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Default Bail- Merely Because Courts Were Closed For Holi Holidays, Prosecution Can't Get Benefit of Filing Charge-Sheet After Expiry of Stipulated Time: Rajasthan HC

ANIRUDH VIJAY
23 April 2022 2:24 PM GMT
Default Bail- Merely Because Courts Were Closed For Holi Holidays, Prosecution Cant Get Benefit of Filing Charge-Sheet After Expiry of Stipulated Time: Rajasthan HC
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The Rajasthan High Court observed that merely because the courts were closed for Holi Holidays, the prosecution cannot get the benefit of filing the charge-sheet after expiry of the period of 60 days or the stipulated period of time mandated by law. The court noted that it is a settled proposition of law that if the contraband recovered is below commercial quantity, the charge-sheet...

The Rajasthan High Court observed that merely because the courts were closed for Holi Holidays, the prosecution cannot get the benefit of filing the charge-sheet after expiry of the period of 60 days or the stipulated period of time mandated by law.

The court noted that it is a settled proposition of law that if the contraband recovered is below commercial quantity, the charge-sheet is required to be filed within a period of 60 days and the period of 60 days, in no circumstance, can get enlarged.

Essentially, the petitioner was arrested on 17.01.2022 and the 60 days' period came to an end on 19.03.2022 whereas the charge-sheet was filed on 21.03.2022.

Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur, while allowing the second bail application, ruled,

"It is settled proposition of law that if the contraband recovered is below commercial quantity, the charge-sheet is required to be filed within a period of 60 days and the period of 60 days, in no circumstance, can get enlarged. Merely because the courts were closed for Holi Holidays, the prosecution cannot get the benefit of filing the charge-sheet after expiry of the period of 60 days or the stipulated period of time mandated by law."

In this regard, reliance was placed by the court in the case of Ashok Siyol & Anr. Vs. State of Rajasthan (2020), wherein this court had held that when the application for bail was filed, the outer limit of 180 days for filing the charge-sheet had lapsed and the report under Section 173 of Cr.P.C. was not available with the Court and therefore, the accused gained the indefeasible right to be released on bail.

The court was apprised that in Ashok Siyol, the respondent-Police Department has proceeded against the erring officials by imposing the penalty orders. In furtherance, the court again emphasized that the erring officials should not be let out easily and no leniency should be adopted while awarding lesser sentences and punishments in such cases. The court observed that in this case also, the Director General of Police is directed to take appropriate departmental proceedings against the erring officials in accordance with law. The proceedings should be completed within a period of six months, added the court.

Further, the court directed that the petitioner be released on bail provided he executes a personal bond in a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- with two sound and solvent sureties of Rs.50,000/- each to the satisfaction of the trial Court for his appearance before that court on each and every date of hearing and whenever called upon to do so till the completion of the trial.

It was further ordered by the court that a copy of this order be sent to the Director General of Police, Rajasthan, Jodhpur. Moreover, the court has listed the case on 02.11.2022 for submission of the compliance report on the action taken against the erring officials.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the incarceration of the petitioner is illegal as the chargesheet wasn't filed within the stipulated period of 60 days. He submitted that the petitioner was arrested in the present case on 17.01.2022 on account of the fact that 95 Grams of Opium Milk was recovered from him. He added that as the contraband recovered was below commercial quantity (95 Grams of Opium Milk), therefore, as per Section 167 (2) Cr.P.C the charge-sheet after investigation was required to be filed within a period of 60 days. He also added that the 60th day after the date of arrest of the petitioner comes to 19.03.2022 and, therefore, the charge-sheet should have been filed on or before 19.03.2022 whereas, admittedly, the charge-sheet was filed on 21.03.2022.

The Public Prosecutor opposed the bail application by filing reply and submitted that the delay in filing the charge-sheet was on account of the Holi Holidays and, therefore, the charge-sheet could not be filed on or before the 60th day.

Adv. Gajendra Kumar Sinwa and Adv. Aditya Sharma appeared for the petitioner while PP Shrawan Bishnoi appeared for the respondent(s).

Case Title: Prahlad v. State Of Rajasthan, Through PP

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 143

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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