A Division bench of Supreme Court in this Order held as follows in regards to Default bail u/s 167 CrPC,
Fakhrey Alam Vs State of Uttar Pradesh on 15 Mar 2021
On the second aspect we cannot lose sight of the fact that what was envisaged by the Legislature was that the investigation should be completed in 24 hours but practically that was never found feasible. It is in these circumstances that Section 167 of the Cr.P.C. provided for time period within which the investigation should be completed, depending upon the nature of offences. Since, liberty is a Constitutional right, time periods were specified in the default of which the accused will have a right to default bail, a valuable right.
If we look at the scenario in the present case in that conspectus, the charge sheet under the provisions of law as originally filed on 04.09.2017 were required to be filed within 90 days but was actually filed within 180 days. This was on the premise of the charge under Section 18 of the UAPA Act. However, no charge sheet was filed even within 180 days under the UAPA Act, but post filing of the application for default bail, it was filed after 211 days. Thus, undoubtedly the period of 180 days to file the charge sheet qua UAPA Act had elapsed. We do not think that the State can take advantage of the fact that in one case there is one charge sheet and supplementary charge sheets are used to extend the time period in this manner by seeking to file the supplementary charge sheet qua the offences under the UAPA Act even beyond the period specified under Section 167 of the Cr.P.C beyond which default bail will be admissible, i.e, the period of 180 days. That period having expired and the charge sheet not having been filed qua those offences (albeit a supplementary charge sheet), we are of the view the appellant would be entitled to default bail in the aforesaid facts and circumstances.
We need only emphasize what is already observed in Bikramjit Singh case (supra) that default bail under first proviso of Section 167(2) of the Cr.P.C. is a fundamental right and not merely a statutory right as it is, a procedure established by law under Article 21 of the Constitution. Thus a fundamental right is granted to an accused person to be released on bail once the conditions of the first proviso to Section 167(2) of the Cr.P.C. are fulfilled.
In fact in the majority judgment of this Court it has been held that an oral application for grant of default bail would suffice [See. Rakesh Kumar Paul vs. State of Assam]3. The consequences of the UAPA Act are drastic in punishment and in that context, it has been held not to be a mere statutory right but part of the procedure established by law under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
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