29 July 2022 6:35 AM GMT
The Division bench of Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh High Court on Monday held that a charge-sheet even in the form of its photostat copies when placed on record cannot be termed as incomplete charge-sheet for grant of default bail, for the reason that the original documents can be brought on record with the permission of the court and otherwise also their admissibility can be...
The Division bench of Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh High Court on Monday held that a charge-sheet even in the form of its photostat copies when placed on record cannot be termed as incomplete charge-sheet for grant of default bail, for the reason that the original documents can be brought on record with the permission of the court and otherwise also their admissibility can be challenged during recording of evidence.
A bench comprising Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey & MA Chaudhary was hearing an appeal filed in terms of Section 21(4) of NIA Act 2008 read with the NIA (Amendment Act) 2019, in terms of which the appellant challenged the order passed by the court of Additional Sessions Judge Baramula (designated as Special Judge for UA(P) Act cases for Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts) whereby the application for grant of statutory bail in favour of the appellant was rejected.
The appellants had challenged the bail rejection order on the ground that the Investigating agency, in order to defeat the right of the appellant to seek default bail, produced an incomplete shadow challan/charge-sheet as Photostat copies thereof before the trial court.
The appellants further urged that the investigating agency had failed to complete the investigation of the case during the period prescribed under law and also after completion of time extended and permitted by the Special court, as such, the appellant was entitled to grant of bail, as a matter of right.
The moot question for adjudication before the court was as to whether the appellant was entitled to be admitted to default bail / compulsive bail in terms of Section 167(2) of Cr.PC, 1973 on filing of the charge-sheet within the period of 180 days, as was available to the prosecution, without original documents to be relied upon.
Dealing with the matter in controversy the bench while perusing the record noted that the prosecuting agency had clearly established that the charge-sheet was laid along-with photostat documents on 4-02-2021, as the original documents had been submitted to the Government for accord of sanction to prosecute which was granted on 03.02.2021, meaning thereby that the original documents were in transit and without waiting for the receipt of original documents, the prosecution had laid the charge-sheet within the statutory period.
"We do not find any illegality in the method and manner in which the charge-sheet was laid due to attending circumstances by the prosecution, as the prosecution had completed the investigation before the submission of the case for accord of sanction and the charge-sheet had been produced in the trial court within 180 days from the arrest of the appellant", the bench recorded.
Discarding the contention of the appellants that an incomplete challan, which he described as shadow challan had been presented before the trial court, the bench found it worthwhile to record the observations made by Apex court in Narendra Kumar Amin Vs.Central Bureau of Investigation & Ors 2015 wherein SC had observed
'if the cognizance is taken on the police report the contention that the charge-sheet was incomplete is wholly untenable and liable to be rejected'.
Dealing with the plea of the appellants that the charge-sheet was not complete the bench while relying on Peerzada Rafiq Maqdoomi Vs. Union Territory of J&K, CrlA(D) observed that since cognizance was taken and the charge against the accused-appellant had also been framed, therefore, the plea of the appellant that the charge-sheet was not complete is misconceived and has rightly been rejected by the trial court.
Resultantly, the appeal along-with connected application is dismissed and the impugned order is upheld, the bench concluded.
Case Title: Vakil Ahmad Dar Vs UT of J&K.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 83
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment