High Courts and the Supreme Court have the power to direct the police ‘not to take any coercive steps against the accused’.
Such power may be traceable to S.482 CrPC and/or Articles 32/226 of the Constitution of India.
Having said that, it is settled law that such a direction should not be passed casually and should be reserved only for the most deserving of cases and, in normal course, the accused should be relegated to her remedy of seeking anticipatory bail.
The power to grant ‘stay on coercive process’ should, therefore, be exercised only in those cases where, on the very face of it, it is clear that no case is made out, or there is a legal bar/prohibition to the investigation of the case. (In other words, cases where the Court, potentially, would be inclined to quash the FIR itself pursuant to Bhajan Lal principles)
- Section 482 CrPC.
- Articles 32/226 of the Constitution.
- M/s Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. vs. State of Maharashtra, 2021 SCC online SC 315