During a recent hearing in the case of Vimal K. Mohanan & Anr. v. State of Kerala & Anr, the Kerala High Court considered whether, in cases where a final report is filed within the statutory investigation deadline, an accused person would be eligible for bail under Section 167(2) CrPC if the charge sheet is defective and returned for correction after the statutory deadline has expired.
The plaintiffs were charged with offences punishable by Sections 20(b)(ii)C, 27A, and 29 of the NDPS Act, with accusations of conspiracy and procuring custody of 30.2 kg of marijuana by transferring the illegal goods by courier from Andhra Pradesh. The first and second accused were apprehended while acquiring the courier, and it was based on their statements that the sixth and seventh accused, who are the current petitioners, were charged and detained.The petitioners sought bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. since the inquiry had not been conducted within the statutory time period of 180 days. But, while that request was pending, the investigation was concluded, and the final report was sent in on the 179th day. The petitioners’ motion for bail was denied as a result of this. The petitioners moved the High Court in response to this.
Single Judge Bench of Justice V.G. Arun observed that the court should consider whether the final report was filed after completing the investigation or if it was filed without completing the investigation in order to stultify the mandate of Section 167(2). If the final report is not re-submitted before the 180th day, the accused can demand that they be released on default bail.