The Delhi High Court held that a chargesheet cannot be considered as 'incomplete' merely for non-filing of FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory) report along with it.

The Court held thus while dismissing a default bail plea under Section 167(2) read with Sections 439 and 482 of CrPC in a case under Sections 18, 25, and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act).

A Single Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed, “The present application has been filed seeking default bail on the ground of non-filing of FSL report alongwith the chargesheet … it has been held by this Court that non-filing of FSL report alongwith the chargesheet does not fall within the ambit of Section 173(2) of Cr.P.C. so as to consider it as “incomplete chargesheet and accordingly, no right of default bail is accrued in favour of the accused.”

The main grievance of the accused in this case was that the Special Judge, NDPS, Patiala House Court, New Delhi had erroneously declined the relief of default bail to him.

Advocate R.A. Worso Zimik appeared for the applicant/accused while APP Manoj Pant appeared for the respondent/State.

Brief Facts -

A secret information was received by the Special Cell in February 2023 that in next 4-5 days, two people from Imphal, Manipur would be carrying drugs from Manipur for supplying them in areas of Delhi NCR and Punjab. Thereafter, it received an information that at around 3-4 p.m., two residents of Imphal including the applicant/accused, who were involved in the business of heroin, will come through loop road from MB road towards Sarita Vihar, Delhi in white coloured car.

Hence, a raiding team was formed and at around 3:25 p.m., the said car reached the spot and stopped on the road side. The driver then got down from the car and stood on footpath, carrying apittu bag on his shoulder. When the driver starting running towards the car, immediately the raiding team apprehended him and the accused applicant who was sitting in the car. Then the raiding team conducted search of car and bags, and 10 kg of opium was recovered from bags and 30 kg from the car. Hence, an FIR was registered and the accused along with driver (co-accused) was sent to the police remand.

The High Court in view of the above facts noted, “Though in case of Mohd Arbaz (supra), as well as in other subsequent cases filed assailing the orders of refusal of grant default bail, the accused persons have been enlarged on bail by the Hon’ble Apex Court, the said relief however has been granted to the accused persons on the ground of pendency of larger issue i.e. whether chargesheet filed without an FSL report is incomplete chargesheet, before the Hon’ble Apex Court in batch of petitions.”

The Court added by saying that however, neither the decisions challenged before the Apex Court have been stayed, nor any general directions have been given to the courts to release the accused persons on default bail if the chargesheet is filed without an FSL report. Therefore, it concluded that there is no ground for grant of bail to the accused/applicant.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the bail application.

Cause Title- Leishangthem I Loyangamba v. State (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:263)

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