10 Dec 2022 9:53 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has recently observed that an accused won't be entitled to default bail if the police have not filed an FSL report along with the charge sheet.The bench of Justice Samir J. Dave observed thus as it noted that a charge sheet filed without annexing the FSL report cannot be termed as defective or incomplete and thus, non-filing of the FSL report gives no indefeasible right...
The Gujarat High Court has recently observed that an accused won't be entitled to default bail if the police have not filed an FSL report along with the charge sheet.
The bench of Justice Samir J. Dave observed thus as it noted that a charge sheet filed without annexing the FSL report cannot be termed as defective or incomplete and thus, non-filing of the FSL report gives no indefeasible right to the accused to get default bail.
The case in brief
Essentially, the Court was dealing with the bail plea filed by an Accused booked under various sections of the NDPS Act. He was allegedly arrested with Ganja on October 29. Thereafter, the investigation of the offence started and contraband was sent to the FSL on November 1, 2019.
The investigating agency filed the charge sheet on December 24, 2019, without the FSL report mentioning that once FSL will issue the certificate, the same shall be produced.
Pursuant to this, the accused moved the court seeking default bail under Section 167 (2) CrPC arguing that since the charge sheet filed was incomplete, the accused shall be entitled to bail.
It was submitted that only the report of FSL can decide whether seized contraband does fall under the purview of the NDPS Act and therefore, in absence of an FSL certificate, the investigation cannot be said to a complete and in absence of such certificate, the charge sheet cannot be said as an incomplete charge sheet.
On the other hand, the state argued that FSL was received on November 26, 2019, as per which the material confiscated was shown as narcotic substance ganja, and thereafter, the charge sheet against the accused was filed on 24.12.2019 within the period prescribed under law and thus, no ground was made to grant default bail to accused.
High Court's Observations and order
Against this backdrop, the Court, at the outset noted that after completion of the investigation of the case and presentation of the final report before the Magistrate, the investigating agency is not precluded from collecting further evidence and producing it before the competent court.
Therefore, the Court noted that in the instant case, even if the FSL report was not accompanying the final report, the said report can't be said to be defective or incomplete.
"On the analysis of the statutory provisions of Section 173 and 167 of Cr. P. C, it can safely be stated that a charge sheet containing details specified in Section 173 of the Cr. P. C, if filed within the period prescribed under Section 167(2) is not vitiated or incomplete simply because the same was not accompanied by the FSL report...this is the considered view of this court that the investigating agency has completed the investigation and police authorities is awaiting FSL report does not invite provision of 167(2) of Code of Criminal Procedure because FSL report is only to be considered as expert opinion/scientific conclusion," the Court remarked as it held that the accused was not entitled to default bail due to non-presentation of FSL report along with the charge sheet.
Case title - SHANKAR @ SHIVA MAHESHWAR SAVAI vs. STATE OF GUJARAT
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 408
Click Here To Read/Download Order