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How to get bail and avoid police custody in a dowry case under Section 498A

If you have any reason to believe that your wife may file a dowry case against you, you should immediately apply for an anticipatory bail. Once you get an anticipatory bail, you will not have to spend a single day in police custody.

Procedure to get an anticipatory bail

As soon as you hear about a complaint being filed against you under section 498A, you should take the following steps:
  1. Immediately contact a good lawyer to apply for pre-arrest notice and anticipatory bail.
  2. Draft an anticipatory bail application along with your lawyer and sign it.
  3. The application must also include an affidavit in support of it.
  4. A copy of the FIR along with other relevant documents must be attached.
  5. File the application in the Sessions court or the High court. 
  6. You must send somebody with your lawyer to the court for the hearing of your application.
  7. The protection under anticipatory bail is available to you till the end of the trial.

After the above procedure there are two situations that may prevail:

  I.When no FIR has been filed:
  1. In such a situation, there will be no grounds for granting a bail.
  2. Your lawyer must request the court to grant you a pre-arrest notice instead.
  3. If granted, use this pre-arrest notice period to apply for anticipatory bail.
  4. If your bail application is rejected, you can apply to the High Court and further to Supreme Court.
  II. When an FIR has been filed:
  • The investigating officer will send you a notice of arrest seven days before arresting you.
  • In this time period, you can file for an anticipatory bail.

Conditions based on which the anticipatory bail is granted
  • The nature and gravity of the accusation;
  • Reason to believe that you may be arrested.
  • You shall make yourself available for questioning by the police officer as and when required;
  • You shall not make any threat or promise to any witness. The person shall not leave India without due permission of the court.
  • Filing of First Information Report (FIR) is not a pre-condition for filing for an anticipatory bail.
What happens after anticipatory bail in 498A?

The procedure that is followed once bail is granted to you:
  1. You are required to be present at the police station; whenever you are called.
  2. You should take your friends or relatives along with you, who shall act as your surety.
  3. Your sureties should carry the required bail amount as directed by the court.
  4. You and your sureties will be required to sign a bail bond, which is a document that mentions about forfeiture of the bail amount and other legal consequences, in case you do not follow the directions of the court.
  5. The bail amount is decided by the judge.
  6. Sometimes you may be directed to keep your property as a security for bail. Your property can be seized or sold, if you do not appear when required by the court.
  7. Once all the requirements are fulfilled you no more need to fear arrest in this matter.

Can an anticipatory bail be cancelled?

There is no specific provision for cancellation of bail, but a bail can be cancelled by the High Court based on certain grounds in order to meet the ends of justice.

A request for cancellation of the anticipatory bail can also be made by the opposite party or the police, in case you violate any of the directions imposed by the Court.
 Rejection of Anticipatory bail

Your anticipatory bail can be rejected if:
  • You have been previously convicted of an offence, which carries a punishment which may exceed 7 years. 
  • You have been convicted at least twice in the past for offences which are cognizable and non-bailable. 
  • The judge believes that you have committed an offence, which is punishable with life imprisonment or death sentence.
If your anticipatory bail gets rejected in the lower court, you can file an appeal in the High Court and further in the Supreme Court.

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