarseh

Liberty is one of the most essential requirements of modern man. It is set to be the delicate fruit of a mature civilization. It is the very essence of civilized existence and one of the essential requirements of a modern man. Taking note of the continuous supply of cases seeking bail after filing the final report on the wrong interpretation of Section 170 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. An endeavour made by this Court to categorize the types of offenses to be used as a guideline for the future assistant was sought from Sri Sidharth Luthra, learned Senior Council, and learned Additional Solicitor General Shri SV Raju after allowing the application for intervention, and an appropriate order was passed on 7/10/2021. The same is reproduced under.

We have been aided by both Mr. SV Raju, the learned Additional Solicitor General, and Mr. Siddharth Luthra, the learned Senior Council, and there is broad unanimity in terms of suggestions made by the learned ASG. In terms of suggestions, the offenses have been categorized, and guidelines are sought to be laid down for the grant of bail. We are inclined to accept the guidelines and make them part of the order of the Court to benefit the Court below.

 Guidelines laid down in the Antil Case:

The guidelines laid down in the Antil case decision by the Supreme Court categorize the offenses into four categories, like A, B, C, and D.

  • Category A: Offenses Punishable with imprisonment of 7 years or less. The procedure involves summonses, bailable warrants, and non-bailable warrants for bail applications.
  • Category B: Offenses punishable with death, life imprisonment, or more than 7 years require a bail application to be decided on merits upon appearance of the accused.
  • Category C: Offenses under Special Acts and Necessities The consideration of bail applications on merits, considering the provisions of the Special Act.
  • Category D: Economic offenses are not covered by special acts involving deciding bail applications on merits, considering the seriousness of the charge and the severity of the punishment imposed by the statute.

Related case law:

Arnesh Kumar vs. State of Bihar:

In the case of Arnesh Kumar, the Supreme Court recognizes the misuse of Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code, noting that it was wielded as a weapon rather than a shield by discontented spouses. This landmark judgment provided explicit directives to law enforcement, particularly addressing arrest procedures outlined in Sections 41 and 41A.Another crucial aspect of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 was that the court clarified that these guidelines were not limited to cases under Section 498-A of the IPC or Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 but extended to the offenses punishable by imprisonment for a term less than or up to 7 years with or without a fine. In delivering judgment, the court aimed to prevent unwarranted arrest by the police officer and discouraged magistrates from authorizing detention in a casual or mechanical manner. The significance of the ruling in subsequent cases includes Satendra Kumar Antil versus the Central Bureau of Investigation, 2022.

 Non-Cooperation of the Accused:

  • The accused did not cooperate, which means he did not answer the summons; he was not present before the investigation officers.
  • Where the court feels that further investigation is required, or judicial custody is necessary?

 Special Acts in Categories:

Special Acts like UAPA, PMLA, or NDPS.

 Bail-granting guidelines:

  • Parliament enacts new legislation termed the “Bail Act.”.
  • There is no mandatory imposition of bail when reviewing the applications under sections 88, 170, 204, and 209 of the code.
  • Rigorous adherence mandate established in the Siddharth v. UP case.
  • Ensure resolution of bail applications within a two-week time frame.
  • It takes six weeks to process anticipatory bail.

Ensure compliance with directives:

  • The state and central government must adhere to the court-issued directions.
  • Need for Special Court: The High Court must undertake the consultation with the State Government.
  • The court has also concurred with the proposal regarding the trial courts.


While the Supreme Court has reaffirmed bail jurisprudence and provided clarification on offense categories, certain flaws are apparent in the current case. One notable issue is the prolonged one-week time frame for addressing bail matters, which could be expedited to a one-week resolution. Similarly, the processing of anticipatory bail could be streamlined with a more efficient four-week period rather than the current six-week window.


While this judgment is still hopeful, they frequently result in superficial changes despite these potential improvements in the bail process and post-charge sheet filing. A significant number of undertrial prisoners face arrest during investigations, lingering in jail even after trial commencement without addressing the structural issues causing the excessive undertail. Population, the legal axiom, says that bail is the rule and jail is the exception. Risk remains a more theoretical concept.

Author(s) Name: Avidi Vineela

(Sri Padmavati Mahila Viswa Vidyalayam, Tirupati.)

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