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"Challan Filed Without FSL Report": Punjab And Haryana High Court Grants 'Default Bail' In 1.6 KG Drug Seizure Case

Sparsh Upadhyay
31 Oct 2021 12:54 PM GMT
Challan Filed Without FSL Report: Punjab And Haryana High Court Grants Default Bail In 1.6 KG Drug Seizure Case
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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday granted default bail in terms of Section 167(2) CrPC case to an NDPS accused in view of the fact that the police had filed the challan in the case registered against him without the FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report.The Bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal was hearing the case of one Bhim Sain who was arrested on December 22, 2020, on...

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday granted default bail in terms of Section 167(2) CrPC case to an NDPS accused in view of the fact that the police had filed the challan in the case registered against him without the FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report.

The Bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal was hearing the case of one Bhim Sain who was arrested on December 22, 2020, on the allegations that 1kg 600 grams of 'ganja' was recovered from him.

Subsequently, the challan in the case was filed on February 11, 2021, however, the FSL had not been filed along with the challan. In view of this, the petitioner sought bail from the Sessions court in terms of Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. but his application was dismissed on October 11, 2021.

Challenging that order, he moved to the High Court with the Haryanaplea.

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court referred to the two rulings of the High Court [State of Haryana Vs. Dildar Ram @ Dari & Ajit Singh @ Jeeta and another Vs. State of Punjab] wherein it was held that filing of the challan without FSL report would not be regarded as a complete challan and in such cases, the accused would be entitled to default bail under 167 (2) CrPC.

Importantly, the Court further noted that the Punjab & Haryana High Court has already referred to this question - as to whether a challan filed without report of FSL would be an incomplete challan (in an NDPS Case)- to a larger Bench of the High Court.

It may be noted that this issue was referred by the High Court vide its order dated September 9, 2020, in the case of Julfkar Vs. State of Haryana [2020 (4) Law Herald3188] and the same is presently pending before the High Court

In the said case, the Court was deliberating on the following issue

"Whether in a case under the NDPS Act 1985, a challan presented under Section 173 (2) of the Code of criminal Procedure, is an in- complete challan if presented without the report of the chemical Examiner/Forensic Science Laboratory"

In view of this, the Court granted bail to the accused in the instant matter noting that since the challan had been filed without the FSL report in the instant case, the petitioner would be entitled to be released on default bail in terms of Section 167(2) Cr.P.C.

However, the Court did add that in the event of the division bench opining that the challan filed without FSL report would be a complete challan, the State would be at liberty to prefer an application for cancellation of bail in respect of the accused in the present matter.

It may be noted that a similar order was passed by the High Court last year wherein while granting default bail to an NDPS accused, as challan was filed without FSL report, the Court had granted liberty to the state that in the event of the division bench opining that the challan filed without FSL report would be a complete challan, it could prefer an application for cancellation of bail [CRR-1135-2020, Suresh Vs. The state of Haryana].

Significantly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court earlier this month held that the Forensic report forms the foundation of a case under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act and in case, the same is not there, the entire case of prosecution would fall to the ground.

Read more about the case here: Forensic Report Forms Foundation Of Cases Under NDPS Act; In Its Absence, The Prosecution's Case Falls To Ground: P&H High Court

Case title - Bhim Sain v. State of Haryana 

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