1. These are five applications by the State of V.P. from orders of Magistrates granting bail to five persons. No reason has been given why these applications are being filed without the State moving the Sessions Judge. It is a recognised, and in any event a convenient principle, that where two forums have concurrent jurisdiction the lower one should be approached at the first instance, unless the party concerned gives special reasons for a direct approach to the higher, such as extreme urgency or a momentous question of general1 public policy. I find none of the special reasons here. Secondly, these applications really make out no grievance at all. Since this seems to be the first occasion of such applications being filed here, it is better to lay down at some length the general principles applicable.
2. In all these cases certain persons directly appeared before the magistrate, slating that the police had not yet arrested them, but might arrest them in connection with some cognizable cases. The applicants feared that the arrest by the Police and their being marched to the Magistrate might cause them inconvenience of a serious nature. Accordingly, they themselves surrendered with a request that the magistrate might ascertain whether they were wanted by the police, and take bail and release them. The magistrate accordingly sent for the Public Prosecutor and asked him whether there was any process against these, and whether they were going to be arrested, The Public Prosecutor reported that no doubt the cases they were referring to were being investigated but till then no steps had been taken to arrest them; but it was not unlikely these men would be arrested in future though he could not be definite. Thereupon, the magistrate took bail for their appearance when and if wanted.
3. I am unable to understand what else the Magistrate could have done. He could not put them into lock-up because Police have not shown any desire to arrest them till now; and certainly there was no warrant outstanding. The magistrate could certainly let them go, but then they themselves wanted to be on bail, so that they might come directly to the magistrate if and when the police wanted them in connection with the case concerned. It is certainly a restriction of the liberties of these persons, but they were voluntarily seeking it. The reason is obvious; if they were not on bail the police would arrest them and would march them to the magistrate; this meant full control of the police for at least. 24 hours, during which they feared serious inconveniences. The police need have no special fancy for themselves arresting the men and marching them to the Magistrate's court. As soon as the police come to the conclusion that any of these persons should be arrested they need only petition the magistrate that the bail should be enforced and the men brought to the court. After it the police may show cause before the magistrate why the men should be remanded and not let off on bail. He should hear both the parties and decide whether the men concerned now properly accused in a criminal case should be detained or should be released on bail. The police authorities have no grievance.
4. The result is that these applications are summarily dismissed.