The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah of the Supreme Court has ruled that while granting default bail/statutory bail under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, condition of deposit of amount cannot be imposed. The Court observed this while setting aside the condition imposed by the of the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench ) which at the time of releasing an accused on default bail, imposed a condition to deposit Rs.8,00,000. The Court further stated that the circumstances while considering the regular bail application under Section 437 Cr.P.C. are different, while considering the application for default bail/statutory bail.
Observation of Hon’ble Supreme Court
- The only requirement for getting the default bail/statutory bail under Section 167(2), Cr.P.C. is that the accused is in jail for more than 60 or 90 days, as the case may be, and within 60 or 90 days, as the case may be, the investigation is not completed and no 9 charge sheet is filed by 60th or 90th day and the accused applies for default bail and is prepared to furnish bail. No other condition of deposit of the alleged amount involved can be imposed. Imposing such condition while releasing the accused on default bail/statutory bail would frustrate the very object and purpose of default bail under Section 167(2), Cr.P.C.As observed by this Court in the case of Rakesh Kumar Paul (supra) and in other decisions, the accused is entitled to default bail/statutory bail, subject to the eventuality occurring in Section 167, Cr.P.C., namely, the investigation is not completed within 60 days or 90 days, as the case may be, and no charge sheet is filed by 60th or 90th day and the accused applies for default bail and is prepared to furnish bail.
- The High Court had imposed such a condition taking into consideration that earlier before the Magistrate and while considering the regular bail application under Section 437 Cr.P.C., the wife of the accused filed an affidavit to deposit Rs.7,00,000/. That cannot be a ground to impose the condition to deposit the amount involved while granting default bail/statutory bail.
- Another condition imposed by the High Court, namely, directing the accused to report before the concerned police station daily at 10:00 a.m., until further orders, for interrogation is concerned, is also unsustainable, as it is too harsh. “Instead, a condition which can be imposed is directing the appellant to cooperate with the investigating officer in completing the investigation and to remain present before the concerned police station for investigation/interrogation as and when called for, and on the breach, the investigating officer can approach the concerned court for cancellation of the bail on breach of such condition.
Case Name: Saravanan vs. State
Case no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 681682 OF 2020 ]
Coram: Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah