Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • The Punjab and Haryana High Court have held that default bail cannot be denied to the accused just because an extension was filed by the investigating officers. 
  • The high court has directed the DGPs of Haryana, Chandigarh, and Punjab to ensure that the investigating officers should complete the task with 180 days for cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
  • Public prosecutor must justify the detention of the accused beyond 180 days under section 36A[4] of the NDPS Act.
  • The state counsel had filed for an extension however the challan was filed without a FSL report.
  • Further the court noted that a report should be filed by the public prosecutor stating the progress of the investigation and asking for an extension and detention of the accused beyond 180 days with compelling reasons
  • The case orders were passed by justice Sureshwar Thakur while hearing the plea from Jaswinder Singh for the case of November 11, 2021 of hid bail plea getting rejected.
  • The accused was booked for a complaint registered under the NDPS Act. He was arrested with commercial levels of Tramadol Hydrochloride tablets. 
  • HC observed that 180 days was enough for investigators to complete the investigation and should have done so before the time elapsed. 
  • The police chiefs should also send the samples for chemical examination to the forensic science laboratories.
  • The case reliance was that of Ajaib Singh v. State of Haryana along with the Supreme Court's judgment in Mohammad Arbaz and others v. State of NCT Delhi. 
  • The FSL report is a material fact in a case. And absence of the FSL report makes an incomplete challan.
  • In accordance to this the extension application filed by the state would be considered incomplete and elapses the period of 180 days for NDPS Act.
  • Filing areport is not merely a formality but plays a vital role for the court to decide whether to grant the extension or not.
  • After considering the facts it was held that the default bail was to be granted and the extension of detaining the accused was denied.
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