Read Order: Rajender Kumar @ Surender @ Chhinda v. State of Haryana 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, March 7, 2022: While dealing with a revision petition in a matter pertaining to the NDPS Act, involving recovery of commercial quantity of certain  intoxicating tablets, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted default bail to the accused who argued that the charge-sheet sans FSL report was presented and the prosecution did not move an application under Section 36-A of the NDPS Act for extension of time. 

This revision petition was filed before the Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill assailing the order of the Court below whereby an application filed by the petitioner seeking concession of bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. was dismissed. 

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that the FIR, in this case, was registered on April 25, 2020, and the charge-sheet sans FSL report was presented on September 4, 2020. Also, the counsel argued that no application under Section 36-A of the NDPS Act was ever moved by the prosecution for extension of time. 

Further, while relying upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in ‘Mohd. Arbaz & Ors. Vs. State of NCT of Delhi’, SLP (Crl.) Nos.8164-8166/2021 and the judgment of the  Punjab and Haryana High Court in State of Haryana Vs. Dildar Ram @ Dari, CRM-M-25600-2021 and Jagvinder Singh Vs. State of Haryana, CRR-361-2021, the counsel contended that the issue involved in the present case was squarely covered by the said judgments and therefore, he prayed for the release of the petitioner on bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C.

On the other hand, the State counsel opposed the prayer of the petitioner. Further, the counsel submitted that the petitioner and the co-accused were apprehended with 16000 intoxicating tablets of Tramadol Hydrochloride Tablets. He also argued that the recovery effected in the case fell under the commercial quantity and therefore the petitioner was not entitled to any concession under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. 

At the outset, the Court observed that it was not disputed by the State counsel that no application for extension of time was filed. 

Thereafter, on the question of whether a chargesheet filed without an FSL report is complete, the Court noted that a Coordinate Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Julfkar Vs. State of Haryana’, CRR-1125-2020, while referring the matter to the Division Bench for its authoritative pronouncement on this issue, observed that in the event of the question being answered against the accused, the prosecution would be at liberty to move an application for cancellation of bail.

Further, the Coordinate Bench of this Court in Dildar Ram’s Case(Supra) and Jagvinder Singh’s Case (Supra), examined in extenso, similar submissions made on behalf of the counsel representing the petitioners therein and it was only thereafter that the concession of regular bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. was granted to the accused- petitioners therein.

In view of the above, the present petition was allowed and the impugned order was set aside with a direction to release the petitioner on bail under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. 

The Court ordered the petitioner to faithfully attend the hearing of the case during the trial on each and every date, besides, abiding by the conditions as contained in Section 437(3) Cr.P.C. The Court also clarified that in case of violation of any of the conditions or involvement in any other case under the NDPS, Act, 1985 of the petitioner while being enlarged on default bail, the prosecution would have the liberty to move an application for cancellation of bail granted to the petitioner in the instant case. 

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