Saturday, 20 March 2021

Whether the court can refuse to give default bail to the accused if the police seek time to file a supplementary charge sheet under UAPA Act?

 On the second aspect, it is urged that what is

called as the second charge sheet is really a

supplementary charge sheet as there is no restriction on

the number of supplementary charge sheets which can be

filed but there will be only one charge sheet in view of

judgment of this Court in the case of Vinay Tyagi vs.

Irshad Ali @ Deepak & Ors. (2013) 5 SCC 762

On the second aspect we cannot lose sight of the

fact that what was envisaged by the Legislature was that

the investigation should be completed in 24 hours but

practically that was never found feasible. It is in these

circumstances that Section 167 of the Cr.P.C. provided

for time period within which the investigation should be

completed, depending upon the nature of offences. Since,

liberty is a Constitutional right, time periods were

specified in the default of which the accused will have a

right to default bail, a valuable right.

 We do not

think that the State can take advantage of the fact that

in one case there is one charge sheet and supplementary

charge sheets are used to extend the time period in this

manner by seeking to file the supplementary charge sheet

qua the offences under the UAPA Act even beyond the period

specified under Section 167 of the Cr.P.C beyond which

default bail will be admissible, i.e, the period of 180

days. That period having expired and the charge sheet not

having been filed qua those offences (albeit a

supplementary charge sheet), we are of the view the

appellant would be entitled to default bail in the

aforesaid facts and circumstances.

REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 319 OF 2021


FAKHREY ALAM  Vs THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH 

Dated: March 15, 2021.

Leave granted.

An FIR bearing No. 04/2017 has been registered

against the appellant-accused Fakhrey Alam under Section

420,467, 468, 471 and 120-B, IPC and 3/25/30 of the Arms

Act and under Section 18 of the UAPA Act, 1967.

The appellant was arrested on 08.03.2017 and on

03.06.2017, learned Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate,

Lucknow granted a total of 180 days to the police for

filing the charge sheet. The police filed charge sheet on

04.09.2017 under the aforesaid provisions, except under

the UAPA Act as it was mandatory to obtain prosecution

sanction from the State Government which had not been

forthcoming till the date of filing of the charge sheet.

Thus, the charge sheet states as under :

“ That the accused are in Judicial Custody and

the remand period of the accused Fakhrey Alam

is completing today. Therefore, the Charge

Sheet under Section 420/467/468/471/120-B IPC

and Section 3/25/30 Arms Act is being filed

before this Hon’ble Court against the accused

persons. It is requested to summon the

witnesses and commences the Trial of the Case.

A separate Charge Sheet shall be under Section

18 UA (P) Act shall be filed against obtaining

the prosecution sanction.”

Thereafter, a second charge sheet was filed after

obtaining sanction of the State Government on 05.10.2017.

We are concerned with the order passed by the Chief

Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow dated 13.10.2017 on an

application filed by the appellant on 03.10.2017 for

default bail under Section 167 (2) of the Code of Criminal

Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “the

Cr.P.C.”) two days prior to the charge sheet having been

filed under the UAPA Act. The case set up by the

appellant was that the charge sheet had been filed after

180 days and thus he was entitled to default bail. The

Court, however, opined that what was stated to be a

second charge sheet was really a supplementary charge

sheet and thus default bail would not be admissible. The

aforesaid view was given its imprimatur by the High Court

in terms of the impugned order dated 03.11.2020 which has

been assailed before us.

Learned senior counsel for the appellant has made a

dual submissions before us:

Firstly, it is his submission that the Chief

Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow on 03.06.2017 could not have

granted 180 days for filing of the charge sheet as the

jurisdiction in respect of offences under the UAPA Act,

which cases are entrusted to NIA, vests only with the

special courts and this aspect was no more res integra in

view of judgment of this Court in the case of Bikramjit

Singh vs. State of Punjab.  (2020) 10 SCC 616

Secondly, it was urged before us that even within

the 180 days period, the charge sheet/supplementary charge

sheet under the UAPA Act was not filed which gave a cause

to the appellant to file the application for default bail

on 03.10.2017 and it is only two days thereafter on

05.10.2017 after a lapse of 211 days that this charge

sheet had been filed.

On the other hand, learned counsel for the State

submits that the judgment of this Court in Bikramjit

Singh’s case (supra) was in the given situation prevalent

in the State of Punjab, but on the other hand in State of

Uttar Pradesh the competent Court was of the special Chief

Judicial Magistrate and it is only recently now about a

month back that special Courts had been notified.

On the second aspect, it is urged that what is

called as the second charge sheet is really a

supplementary charge sheet as there is no restriction on

the number of supplementary charge sheets which can be

filed but there will be only one charge sheet in view of

judgment of this Court in the case of Vinay Tyagi vs.

Irshad Ali @ Deepak & Ors. (2013) 5 SCC 762

We have examined the aforesaid pleas.

Insofar as the first aspect is concerned, suffice to

say that the situation in the State of Uttar Pradesh is

different and it is not as if there were any notified

special courts in existence.

On the second aspect we cannot lose sight of the

fact that what was envisaged by the Legislature was that

the investigation should be completed in 24 hours but

practically that was never found feasible. It is in these

circumstances that Section 167 of the Cr.P.C. provided

for time period within which the investigation should be

completed, depending upon the nature of offences. Since,

liberty is a Constitutional right, time periods were

specified in the default of which the accused will have a

right to default bail, a valuable right.

If we look at the scenario in the present case in

that conspectus, the charge sheet under the provisions of

law as originally filed on 04.09.2017 were required to be

filed within 90 days but was actually filed within 180

days. This was on the premise of the charge under Section

18 of the UAPA Act. However, no charge sheet was filed

even within 180 days under the UAPA Act, but post filing

of the application for default bail, it was filed after

211 days. Thus, undoubtedly the period of 180 days to

file the charge sheet qua UAPA Act had elapsed. We do not

think that the State can take advantage of the fact that

in one case there is one charge sheet and supplementary

charge sheets are used to extend the time period in this

manner by seeking to file the supplementary charge sheet

qua the offences under the UAPA Act even beyond the period

specified under Section 167 of the Cr.P.C beyond which

default bail will be admissible, i.e, the period of 180

days. That period having expired and the charge sheet not

having been filed qua those offences (albeit a

supplementary charge sheet), we are of the view the

appellant would be entitled to default bail in the

aforesaid facts and circumstances.

We need only emphasize what is already observed in

Bikramjit Singh case (supra) that default bail under first

proviso of Section 167(2) of the Cr.P.C. is a

fundamental right and not merely a statutory right as it

is, a procedure established by law under Article 21 of

the Constitution. Thus a fundamental right is granted to

an accused person to be released on bail once the

conditions of the first proviso to Section 167(2)of the

Cr.P.C. are fulfilled.

In fact in the majority judgment of this Court it

has been held that an oral application for grant of

default bail would suffice [See. Rakesh Kumar Paul vs.

State of Assam]3. The consequences of the UAPA Act are

drastic in punishment and in that context, it has been

held not to be a mere statutory right but part of the

procedure established by law under Article 21 of the

Constitution of India.

We are thus of the view that the impugned order(s)

are liable to be set aside. The appellant is entitled to

default bail under Section 167(2)of the Cr.P.C. in the

given facts of the case on the terms and conditions to the

satisfaction of the trial Court.

The appeal is accordingly allowed leaving he parties

to bear their own costs.

………………………………………..J.

[SANJAY KISHAN KAUL]

………………………………………...J.

[R. SUBHASH REDDY]

New Delhi;

March 15, 2021.

3 (2017) 15 SCC 67



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