1 May 2023 2:33 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to constitute a three-judge bench on May 4 to consider Centre's application seeking the recall of the recent judgement of a two-judge bench of the Apex Court in Ritu Chhabaria v. Union of India And Ors. The Court also ordered that any application filed before any court seeking default bail on the basis of Chhabaria judgment should be deferred to a date after...
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to constitute a three-judge bench on May 4 to consider Centre's application seeking the recall of the recent judgement of a two-judge bench of the Apex Court in Ritu Chhabaria v. Union of India And Ors. The Court also ordered that any application filed before any court seeking default bail on the basis of Chhabaria judgment should be deferred to a date after May 4.
In Ritu Chhabaria, a bench comprising Justices Krishna Murari and CT Ravikumar held that an incomplete chargesheet filed by the investigating agency without completing the investigation will not defeat the right of the accused for default bail.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta mentioned before a bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala the difficulties faced by central agencies due to the said judgment. Last week, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju had told another bench that the Union Government was contemplating filing a petition to review the Chhabaria judgement.
At the outset, SG Mehta argued that various judgements of larger benches of the Supreme Court have unequivocally stated that it was the duty of an investigative agency to file chargesheet within 90 days or 60 days as the case maybe. SG said that the agencies had the right to seek further investigation under Section 173(8) CrPC.
"Every investigation cannot be completed within 60 or 90 days", he added.
At this juncture, the Chief Justice informed the Solicitor General that a judgement was pronounced just today where the bench also elaborated upon the Chhabaria issue. He was referring to Jasbir and others v. National Investigation Agency and others, in which the court held that an accused person would not be entitled to default bail on the ground that the chargesheet filed against him is without a sanction of valid authority and hence is an incomplete chargesheet. The Chief Justice orally remarked that the SG may refer to the judgement first. Justice JB Pardiwala added–
"In our judgement, we said that sanction cannot be a part of chargesheet. Investigative agency has nothing to do with sanction. Once the investigation is completed, once chargesheet is filed, court will not be in a position to take cognisance. That does not mean that the chargesheet is incomplete. Chhabaria takes the view that look my investigation is in progress, I reserve my liberty to file a supplementary chargesheet."
Solicitor General said that Chhabaria lays down an absolute proposition that if the chargesheet has been filed without completing the investigation, then the accused would be entitled to default bail.
"Applications have already come for default bail based on this judgement before various courts in the country. Your lordships could have a relook at it in a three-judge bench. Would your lordships say in the meanwhile that the judgement may not be relied upon?", SG requested.
Refusing this request, the CJI stated that the Court cannot pass an order that its judgment should not be relied upon.
However, in the order, the bench clarified that the applications for default bail based on the said judgment should be deferred.
"List it before a bench of three-judge bench on Thursday. In the meantime, in the event that any other application has been filed before any other court on the basis of the judgement of which recall is sought, they shall be presently deferred to a date beyond Thursday", the order said.
Case : Directorate of Enforcement vs Manpreet Singh Talwar
Click here to read the order