Skip to content


State of Maharashtra Vs. Sharad B. Sarda - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Writ Petition No. 756 of 1982
Judge
Reported in1983(1)BomCR578
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 167(2) and 437(5); General Clauses Act, 1827 - Sections 10
AppellantState of Maharashtra
RespondentSharad B. Sarda
Appellant AdvocateP.P. Hudlikar, P.P.
Respondent AdvocateR.S. Bhonsale and ;V.R. Bhonsale, Advs.
Excerpt:
criminal - bail - sections 167 (2) and 437 (5) of criminal procedure code, 1973 and section 10 of general clauses act, 1827 - accused produced before magistrate after being arrested by police - charge sheet filed by police - bail application filed - magistrate refused bail under section 167 (2) - revision application filed - revision application allowed and bail granted - no question of cancellation of bail under section 437 (5) - date of arrest by police under section 57 to be excluded while computing period of 90 days - accused in custody for more than 90 days - bail granted rightly as per provisions of section 167 (2) - provisions of section 10 not applicable. - - 15,000/- with one surety in the like amount. 6. before i proceed to deal with aforesaid points it is necessary to see.....m.p. kanade, j.1. by this writ petition the state has challenged the legality and correctness of the order passed by the learned additional sessions judge, pune, dated october 2, 1982 whereby the accused has been enlarged on bail, having regard to the provisions of section 167(2) of the code of criminal procedure. the respondent sharad b. sarda is prosecuted for having committed murder of his wife manjushri on june 12, 1982. the respondent (hereinafter referred to as 'accused') was arrested on june 14, 1982. the other two accused i.e. the accused nos. 2 and 3 were also arrested on june 17, 1982 and they have been released on bail before filing of the charge sheet. the accused had filed an application for bail on september 13, 1982 before the learned judicial magistrate, first class, court.....
Judgment:

M.P. Kanade, J.

1. By this writ petition the State has challenged the legality and correctness of the order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, dated October 2, 1982 whereby the accused has been enlarged on bail, having regard to the provisions of section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The respondent Sharad B. Sarda is prosecuted for having committed murder of his wife Manjushri on June 12, 1982. The respondent (hereinafter referred to as 'accused') was arrested on June 14, 1982. The other two accused i.e. the accused Nos. 2 and 3 were also arrested on June 17, 1982 and they have been released on bail before filing of the charge sheet. The accused had filed an application for bail on September 13, 1982 before the learned Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Court No. 8, Pune, at about 5 p.m. wherein he claimed the right to be released on bail as per the provision of section 167 Clause 2(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It was contended by the accused that since 90 days have expired on the date when the charge-sheet was filed he became entitled to be released on bail. The learned Judicial Magistrate after hearing the accused and the prosecution rejected the said application on September 15, 1982. Feeling aggrieved by the said order of the Magistrate the accused filed a Criminal Revision Application No. 306 of 1982. The said revision application was heard by the learned Additional Sessions Judge Pune and by his judgment and order dated October 2, 1982 was pleased to release the accused on bail of Rs. 15,000/- with one surety in the like amount. Certain conditions were imposed on the accused that the accused shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court. The second condition against the accused was that he shall not stay within the limits of Pune and District Beed till the disposal of the case and he should stay at Aurangabad City and he shall not leave the Municipal limits of Aurangabad City without the previous permission from the Court. The last condition was that the accused shall make himself available to the Court as and when required. He was also directed to report to the Police Station within the jurisdictions which he chooses, once in a week on every Monday. The State feeling aggrieved by the aforesaid judgment and order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, filed this criminal writ petition under Article 227 of Constitution of India and also under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

2. The undisputed facts in this writ petition are that the accused was arrested by the police on June 14, 1982. He was produced before the Magistrate on June 15, 1982. The learned Magistrate passed an order of remand to Police Custody for 14 days and thereafter the accused was sent to the Judicial Custody. That order of remand to the Judicial Custody was to operate till September 14, 1982. On September 13, 1982 the police filed a charge-sheet against the accused at about 3 p.m. and accused filed an application for bail on the same day at about 5 p.m. The learned Magistrate passed an order on September 15, 1982 holding that the total period of 90 days expired at the midnight between September 12/13, 1982. The charge-sheet was filed a couple of hours thereafter during the Court hours. The charge-sheet therefore must be deemed to have been filed, practically, at the expiry of 90 days as mentioned in proviso (a) of sub-section (2) of section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is further observed by the learned Magistrate that the contention of the accused appeared to him to be too technical, and therefore, he was unable to accept the submission made by the accused. According to the learned Magistrate the present case does not fall within the purview of proviso (a) of sub-section (2) of section 167 of the Code. Accordingly the application was rejected. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, held that 90 days as provided have already expired and the accused became entitled as a matter of right to be released on bail.

3. Mr. P.P. Hudlikar, learned Public Prosecutor for the State, contended that the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, committed an error in interpreting the provisions of section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The computation of the period of 90 days is also erroneous. It is submitted, that while computing the period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be as laid down in section 167, the initial detention under section 57 of the Code is to be excluded. It is urged by the learned Counsel that the powers of the learned Magistrate under section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure come into existence from the time and the date when the accused is produced before him by the police after the period of detention under section 57. According to Mr. Hudlikar the detention period of 24 hours by the policy ought to have been excluded and thereafter the authorised period of detention by the learned Magistrate should have been taken into consideration for computing the period of 90 days. Having regard to the facts of this case it is urged that the period of 90 days was to end on a day when the Court had a holiday. The said day of holiday has to be excluded in view of the provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act, 1897.

4. Mr. R.S. Bhonsale who appears on behalf of the accused, contended that on the expiry of 90 days from the date of detention the accused gets an absolute right to be released on bail if a charge sheet is not filed by the Investigating Officer and it is the duty of the Magistrate to inform the accused that an expiry of 90 days of his custody the accused acquires a rights to be released on bail provided he is willing to furnish security. If a security is furnished the Magistrate has no discretion whatsoever but to release the accused on bail. Mr. Bhonsale further contended that the 24 hours detention under section 57 of the Code, cannot be excluded. While computing the period of custody whether it is under section 57 or under section 167 authorised by magistrate, both should be taken into account while computing the period of 90 days or 60 days. Lastly it is urged by Mr. Bhonsale that the provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act are not attracted to the facts of the present case. According to him the language used in section 167 does not admit the exclusion of a holiday or days when the Court is closed. It is argued that in the absence of similar provisions lie section 471 of the Code of the provisions of section 167 should be strictly construed and it should be held that the 90 days period envisaged by section 167 of the Code is an outer limit and hence no question would arise of exclusion of a last day falling on Sunday or holiday.

5. Having heard the learned Counsel on either side, three questions fall for my consideration 1. Whether the period of custody by the police under section 57 is to be excluded while computing the period of 90 days? 2) How should the period of 90 days be computed? and 3) Whether the provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 are attracted while computing the period of 90 days, envisaged by section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

6. Before I proceed to deal with aforesaid points it is necessary to see the scope and ambit of section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Clause (1) of section 167 lays down that whenever any person is arrested and detained in custody and it appears that the investigation cannot be completed within the period of 24 hours fixed under section 57 of the Code and there are grounds for believing that the accusation or information is well founded the officer incharge of the Police Station or the Police Officer making the investigation, if he is not below the rank of Sub-Inspector, shall forthwith transmit to the nearest Judicial Magistrate a copy of the entries in the diary hereinafter prescribed relating to the case, and shall at the same time forward the accused to such Magistrate. Clause (1) of section 167 deals with the power of the Police Officer. Section 57 empowers the Police Officer to arrest and detain a person without a warrant for not more than 24 hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate's Court. The said section 57 lays down that no Police Officers shall detain in custody a person arrested without a warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances if the case is reasonable, and such period shall not, in the absence of the special order of a Magistrate under section 167, exceed 24 hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to Magistrate's Court. It is clear from section 57 of the Code that Police Officer must obtain authorisation from the Magistrate with jurisdiction or without jurisdiction for detaining a person exceeding 24 hours. Reading section 57 together with Clause (1) of section 167, it becomes clear that a Police Officer investigating an offence cannot detain a person for more than 24 hours and if he wants to detain the person exceeding 24 hours he must get authorisation from the Magistrate. Clause 2 of section 167 empowers the Magistrate before whom the accused person is produced to extend the period of custody for a period of 15 days at a time, but it shall not exceed 15 days in the whole. The proviso (a) of section 167 further restricts the power of authorisation of the Magistrate. It lays down that the Magistrate may authorise the detention of the accused person otherwise than in the custody of police beyond the period of 15 days if he is satisfied that adequate grounds exists for doing so. But no Magistrate shall authorise detention of the accused in the custody under this paragraph for a total period not exceeding 90 days where the investigation relates to the offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years and 60 days where the investigation relates to ant other offence. It further lays done that on expiry of the said period the accused person shall be released on bail if he is prepared to and odes furnish bail; and every person released on bail under this section shall be deemed to be so released under the provisions of Chapter XXXIII for the purposes of that chapter. The proviso (a) of the said section is very clear and there is no ambiguity in the language used therein. A legal fiction has been introduced that if the accused is released on bail he will be deemed to have been released in the exercise of the power under section 437 of the Code. Section 437 does not empower the Magistrate to release the accused on bail if the offence charged is punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

7. The contention raised by Mr. Hudlikar, the learned Counsel for the State is that the detention by a Police Officer under section 57 for 24 hours is to be excluded in computing the period of 90 days. It is true that a Police Officer having arrested and detained an accused person without a warrant can keep him, in police custody for 24 hours but he has to get authorisation from the Magistrate immediately after completion of 24 hours for further detention. Clause (2) of section 167 of the Code empowers the Magistrate to detain the accused person in such custody for a term not exceeding 15 days in the whole. Proviso (a) empowers the Magistrate to authorise the detention of the accused person otherwise than the Police custody beyond a period of 15 days, if he is satisfied that there are grounds for doing so, he may order detention of the accused for a period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be. After the expiry of the total period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may, this power of the Magistrate to authorise further detention comes to an end and in the absence of such power, Clause (2) of the said proviso casts a duty on the Magistrate to release accused on bail if he is prepared to and does furnish bail. The words 'total period exceeding 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be' has got to be given proper meaning. The words used in the proviso (a): ' accused person in custody under this paragraph for a total period'. The word 'custody' relates to an accused person and the words 'total period of custody' also deals with the custody of accused person. Without any ambiguity it lays down that the accused cannot be kept in the custody for a total period of 60 days or 90 days as the case may be. While giving a proper meaning to the words 'total period', it must be construed to mean the custody of the accused authorised by the Magistrate. In my judgment the words 'total period of 60 days or 90 days', in that paragraph relate to the custody of an accused person authorised by the Magistrate. The custody of the accused person under section 57 of the Code should be excluded in construing the total period of detention of the accused person. Therefore, the submission of Mr. Hudlikar will have to be accepted. In support of this contention Mr. Hudlikar relied upon the Division Bench judgment of Punjab and Haryana High Court reported in Criminal Law Journal, 1980, 1229. It is observed in that judgment that the period of 60 days for which the Magistrate got authorisation is to be computed from the date the Magistrate authorises the detention of and accused person, excluding the period of detention by police under section 57. If the detention is authorised by the Magistrate on the date of arrest then the period should be computed from the date of arrest. Mr. Hudlikar also relied upon a judgment of Delhi High Court to support his contention. It is observed that when an accused is produced before the Magistrate for remand under section 167 and the Magistrate decides to grant remand, the custody, thereafter, is under the order of the Magistrate. As a matter of fact this authority does not support the contention of Mr. Hudlikar. It does not deal with the exclusion of the period of arrest by police under section 57. It lays down that it is not correct to take into consideration the duration of two days to make up one day. If a person is arrested at mid-day, on the second mid-day it does not become one day for the purpose of computing the period of detention. In Haru Das Gupta v. The State of West Bengal, reported in : 1972CriLJ872 , it is observed that computing the period of 3 months from the date of detention before the expiry of which the order or decision confirming the detention order and continuation of the detention had to be made, the date of commencement must be excluded. In the said case the detenu was arrested and detained on February 5, 1971 in pursuance of the order of detention passed on that very day by the District Magistrate under section 3(1) of West Bengal (Prevention of Violent Activities) Act (President's Act 19 of 1970). The question in the case was when can the period of 90 days be said to have expired When a period of time running from a given day or even to another day or even is prescribed by law or fixed by contract and the question arises whether the computation is to be made inclusively or exclusively of the first-mentioned or of the last-mentioned day, regard must be had to the context and to the purpose for which the computation has to be made. These decisions show that courts have drawn a distinction between a term created within which an Act may be done and a time limit for doing of act or time within which an act may be done and a time for doing of an act the rule is well-established that where a time is given from certain date within which an act is to be done the day on that date is to be excluded. In view of the Supreme Court judgment even the detention by police under section 57 will have to be excluded for the purpose of computing the period of 60 days or 90 days, as the case may be.

8. From the language used in the provisions of section 167 of the Code it appears that the legislature intended to restrict the detention up to 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, and not more than that. This provision has been introduced in the new Code of Criminal Procedure with an object that the under trial prisoners should not be detained for more than specified days. The Code made drastic changes in the provisions contained in section 167. Under section 167 of the Code of 1897 an accused could be remanded from time to time though the total period for which he should be remanded to custody at time was 15 days. But in practice the accused could be kept in custody indefinitely by remand to custody at a time was 15 days. But in practice the accused could be kept in custody indefinitely by remand from time to time while investigation would go on merrily. Patnaik, J., in Mangal Hemrum and others v. The State of Orissa, : 53(1982)CLT259 , re-produced the observations of Law Commission in its 41st report. It is observed. 'It is therefore, desirable as observed in the Fourteenth Report that some time should be placed on the power of the police to obtain remand, while, investigation is still going on; and if the present time limit of 15 days is too short, it would be better to fix a longer period rather than countenance a practice which violates the spirit of the legal safeguard. Like the earlier Law Commission, we feel that 15 days is perhaps too short, and we purpose, therefore, to follow the recommendation in the Fourteen Report that the maximum period under section 167 should be fixed at 60 days'. The Select Committee remarked, 'That there is a persistent complaint that investigation are not being completed quickly by the police and that in many cases the accused persons are kept in detention on remand, for a very long period causing hardship and misery to such under trial prisoners and their families. Although stringent provisions are already there in the existing Code requiring investigations to be completed quickly, they have not had the desired effect ......... A drastic remedy therefore, is called for in this behalf.' Accordingly drastic changes have been made in the provisions of section 167. It is further observed that 'However, in certain complicated cases investigation could not be completed within the period of 60 days. Investigation might be necessary at different places of this vast country. The Investigating Agencies were facing considerable difficulties and in genuine cases, though there was no laches on the part of the Investigating Agency, the accused was being released on bail on the expiry of 60 days when no charge sheet was filed. There was demand from scrapping the entire provisions and to restore the old order. The Parliament intervened in 1978 and stepped on the demand of restoration of the old provisions. The clock could not be put back. A clause prescribing a period of 90 days where investigation relate to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years was, however inserted. The essential features of section 167 were not altered despite protests from the champions of the old order. The intention of the legislature seems to be to grant no discretion to the Court and to make it obligatory for it to release the accused on bail'.

9. On plain reading of section 167 of the Code I do not find that it admits two possible meaning thereof. It is a well settled rule of construction that the intention of the legislature must be found in the words used by the legislature itself. In : [1958]1SCR360 , in Kanai Lal Sur v. Paramnidhi Sadhukhan, it is observed that 'The first and primary rule of construction is that the intention of the legislature must be found in the words used by the legislature itself. If the words used are capable of one construction only then it would not be open to the courts to adopt any other hypothetical construction on the ground that such hypothetical construction is more consistent with the alleged object and policy of the Act. The words used in the material provisions of the statute must be interpreted in their plain grammatical meaning and it is only when such words are capable of two constructions that the question of giving effect to the policy or object of the Act can legitimately arise. When the material words are capable of two constructions, one of which is likely to defeat or impair the policy of the Act whilst the other construction is likely to assist the achievement of the said policy, then the courts would prefer to adopt the latter construction. It is only in such cases that it become relevant to consider the mischief and defect which the Act purports to remedy and correct. 'Having regard to these observations I find that there is no scope or provisions for attempting two different constructions of the said section. It is very plain when it says the 'total period in custody for 60 days or 90 days, as the case may be'. It plainly means that accused cannot be allowed to remain in custody for more than 60 days or 90 days as the case may be. In view of the reasons from stated above it is not possible to accept the contention of Mr. Bhonsale, that the date of arrest under section 57 should be included while computing the period of 60 days or 90 days. Accordingly the contention has no force.

10. In this connection Hussainara's case, : 1979CriLJ1052 Hussainara Khattoon and others v. Home Secretary, State of Bihar, Patna, may be usefully referred to. It is observed that 'when an under trial prisoner is produced before a Magistrate and he has been in detention for 90 days or 60 days as the case may be, the Magistrate must, before making an order of further remand to judicial custody point out of the prisoner that he is entitled to be released on bail'. This authority is relied on by both the Counsel on either sides. Mr. Hudlikar contended that on the expiry of 90 days the Magistrate must inform the accused that he had acquired a right to be released on bail and till the expiry of the period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, no right is accrued to him. The previous remand order was to expire on September 14, 1982 and, therefore, it was not necessary for the Magistrate to inform the accused on September 13, 1982 that he had acquired a right to be released on bail. Mr. Hudlikar also wanted to press service this authority to submit that the Supreme Court when it refers to 90 days or 60 days as the case may be, is only referred to authorised detention by the Magistrate, and the detention and arrest by police under section 57 has not been considered or finally decided in the case. Whereas Mr. Bhosale submitted that the Supreme Court has used the words very carefully that on the expiry of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, from the date of arrest and not from the date of authorisation by the magistrate. It is true that the said authority has not dealt specifically with the point raised by Mr. Hudlikar that detention or arrest by police under section 57 is to be excluded or not. However, the words 'from the date of arrest' has been mentioned. The reference to the date of arrest is with regard to any under trial prisoner to the judicial custody, but this case clearly lays down a proposition of law that it is the duty of the magistrate to bring to the notice of the accused, so detained or arrested, that he has been in detention for 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be. The Magistrate must before making the order of further judicial custody point out to the under trial prisoner that he is entitlement to be released on bail. If an accused person earns his entitlement to be released on bail and he offers a security for his bail then his custody without such intimation to him becomes unlawful.

11. The continued detention would be clearly illegal and unlawful of his fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Section 167 restrains the Magistrate to grant an order of remand after the expiry of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, and if such order of remand is granted by the Magistrate, it would not only be illegal but will be clearly in contravention of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It is then, Mr. Bhonsale relied upon a Full Bench judgment of Gujarat High Court, in Babubhai Parshottamdas Patel v. The State of Gujarat, reported in . It is observed in the Full Bench judgment that, 'if it is not possible to complete the investigation within a period of 90 days, even in serious and ghastly types of crimes, the accused will be entitled to be released on bail'.

12. The second submission of Mr. Hudlikar, is that the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Pune has not properly computed the period of 90 days as laid down in section 167 of the Code. It is rather an admitted fact that the 13th September, 1982 would fall on the 91st day from the date of arrest, even if 14th June, 1982 is excluded while computing the said period. According to the learned Counsel the 90th day had fallen on Sunday and, therefore, the said holiday should be excluded in computing the period of 90 days. On the next opening day if a charge sheet is filed it will be deemed to have been filed within the period of 90 days. In other words it is argued that the provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act would be attracted and the last day falling on Sunday should be excluded while computing the said prescribed period. The 90 days period will have to be computed from the date of authorisation by the Magistrate. The learned Magistrate authorised the detention on June 15, 1982 and if the period of 90 days is calculated from this date, period of 90 days will expire on the Sunday, September 12, 1982.

13. The point to be decided, is as to whether the provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 are attracted by the facts of this case. Mr. Hudlikar contended that 90 the day of detention of the accused falls on Sunday i.e. on September 12, 1982, so on the next opening of the courts a charged sheet is filed on September 13, 1982 and therefore, the proceeding shall be considered as done or taken in due time, on the next day after wards on which the Court is opened. Section 10 of General Clauses Act lays down that whereby any Central Act or regulation made after the commencement of this act, any act or proceedings is directed or allowed to be done or taken in any Court or office on a certain day or within a prescribe period then if the Court or office is closed on that day or the last day of the prescribed period the Act or the proceeding shall be considered as done or taken in due time. According to Mr. Hudlikar, filing of the charge sheet on September 13, 1982 on opening of the Court on that day was saved by section 10 of the General Clauses Act. It is true that the Court was closed on September 1982. The question is as to whether under the Code any time has been prescribed for filing of a charge-sheet. Mr. Hudlikar fairly conceded that there is no prescribed period mentioned in the Code to file a charge sheet. What is required under section 10 of the General Clauses Act is that any act or proceeding directed or allowed to be done or taken in any Court on a certain day or within prescribed period then the Act or the proceedings shall be considered as done or taken in due time if it is done or taken on the next day afterwards on which the Court is opened. As stated above no certain day was fixed by the order of the Court or any period prescribed for filing of the charge-sheet. The prosecution could have filed the charge sheet earlier than September 12, 1982. Except filing of the charge-sheet on September 13, 1982 nothing has been done as directed or allowed to be done and it is, therefore, that the provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act will not apply. An absolute right accrued to the accused on the expiry of 90 days and it cannot be defeated by merely filing of the charge-sheet on September 13, 1982. The right is accrued the moment 90 days are over, whether that 90th day falls on a holiday or not. The accused continued to be in custody and therefore, the provisions of section 167(2) lays down that he can be in the custody only for a period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be. As stated above the right is accrued to the accused and it is the duty of the Magistrate to inform the accused that he is entitled to be released on bail and this absolute right of the accused cannot be allowed to be defeated by resorting to the provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act. Thus, in this view of the matter it must be held that section 10 of the General Clauses Act does not apply to this case.

14. It is significant to not that by the mere filing of a charge-sheet by the prosecution the right to be released of an accused person does not come to an end under proviso (a) to section 167(2) of the Code. As a matter of fact police. It lays down that the Magistrate can grant remand in judicial custody for a period of 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, and on expiry of the said period there is an entitlement to an accused person to be released on bail and if he can furnish a security to the satisfaction of Magistrate he shall be forthwith released. It is useful to refer to some other sections relating to filing of charge sheet by the prosecution. Section 173 of the Code refers to a report of the Police Officer on completion of the investigation. And if a reporter is filed under section 173 then the Magistrate should see as to whether the said case is triable by him or exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions. On filing of the report and the charge-sheet by the police, if it appears to the Magistrate that the offence is exclusively triable by the Court of sessions he shall commit the accused, after applying the provisions of section 207 or 208 of the Code as the case may be, subject to the provisions of this Code relating to bail he shall remand the accused to the custody until last commitment is made. If the charge sheet is filed within 90 days or 60 days, as the case may be, the Magistrate gets power under section 209 made but if a charge sheet is not filed it is not possible for the Magistrate to know as to whether the offence is triable by himself or exclusively by the Court of sessions and in the absence of charge sheet there is no alternative or discretion with the Magistrate except to give benefit of provisions of proviso (a) to section 167(2) of the Code. So on merely filing of the charge sheet after the expiry of the period of 90 days or 60 days as the case may be the accused is not deprived of a right earned by him to be released on bail. Mr. Bhonsale is right, when he argues that if an accused is released on bail in view of the provisions of section 167(2) of the Code then the prosecution can only ask for cancellation of bail as provided under section 437(5), which lays down that any Court which has released an accused person on bail under sub-section (1) or (2) of section 437 shall record in writing his reasons for so doing. Similar is the provisions under section 439(2) of the Code. It appears that merely on filing a charge sheet after the expiry of period of 90 days the accused cannot be remanded to the custody because he has earned an absolute right to be released on bail under section 167(2) of the Code. In Bashir and others v. State of Haryana, : 1978CriLJ173 , it is observed that 'the power of the Court to cancel bail if it considers it necessary is preserved in cases where a person has been released on bail under section 437(1) or (2) and these provisions are applicable to a person who has been released under section 167(2)'. It is further observed that 'The fact that before an order was passed under section 167(2) the bail petitions of the accused were dismissed on merits is not relevant for the purpose of taking action under section 437(5). Neither is it a valid group that subsequent to release of the accused a challan was, filed by the police. The Court before directing the arrest of the accused and committing them to custody should consider it necessary to do so under section 437(5). This may be done by the Court coming to the conclusion that after the challan had been filed there are sufficient grounds that the accused had committed a non bailable offence and that it is necessary that he should be arrested and committed to custody'. In view of this clear authority of Supreme Court it is not possible to contend that merely filing of a charge sheet by the prosecution an absolute right earning by accused under section 167(2) comes to an end. If at all the prosecution wants the accused in custody it must file an application for cancellation of bail granted by the Magistrate.

15. Mr. Bhonsale very strenuously argued that this revision application itself is not maintainable, inasmuch as this amounts to cancellation of bail granted under section 167(2) of the Code. What is canvassed before me is that the prosecution ought to have filed an application under section 437 of the Code, for cancellation of bail. Such a procedure has not been followed by the prosecution, and, therefore, this revision application itself is not maintainable. I am afraid that I cannot accept this submission for obvious reason that the Magistrate refused bail to the accused under section 167(2). The accused filed a revision application before the Additional Sessions Judge to set aside the order of the Magistrate and the learned Sessions Judge allowed that revision application and granted application made by the accused for bail. The legality and propriety of that order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, has been challenged in this application will have to be allowed and it not legally tenable then the order passed by the Magistrate will have to be set aside. In this view of the matter, there is no question of cancellation of bail by the prosecution under section 437(5) of the Code. (Sic) Accordingly, this application is maintainable.

16. Thus having held that the date of arrest by police under section 57 is to be excluded while computing the period of 90 days, the accused was in custody for more than 90 days the order of the learned Magistrate and he earned a right to be release on bail and the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, has rightly granted bail to the accused in accordance with the provisions of section 167(2) of the Code, and provisions of section 10 of the General Clauses Act not being applicable, this application must fail.

17. In the result, this criminal writ petition fails. The order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Pune, in Revision Application No. 306 of 1982, dated October 7, 1982 is herein confirmed. Rule discharged.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //