The High Court of Orissa recently reiterated that to grant default bail u.s 176(2) CrPC the whole statutory period computation should exclude the date of the remand.
The Bench headed by Justice Bibhu Prasad Routray ruled that the issue is no more Res Integra and recently in the case M Ravindran vs Intelligence Officer, the Apex Court has reiterated that the date of remand to judicial custody should be excluded when calculating the statutory period of 180 days.
In this case, the petitioner accused was booked u.s 21c/29 of NDPS Act for possessing and transporting 1 kg 34 grams of heroin and was arrested and sent to judicial custody on September 4, 2021.
The council for petitioners filed an application seeking default bail u.s 36-A(4) of NDPS Act r.w Section 167(2) of CrPC on March 3, 2022.
On the same day, the prosecution filed an application seeking an extension of the investigation period for three months in terms of proviso to Section 36-A(4) and the petitioner objected to the same.
The Special Judge allowed the three-month extension to investigate the case mainly due to Covid restrictions,, after hearing both parties.
But, the petitioner challenged the extension of bail on the ground that the statutory period of 180 days ended on March 2, 2022, and the application seeking extension was filed on the 181st day, which should be rejected.
The Orissa High Court referred to M Ravindran judgment and reiterated that when computing period u.s 167(2), the day when the accused was remanded to judicial custody should be excluded. Further, The court clarified that the day when the charge sheet/challan is filed should be included.
While referring to the present case, the court stated that by excluding September 4, 2021, while computing the statutory period, 180 days got completed on March 3rd, 2022 and therefore the Special Judge did not err in extending the investigation period and proceeded to dismiss the petitioner’s plea seeking default bail.
Title: Manoranjan Das vs. the State of Orissa
Case No.: CRLMC No.: 652/2022