Delhi High Court held that there is no need for filing an formal application seeking default bail, once the conditions set out in section 167(2)(a) are made out, as continued confinement violates fundamental right under Article 21.
From Paras 32, 33 and 34,
Subhash Bahadur @Upender Vs State (NCT of Delhi) on 6 Nov 2020
32. A plain reading of the Proviso (a) to Section 167(2) of the Cr.PC indicates that an accused would necessarily have to be released on bail “if he is prepared to and does furnish bail”. Thus, in cases where the statutory period of sixty days or ninety days has expired, the accused would be entitled to be released on bail provided he meets the condition as set out therein – that is, he is prepared to furnish and does furnish bail. It is important to note that there is no provision requiring him to make any formal application.
33. It is also trite law that there is no inherent power in a court to remand an accused to custody. Such power must be traced to an express provision of law [See: Natbar Parida Bisnu Charan vs State of Orissa: (1975) Supp SCR 137 and Union of India vs Thamsharasi: (1995) 4 SCC 190]. As is apparent from the language of Proviso (a) to Section 167(2) of the Cr.PC, the power of a Court to remand an accused to custody pending investigation is circumscribed and stands denuded if the period of sixty days or ninety days, as the case may be, has expired and the accused is ready and willing to furnish bail.
34. It is also necessary to bear in mind that courts have consistently leaned to resolve the tension between form and substance, in favour of substance and have used the interpretative tools to address the substance of the matter. In Ajay Hasia Etc v Khalid Mujib Sehravardi & Ors:1981SCR(2) 79 had, in an altogether different context, observed that “where the constitution fundamentals vital to maintenance of human rights are at stake, functional realism and not facial cosmetics must be the diagnostic tool, for constitutional law must seek the substance and not the form”. Thus, if in substance the essential conditions as set out under the Proviso (a) to Section 167(2) of the Cr.PC are met and complied with – that is (i) if the investigation has not been completed within the period of sixty or ninety days, as the case may be, from the date of arrest of the accused; and (ii) if the accused is prepared to offer bail – then there would be no justifiable reason to detain the accused.
More Gyan here.