At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P. VELMURUGAN
For the Petitioner: T.S. Sasikumar, Advocate. For the Respondent: S. Sugendran, Additional Public Prosecutor.
(Prayer: Criminal Revision filed under Section 397 and 401 of Criminal Procedure Code, praying to set aside the order passed in Crl.M.P.No.4001 of 2022 dated 26.08.2022 by the learned Principal Special Judge for NDPS Act, Chennai)
1. This Criminal Revision Case has been filed seeking to set aside the order passed in Crl.M.P.No.4001 of 2022 dated 26.08.2022 by the learned Principal Special Judge for NDPS Act, Chennai.
2. The case of the petitioner is that the petitioner was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on 21.02.2022 in Crime No.194 of 2022 for the offence under Section 8(c), 20(b)(ii)(C) and 25 of NDPS Act, for having found in illegal possession of 40 kgs of ganga. Pending investigation, the petitioner filed a petition for statutory bail before the Principal Special Court under EC & NDPS Act, Chennai, under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. stating that the respondent police had not filed the charge sheet within the statutory period of 180 days from the date of arrest of the petitioner. The said petition was dismissed by order dated 26.08.2022, since the prosecution had also filed a petition on the 179th day from the date of arrest of the petitioner, under Section 36 A(4) of NDPS Act in Crl.M.P.No.3955 of 2022 for extension of statutory period of investigation for further period of 90 days sating that they had not received the chemical analysis report. Challenging the same, the present revision has been filed before this Court.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner would submit that the said Chemical Analysis Report was received by the prosecution much earlier and therefore, the extension of time would not arise on the ground of non receipt of Chemical Analysis Report. Hence, the order of the Court below has to be set aside and the petitioner is entitled for mandatory bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C.
4. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondent police would submit that already the charge sheet has been filed and the same has also been taken on file and the case is now posted for framing of charges. Therefore at this stage, invoking Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. would not arise. Further, the petitioner belongs to Telengana and there is a possibility of the petitioner getting abscond and protracting the trial. Hence, he prays for dismissal of the petition.
5. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for the respondent police and perused the materials on record.
6. Admittedly, the charge sheet was not filed within the statutory period and the prosecution has filed the petition under Section 36 A(4) of NDPS Act and got extension of time for filing the charge sheet and only after the statutory period of 180 days, they have filed the charge sheet. One of the reasons stated for granting extension of time to file the charge sheet was that the Chemical Analysis Report was not received by the respondent Police, whereas, as pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioner, the Chemical Analysis Report was received by the respondent police well in advance. Therefore, the reason stated by the Court below for granting extension of time, is not sustainable in law and the petitioner is entitled for mandatory bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C.
7. In view of the above fact the charge sheet was not filed within the statutory period and the reason for granting extension of time to file the charge sheet is not acceptable, this Court is inclined to grant bail to the petitioner subject to the following conditions:
(a) Accordingly, the petitioner is directed to deposit a sum of Crl.RC.No.1490 of 2022 Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh Only) to the credit of Crime No.194 of 2022 and on such deposit, the petitioner is ordered to be released on bail on execution of a bond for a sum of Rs.10,000/- (Rupees Ten Thousand only), with two sureties, each for a like sum to the satisfaction of the learned Principal Special Judge for NDPS Act, Chennai, and on further conditions that:
(b) the sureties shall affix their photographs and Left Thumb Impression in the surety bond and the learned Magistrate may obtain a copy of their Aadhar Card or Bank Pass Book to ensure their identity;
(c) The petitioner on his release from prison, shall appear before the respondent police daily at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. until further orders except on Court hearing dates. The petitioner shall appear before the trial Court on all hearing days without fail. Further, the petitioner shall not leave the jurisdictional limits of the respondent police till the disposal of the Sessions Case.
(d) the petitioner shall not commit any offences of similar nature;
(e) the petitioner shall not abscond during trial;
(f) the petitioner shall not tamper with evidence or witness during trial;
(g) on breach of any of the aforesaid conditions, the learned Judicial Magistrate/Trial Court is entitled to take appropriate action against the petitioner in accordance with law as if the conditions have been imposed and the petitioner released on bail by the learned Magistrate/Trial Court himself as laid down by the
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Hon'ble Supreme Court in P.K.Shaji vs. State of Kerala [(2005)AIR SCW 5560]; (h) if the accused thereafter absconds, a fresh FIR can be registered under Section 229A IPC. 8. With the above directions, this Criminal Revision Case is allowed. Further since it is informed that charge sheet has been filed and the same was taken on file and the case was posted for framing of charges, the trial Court is directed to take cognizance of the case and conduct trial and dispose of the case within a period of four moths from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.