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SC to find out the interval to file chargesheet to avail default bail the place there is no such thing as a minimal time period and most is past 10 years

The Apex Court has decided to look into the legal positioning of the period required in order to file chargesheet for the purposes of obtaining default bail under Section 167(2) of CrPC.

The court would examine this question of law with respect to the offences where there is no minimum sentence and maximum term of imprisonment is more than ten years.

Moreover, the court issued notice on this question law in the case of State (NCT of Delhi) v Rajeev Sharma.

This question of law arose from an SLP which was filed for the purpose of challenging an order of Delhi High Court, where an accused was granted default bail on the ground that the chargesheet was not filed with 60 days.

The accused was charged under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, as he allegedly dropped out crucial intelligence information to the Chinese Agents. There is no minimum punishment for this offence and the maximum imprisonment extends up to 14 years.

According to Delhi High Court’s ruling, since this case did not fall within the ambit of Section 167(2)(a)(i) of CrPC, the default bail was granted. As per this section, the period for filing chargesheet for the offences; wherein prescribed punishment includes death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term not less than ten years, is 90 days.

The Delhi High Court relied on the interpretation delivered by Supreme Court in the case of Rakesh Kumar Paul v State of Assam, and held that since the investigating agency failed to file chargesheet within 60 days, the accused can avail the remedy of default bail.

In order to reconsider the ruling in the above mentioned case, the Delhi Police filed the current SLP in the Supreme Court, and contended that the provision under Section 167(2)(a)(i) of CrPC is attracted in the Rajeev Sharma case and thus was complied with.

The Supreme Court bench would be hearing only the legal question and thus would consider it when the next hearing would be scheduled i.e. after two weeks.

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