Submission of supplementary charge sheet after 180 days no ground for granting bail: High Court of Delhi

If a supplementary charge sheet is submitted beyond the statutory provision of 180 days due to procedural delay by expert bodies like the forensic dept, then such delay itself cannot be a ground for granting bail to the accused. This was decided in the case of Mehabub Rehman Vs. State Through: Spl Cell, Delhi Police [CRL.REV.P. 340/2020] in the High Court of Delhi By Hon’ble Justice Suresh Kumar Kait.

The facts of the case are that the Petitioner is accused for offences under Sections 21/29/61/85 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and his application for bail was dismissed buy the trial court. During the investigation , the Special Court had directed the petitioner to give his voice sample for getting it matched with the intercepted call recordings available with the prosecution. The petitioner made an bail application. The trial court observed ‘The main ground of statutory/ default bail u/s 167 (2) Cr.P.C. r/w section 36A (4) NDPS Act is that the incomplete charge-sheet was filed. The accused is alleged to be the main member of syndicate whose mobile was under interception’ and hereby denied the bail.

The court observed that the question for consideration is whether rejection of petitioner’s application for bail in default by the trial court, upon filing of supplementary charge sheet beyond the statutory period of 180 days, without being accompanied by voice sample report of CFSL, deserves to be upheld or set aside.

After considering the contentions put forth, the court relied upon the case of Kishan Lal Vs. State 1989 SCC Online Del 348 where it was held “The duty of the Investigating Officer under the Code is to complete the investigation without unnecessary delay. On its completion which necessarily means that the witnesses acquainted with the circumstances of the case have been examined, the officer in charge of the police station must forward a police report in a prescribed form to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence. In the present cases, as cognizance of the offences taken by the Magistrate was proper and valid, no order releasing the petitioners on bail under Section 167(2) of the Code was required to be passed.”

The court observed that the trial court has rightly dismissed petitioner’s bail application while holding that though the FSL report has been filed after filing of bail application and after completion of 180 days of investigation, but the charge-sheet cannot be held to be incomplete because of the pendency of FSL report over voice sample, as preparation of report on voice sample is not in the hands of IO. It also said that it cannot be lost sight of the fact that immediately after petitioner’s arrest prosecution filed an application seeking permission to obtain voice sample of petitioner/accused which was allowed on the same day voice samples were taken, but thereafter, because of lockdown due to Covid pandemic, report could be obtained late. Hence the petition was dismissed.

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