Thursday, 23 July 2020

Whether accused can get default bail U/S 167 of CRPC if he was already on interim bail?

I have heard learned counsel for the parties besides going
through the record and I find that there is absolutely no merit in the petition.
Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. is meant to ensure that the investigation in the case is concluded promptly and challan is filed in the
Court thereafter at the earliest so that an accused in a criminal case is not made to languish in the jail for a very long time. This provision is meant to ensure that the investigating agency does not show callousness and lethargy in doing the investigation making them aware of the fact that in case investigation is not completed and challan is not filed within 90 days of arrest of the accused, where the investigation relates to an offence
punishable with death imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term of
not less than 10 years and within a period of 60 days, where the
investigation relates to any other offence, then the accused would become
entitled to be released on bail and then the Investigating Officer at fault
would be made to explain his acts and omissions in carrying out the
investigation within that time frame.
Now in the instant case after being arrested on 19.3.2020, the
petitioner on account of outbreak of COVID-19 had been granted interim
bail vide order dated 31.3.2020, which stood extended from time to time
and he is still on bail, now required to surrender in jail on 4.9.2020. The
petitioner remaining behind bars for a period of less than two weeks till
date cannot cry foul and ask for bail in terms of Section 167(2) Cr.P.C.
The petitioner just want to have dual benefit enjoying interim bail, at the
same time asking for concession of bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. He
is certainly not entitled to such concession. Learned Additional Sessions
Judge, Karnal has passed a detailed and well reasoned order, which does
not suffer from any illegality or infirmity.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH
CRR-1018-2020(O&M)
Date of decision:-21.7.2020

Subhash Chander Vs  State of Haryana

CORAM:  MR.JUSTICE H.S.MADAAN


This revision has been brought by petitioner – Subhash
Chander, an accused in case FIR No.66 dated 18.3.2020 for the offences
under Sections 7, 7A of P.C. Act, registered at Police Station Nissing,
Karnal feeling aggrieved by the order dated 3.7.2020 passed by
Additional Sessions Judge(Duty), Karnal vide which he has refused to
grant bail to the petitioner under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C.
Briefly stated, facts of the case are that petitioner Subhash
Chand @ Subhash Chander was arrested on 19.3.2020 in the case details

of which are mentioned above. On account of outbreak of Corona
Pandemic in view of the directions issued by the Apex Court in Suo Motu
Writ Petition No.1/2020 – In RE: CONTAGION OF COVID-19 VIRUS
IN PRISONS and as per the policy dated 24.3.2020 of the Hon'ble High
Powered Committee, vide order dated 31.3.2020 the petitioner was
released on interim bail for a period of 45 days. Such period expired on
14.5.2020. In view of subsequent direction dated 5.5.2020 by the Hon'ble
High Powered Committee, interim bail was further extended for six weeks
up to 25.6.2020 and then for 10 weeks w.e.f. 25.6.2020. The petitioner is
required to surrender at District Jail on 4.9.2020.
The petitioner had filed an application under Section 167(2)
Cr.P.C. for the reason that the investigating agency had failed to file final
police report within 60 days of his arrest, thus making him entitled to be
released on bail. That application was dismissed by learned Additional
Sessions Judge (Duty), Karnal vide order dated 3.7.2020. The relevant
part of the order is contained in para No.11 of the judgment, which for
ready reference is being reproduced as under:
11. In above a situation, this court is of the opinion that petitioner
is not entitled for default bail u/s 167(2) Cr.P.C because petitioner
was arrested on 19.03.2020 and he was granted interim bail on
31.03.2020 due to outbreak of Covid-19 and such interim bail now
stands extended till 03.09.2020. In this way, accused remained in
custody for 13 days only when he was released from custody on
interim bail. Such interim bail was granted due to outbreak of
Covid-19 as per compliance of instructions ibid object of which

was to prevent petitioner from infecting with coronavirus. It
appears that same yardstick also applied in favour of investigating
agency which was also prevented from expediting the investigation
process due to outbreak of Covid-19. Although prescribed period of
60 days to file final police report ended on 18.05.2020 and police
filed such final report on 25.06.2020, but investigating agency had
still 47 days more to conclude investigation and final report. Such
period (13 + 47) is still available upto 04.07.2020. Obviously
petitioner is not entitled for default bail.
Feeling aggrieved by the said order, the petitioner has
knocked at the door of this Court by way of filing the present criminal
revision.
Notice of motion.
Mr.Apoorv Garg, DAG, Haryana, accepts notice on behalf of
the State and opposes the petition.
I have heard learned counsel for the parties besides going
through the record and I find that there is absolutely no merit in the
petition.
Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. is meant to ensure that the
investigation in the case is concluded promptly and challan is filed in the
Court thereafter at the earliest so that an accused in a criminal case is not
made to languish in the jail for a very long time. This provision is meant
to ensure that the investigating agency does not show callousness and
lethargy in doing the investigation making them aware of the fact that in case investigation is not completed and challan is not filed within 90 days
of arrest of the accused, where the investigation relates to an offence
punishable with death imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term of
not less than 10 years and within a period of 60 days, where the
investigation relates to any other offence, then the accused would become
entitled to be released on bail and then the Investigating Officer at fault
would be made to explain his acts and omissions in carrying out the
investigation within that time frame.
Now in the instant case after being arrested on 19.3.2020, the
petitioner on account of outbreak of COVID-19 had been granted interim
bail vide order dated 31.3.2020, which stood extended from time to time
and he is still on bail, now required to surrender in jail on 4.9.2020. The
petitioner remaining behind bars for a period of less than two weeks till
date cannot cry foul and ask for bail in terms of Section 167(2) Cr.P.C.
The petitioner just want to have dual benefit enjoying interim bail, at the
same time asking for concession of bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. He
is certainly not entitled to such concession. Learned Additional Sessions
Judge, Karnal has passed a detailed and well reasoned order, which does
not suffer from any illegality or infirmity.
The law is well settled that the revisional jurisdiction of this
Court is quite limited. This Court is to interfere only if there is an
illegality or infirmity apparent on the face of the judgment/order passed
by a Court below or the same is perverse and not otherwise.
In the present case, I do not find any such illegality or
infirmity with the impugned order much less apparent on the face of it. The order is certainly not in violation of settled principles of criminal jurisprudence. I do not see any reason to upset the impugned order.
Finding no merits in the present revision petition, the same
stands dismissed.
21.7.2020 (H.S.MADAAN)

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