Time extension to file charge sheet not empty formality, deprives accused right to default bail:SC

Updated: Sep 23 2022 9:56PM

New Delhi, Sep 23 (PTI) The Supreme Court said on Friday the extension of time granted to probe agencies to file charge sheets in criminal cases is not an “empty formality” because it deprives accused of their “indefeasible right” to seek default bail due to non-completion of investigation during the stipulated period.

The top court, in a significant verdict, set aside the Gujarat High Court judgement by which it had upheld a local court’s decision to extend the time to conclude probe from 90 to 180 days behind the back of the accused in a criminal case and ordered the release of the undertrials on default bail.

Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Code provides for the grant of default bail to an accused if the probe agency fails to conclude the investigation and file a charge sheet within a stipulated period of either 60 or 90 days in a court of competent jurisdiction.