NBWs should be used cautiously: SC tells courts
21 Oct 2007, 0950 hrs IST PTI
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that non-bailable warrants (NBWs) should be used cautiously by subordinate courts as they interfere with personal liberty of an individual and have "extremely serious consequences".
"Arrest and imprisonment means deprivation of the most precious right of an individual. Therefore, the courts have to be extremely careful about issuing non-bailable warrants," a Bench headed by the Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari said.
Quashing the NBW issued by a Special Judicial Magistrate, Rishikesh, Uttarkhand in a civil dispute, the apex court fixed a series of parameters for issuance of NBWs.
The apex court said NBWs should be issued by courts only when bailable warrants would be unlikely to have the desired result, like failure of a person to voluntarily appear in court or if there was an apprehension that the person if not held in custody, may harm someone else.
Noting that in recent times a number of persons were abusing the judicial process in civil matters by initiating criminal cases, the apex court said the court before issuing an NBW must necessarily examine whether the criminal complaint or FIR has been filed with an oblique motive.
The apex court said that warrants either bailable or non-bailable should never be issued without proper scrutiny of facts and complete application of mind, due to the "extremely serious consequences and ramifications which ensure on issuance of warrants."