The Delhi High Court has held that the right of the accused to default bail under Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) would arise in a case where the prosecution files preliminary or incomplete chargesheet.

The Court held this in an application filed by the accused under Sections 439 and 482 of CrPC seeking bail with regard to the offences under Section 302/34 IPC read with Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.

A Single Bench of Justice Amit Sharma noted, “The fundamental right to personal life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and its co-relation with 167(2) of the CrPC has been, over the years, clearly established by way of judicial precedents of the Hon‘ble Supreme Court of India as well as various High Courts. The right of an accused to default bail under Section 167(2) of the CrPC would arise in a case where the chargesheet is not filed within the stipulated period. The other circumstance giving rise to the right to default bail would be in case where the prosecution files a preliminary or incomplete chargesheet, within the period prescribed for offences mentioned therein and in that process, defeating the right of the accused to statutory bail.”

Advocate Dhruv Gupta appeared for the applicant/accused while APP Aman Usman appeared for the respondent/State.

In this case, an FIR was registered by a person who alleged that while he and his friend (deceased) were sitting and talking, one man and the applicant came who were carrying a katta and a knife. It was alleged that thereafter, the said persons along with some other boys surrounded the complainant and the deceased. The deceased was shot and the applicant stabbed him with a knife multiple times as a result of which he was declared dead in the hospital.

An FIR was registered and during the investigation it was found that the knife was allegedly to have been used by the applicant in commission of the offence and thereafter, the accused persons were arrested. The cause of death of the deceased was opined as “haemorrhagic shock consequent upon firearm and stab injuries to multiple vital organs via injury no. 1 to 7, all of which are sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of nature”. The Metropolitan Magistrate took cognizance of offences and then the application seeking default bail was dismissed by the Additional Sessions Judge.

The issue for consideration in this case was that whether the main chargesheet as well as the subsequent supplementary chargesheets filed in the case were incomplete on account of non-filing of documents.

“Mere non-filing of the FSL Report is not sufficient to conclude that the chargesheet filed in the present case was incomplete. … In any case, the case of the prosecution is primarily based on the eye witness account of the complainant. The FSL report, if any, would be a corroborative piece of evidence. As pointed out hereinabove, even after the filing of the chargesheet, further investigation can continue under Section 173(8) of the CrPC”, said the Court.

The Court concluded that the chargesheet filed in this case was not incomplete.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the bail application.

Cause Title- Sanjay Kumar Pundeer v. State of NCT of Delhi (Neutral Citation: 2023:DHC:6683)

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