Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

NDPS Act | FSL Report Goes To Root Of Case, Challan Filed Without It Is Incomplete: Punjab & Haryana High Court

Drishti Yadav
3 Jun 2022 7:36 AM GMT
Section 6 SRA | Period Of Limitation Prescribed For Instituting Suit For Recovery Of Possession Is 6 Months: Punjab & Haryana High Court
x

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that in cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, FSL report goes to the root of the case and hence a charge sheet filed without it cannot be treated as a complete chargesheet.

It further observed that an application under Section 36A(4) of the NDPS Act seeking extension of period for investigation must be supported by a report of public prosecutor which indicates the progress of the investigation and further specifies the compelling reasons for seeking the detention of the accused beyond the period of 180 days.

Finding the above two conditions not satisfied, the Court allowed an application moved by the Petitioner-accused, seeking default bail in connection with a FIR for lodged for offences under Sections 22-C/27A NDPS Act.

The Petitioner was arrested and presented in the court on September 23, 2021. The challan was presented against the petitioner on March 17, 2022, however, the same was without FSL report and therefore, it was contended that the challan was incomplete and thus, the Petitioner was entitled to default bail.

It was further contended that no application was moved by the public prosecutor under Section 36A(4) NDPS Act seeking extension of time to complete the investigation in the present case.

The State on the other hand contended that the challan was filed along with an application under Section 36A(4) NDPS Act and the request for seeking extension of time was accepted by the trial Court and resultantly the bail application moved by the petitioner under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C was dismissed. The State counsel further contended that admittedly the aforesaid challan was filed without the FSL report but still it cannot be treated as an incomplete challan.

At the outset, the Court noted that the law requires that an application under Section 36A(4) should be supported by a report of public prosecutor, which indicates the progress of the investigation and further specify the compelling reasons for seeking the detention of the accused beyond the period of 180 days.

The bench comprising Justice Karamjit Singh placed reliance on the case of Jagvinder Singh v. State of Haryana and Ajaib Singh v. State of Haryana along with the Supreme Court's judgment in Mohammad Arbaz and others v. State of NCT Delhi and held that the report of the FSL goes to the root of the case and is a material document, filing of challan without the same is not to be treated as complete challan.

The report of the FSL goes to the root of the case and is a material document and as such, filing of challan without the same is not to be treated as complete challan, as has been held by the coordinate Bench of this Court in Jagvinder Singh case (supra) and Ajaib Singh's case (supra). The similar view has been taken by the coordinate Bench of this Court in Criminal Revision No.1314 of 2021, Joginder Singh Vs. State of Haryana, decided on 11.02.2022. Even the Hon'ble Apex Court in SLP (Criminal) No.8164-8166/2021 Mohammad Arbaz and others Vs. State of NCT and Delhi, also granted relief to the accused, under the similar circumstances.

Court further noted that report of the public prosecutor was not filed with the application under Section 36A(4) of the NDPS Act in the instant case. Therefore, the request for an extension of time was not in accordance with the law. Thus, the order passed by the trial Court is not sustainable.

In the case in hand no such report of public prosecutor was filed along with the application moved under Section 36A(4) of NDPS Act. So, the aforesaid request for extension of time made by the prosecution agency was not in accordance with law. Thus, the order dated 31.03.2022, Annexure P-1, passed by the trial Court is not sustainable in the eyes of law.

After considering the facts and circumstances of the instant case, the court concluded that the impugned order rejecting default bail to the petitioner is liable to be set aside thereby allowing him to be released on default bail.

Case Title : Rohtash @ Raju v. State of Haryana

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 128

Click Here To Read/Download Order

Next Story