Extension of Limitation does not affect the right of an accused to be released on standard bail

Team SoOLEGAL 13 May 2020 5:06pm

Extension of Limitation does not affect the right of an accused to be released on standard bail

UTTARAKHAND:Highlighting the ‘indefeasible right’ of an accused to be released on standard bail upon expiration of 60 or 90 days of custody, as the situation may be, the Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday i.e. 12th May 2020 has held that the general order imposed by the Supreme Court to increase the time limit for lodging cases in the light of the COVID-19 lockdown will not impact the right of an accused to standard bail under Section167(2) of Cr.PC.

Justice Alok Kumar Verma of Uttarakhand High Court passed an order which explained that the decision to increase the limitation did not intend that the court had prolonged the police investigation duration of 60 days/90 days.

The Madras High Court also passed a similar order last week, wherein it was stated that Section 167 of the Cr.PC cannot be interpreted as comprising the limitation period for the filing of final reports.

The current order was passed in an appeal for bail in which the applicant had verbally challenged the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Champawat, who had denied the applicant's plea for bail after observing that the applicant was not entitled to invoke the value of defaulted bail in the context of the order of the Supreme Court of 23rdMarch 2020 in recognition for extension of limitation.

On the expiry of the said period of 90 days or 60 days [under Section 167], as the case may be, an indefeasible right accrues in favour of the accused for being released on bail on account of default by the Investigating Agency in the completion of the investigation within the period prescribed and the accused is entitled to be released on bail, if he is prepared to and furnishes the bail as directed by the Magistrate”, the Court reaffirmed the statements made in Uday Mohanlal Acharya vs. State of Maharashtra, (2001) 5 SCC 453.

The court subsequently held that the rights under section 167(2) Cr.PC to default bail are not compromised by the Supreme Court's order to increase the limitation.

Accordingly, on completing a personal bond, the claimant was released on bail and furnished two credible assurances, each in the same amount, subject to certain other bail conditions, to the satisfaction of the court concerned.

Tagged: standard bail   indefeasible right   Uttarakhand High Court   Supreme Court   COVID-19   lockdown   Justice Alok Kumar Verma  
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