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Friday, February 20, 2015

The charge sheet against the appellant, in the original record, shows that the Investigating Officer signed it and submitted the same on 30.9.2013. Though the clerk concerned has not made any endorsement as to when actually the charge sheet was received, but there is endorsement of the Chief Judicial Magistrate which shows that he has mentioned "seen" on 3.10.2013 and signed at the top of the first page of the charge sheet. Order sheet of the court of the Magistrate also corroborates that on 3.10.2013 the clerk concerned reported to Chief Judicial Magistrate that the charge sheet had already been received.

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


                       CRIMILAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.325 OF 2015


      Ravi Prakash Singh @ Arvind Singh            ... Appellant


                                   Versus


      State of Bihar                                     ...Respondent








                               J U D G M E N T




      Prafulla C. Pant, J.




            This appeal is directed against the  judgment  and  order  dated
      24.12.2013 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Patna in Criminal
      Miscellaneous No. 48019 of 2013 whereby said Court has  dismissed  the
      petition under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code,  1973  (for
      short "the Code") and declined  to  interfere  with  the  order  dated
      22.10.2013, passed by Sessions Judge, In-charge, Kaimur at  Bhabua  in
      Bail Petition No. 542 of 2013, and upheld the refusal to  release  the
      appellant on bail under Section 167(2) of the Code.


   2. Brief facts of the case are that appellant Ravi Prakash Singh @ Arvind
      Singh surrendered before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kaimur on 5.7.2013
      in connection with Crime No. 89 of 2013, registered at Police Station,
      Chainpur, relating to offences punishable under Section 302 read  with
      Section 34 and Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code and under Section
      27 of Arms Act.  He was remanded to judicial custody  till  19.7.2013.
      His remand was extended under Section 167 of the  Code  from  time  to
      time, and the last  remand  under  said  provision  was  granted  till
      3.10.2013. On 3.10.2013, the  appellant  moved  an  application  under
      Section 167(2) of the Code for his release  on  the  ground  that  the
      charge sheet has not been filed.  On the same day, i.e., 3.10.2013, it
      was endorsed in the order sheet by the Chief Judicial Magistrate  that
      as per report of the clerk of the Court, charge sheet has already been
      received, as such, the bail application moved under Section 167(2)  of
      the Code was rejected by the Magistrate on the very  day  and  further
      remand order was passed under Section 209 of  the  Code.   Endorsement
      "seen" was also made by the Magistrate on  3.10.2013  on  the  charge-
      sheet.


   3. On 22.10.2013, the case was committed to the Court of Sessions  Judge.
      The applicant moved bail  application  No.  542  of  2013  before  the
      Sessions Judge, Kaimur at Bhabua seeking bail on the  ground  that  he
      was entitled to be released on bail under Section 167(2) of the  Code.
      He further pleaded that the Chief Judicial Magistrate has erred in law
      in rejecting his bail application on said ground.   However,  the  In-
      charge Sessions Judge, who disposed of  the  above  bail  application,
      also opined that since the charge sheet had already been submitted, as
      such, the appellant was not entitled to bail on the ground that charge-
      sheet was not received within time.



   4. On this, appellant Ravi Prakash Singh @ Arvind Singh appears  to  have
      moved a petition under Section 482 of the Code before the  High  Court
      of Judicature at Patna, praying that  order  passed  by  the  Sessions
      Judge, as above, and the one passed by the Magistrate be quashed.  But
      the High Court also took the view that  since  the  charge  sheet  had
      already been filed within the period of ninety days, as such,  it  did
      not find any error in the orders passed by the courts below.



   5. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the original
      record of the case.



   6. Sub-section (2) of Section 167 of the Code reads as under: -
           "167(2) The Magistrate to whom an accused  person  is  forwarded
           under this section may, whether he has or  not  jurisdiction  to
           try the case, from time to time, authorise the detention of  the
           accused in such custody as such Magistrate  thinks  fit,  for  a
           term not exceeding fifteen days in the whole; and if he  has  no
           jurisdiction to try  the  case  or  commit  it  for  trial,  and
           considers  further  detention  unnecessary,  he  may  order  the
           accused  to  be  forwarded   to   a   Magistrate   having   such
           jurisdiction:

                 Provided that-

           (a)   The Magistrate may authorize the detention of the  accused
                 person, otherwise than in the custody of the police, beyond
                 the period  of  fifteen  days,  if  he  is  satisfied  that
                 adequate grounds exist for  doing  so,  but  no  Magistrate
                 shall authorise the detention  of  the  accused  person  in
                 custody under this paragraph for a total period exceeding-


                 (i)   Ninety days, where the investigation  relates  to  an
                       offence punishable with death, imprisonment for  life
                       or imprisonment for a  term  of  not  less  than  ten
                       years;

                 (ii)  Sixty days, where the investigation  relates  to  any
                       other offence, and, on the expiry of the said  period
                       of ninety days, or sixty days, as the  case  may  be,
                       the accused person shall be released on bail if he is
                       prepared to and does furnish bail, and  every  person
                       released on bail  under  this  sub-section  shall  be
                       deemed to be so  released  under  the  provisions  of
                       Chapter XXXIII for the purposes of that Chapter;

           (b)   No Magistrate shall authorize detention of the accused  in
                 custody by the police under this section unless the accused
                 is produced before him in person for  the  first  time  and
                 subsequently every time till the  accused  remains  in  the
                 custody of  the  police,  but  the  Magistrate  may  extend
                 further detention in judicial custody on production of  the
                 accused  either  in  person  or  through  the   medium   of
                 electronic video linkage;

           (c)   No Magistrate of the second class, not specially empowered
                 in this behalf by the high Court, shall authorize detention
                 in the custody of the police.

                 Explanation I. - For the avoidance of doubts, it is  hereby
           declared  that,  notwithstanding  the  expiry  of   the   period
           specified in paragraph (a), the accused  shall  be  detained  in
           Custody so long as he does not furnish bail.


                 Explanation II. - If any question arises whether an accused
           person was produced before  the  Magistrate  as  required  under
           clause (b), the production of the accused person may  be  proved
           by his signature on the order authorizing detention  or  by  the
           order certified by  the  Magistrate  as  to  production  of  the
           accused person through the medium of electronic  video  linkage,
           as the case may be.


                 Provided further that in case of  a  woman  under  eighteen
           years of age, the detention shall be authorized to be in custody
           of a remand home or recognized social institution."


      Above Proviso (a) to sub-section  (2)  of  Section  167  of  the  Code
      provides that the Magistrate  shall  not  authorize  detention  of  an
      accused in custody in which  the  investigation  relating  to  offence
      punishable with death, imprisonment for life  or  imprisonment  for  a
      term not less than ten years and if the  investigation  not  completed
      within ninety days, the accused shall be entitled to  be  released  on
      bail.


   7.  Admittedly,  the  appellant  surrendered  before  the  Magistrate  on
      5.7.2013.  It is also not disputed that  on  3.10.2013  the  appellant
      moved an application for his release on bail under proviso (a) to sub-
      section (2) of Section 167 of the Code.  However, the order  sheet  of
      the case  shows  that  there  is  endorsement  of  the  Magistrate  on
      3.10.2013 that the charge sheet has already been received.


   8. The charge sheet against the appellant, in the original record,  shows
      that the Investigating Officer signed it and  submitted  the  same  on
      30.9.2013.  Though the clerk concerned has not made any endorsement as
      to  when  actually  the  charge  sheet  was  received,  but  there  is
      endorsement of the Chief Judicial Magistrate which shows that  he  has
      mentioned "seen" on 3.10.2013 and signed at the top of the first  page
      of the charge sheet.  Order sheet of the court of the Magistrate  also
      corroborates that on 3.10.2013 the clerk concerned reported  to  Chief
      Judicial Magistrate that the charge sheet had already been received.



   9. It is argued on behalf of the learned senior counsel for the appellant
      that the appellant should have been given benefit of Section 167(2) of
      the Code. According to him, it was 91st day of detention on 3.10.2013.
       It is further contended by Mr. Nagendra Rai, learned senior  counsel,
      that even Sunday or  holiday  on  ninetieth  day  cannot  deprive  the
      benefit of proviso (a) to sub-section (2) of Section 167 of the  Code.
      In support of his arguments he  relied  upon  cases  of  Powell  Nwawa
      Ogechi v. The State (Delhi Administration)[1] and State of Maharashtra
      v. Sharan B. Sarda[2].  In Sharan B. Sarda  (supra)  single  Judge  of
      Bombay High Court, and in Powel  Nwawa  Ogechi  (supra)  the  Division
      Bench of Delhi High Court took the view that  even  if  last  day  for
      filing charge sheet is holiday, the  accused  cannot  be  deprived  of
      benefit of Section 167(2) of the Code.


  10. Contrary to  this,  in  N.  Nureya  Reddy  and  another  v.  State  of
      Orissa[3], the Division Bench of Orissa High Court,  interpreting  the
      provisions of Section 167(2) of the Code read with Section 10  of  the
      General Clauses Act, held that if ninetieth day is a  holiday,  filing
      of  charge  sheet  on  the  next  day  should  be  treated  sufficient
      compliance of filing of charge sheet within a period  of  ninety  days
      and it cannot be said that provision contained in  Section  167(2)  of
      the Code is infringed.



  11. In Chaganti Satyanarayana and others v. State of Andhra Pradesh[4], it
      has been held by this Court that period of ninety days  under  Section
      167(2) of the Code shall be computed from the date of  remand  of  the
      accused and not from the date of his arrest under Section  57  of  the
      Code.  However, in the present case, we have to see the relevant  date
      as the date when the accused surrendered and remanded by the court.


  12. In State of M.P. v. Rustam and others[5], this Court has laid down the
      law that while computing period of ninety days, the day on  which  the
      accused was remanded to the judicial custody should be  excluded,  and
      the day on which challan is filed in the court,  should  be  included.
      That being so, in our opinion, in the present case, date  5.7.2013  is
      to be excluded and, as such, the charge sheet was filed  on  ninetieth
      day, i.e., 3.10.2013.  Therefore, there is no infringement of  Section
      167(2) of the Code.


  13. For the reasons, as discussed above, in our opinion,  the  High  Court
      has not erred in law in dismissing the petition under Section  482  of
      the Code, and upholding the refusal of bail to appellant prayed by him
      under Section 167(2) of the Code.



  14. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.  Lower court record be sent back
      forthwith.


                                      ....................................J.
                                                               [Dipak Misra]






                                     .....................................J.
                                                          [Prafulla C. Pant]


      New Delhi;
      February 20, 2015.



                                                     -----------------------
[1] 1986 (3) Crimes 577
[2] 1983 (2) Crimes 254 (Short Note)
[3] 1985 CRLJ 939 (Orissa)
[4] (1986) 3 SCC 141

[5] 1995 Supp (3) SCC 221



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