M Ravindran vs The Intelligence Officer
- The complainant was arrested and remanded in custody on 04.08.2018 for
alleged offences under Section 8 (c) read with Section 22 (c), 23 (c), 25A
and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. ('Act of
the NDPS '). After completion of 180 days from the date of its adjournment, that is,
on 31.01.2019, the Appellant applied for bail under Section 167 (2) of the
Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 ('CrPC') 01.02.2019 before the Special Court of
Special Cases under the NDPS Act, in Chennai ('Court of Trial') on the grounds
that the investigation was incomplete and the case paper had not yet been filed.
During the bail hearing and after the final appeal of the Appellant's attorney,
the Respondent/plaintiff filed an additional complaint against the Appellant at
4:25 p.m. on 01.02.2019 and asked for the rejection of the bail application on
- However, on 05.02.2019, the Court of Appeals granted a bail order on the
grounds that the Court did not have the jurisdiction to interfere with the
invalid right of the Appellant to the statutory authority of Section 167
- Defendant/plaintiff before the Supreme Court of Justice in Madras
praying for the withdrawal of the Appellant's bail. The Supreme Court, by a
contest of the appeal, upheld the appeal and consequently withdrew the bail
order granted by the Tribunal on the grounds that the additional appeal was
lodged on 01.02.2019 and that since the CrPC bail application under Section 167 (2) has
not been dismissed during the further appeal, The appellant could not take
advantage of the fact that he had filed his bail application prematurely.
- The Supreme Court also ruled that the Court of Appeals was acting from
the time it sat until the time it arose so the appellant could not get any
benefit by applying at 10:30 am because an additional appeal had been
lodged. during the bail hearing, before the Court set the date.
Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.
- Whether the indefeasible right accruing to the appellant under Section
167(2), CrPC gets extinguished by the subsequent filing of an additional
complaint by the investigating agency.
Sec 167 (2): The Magistrate to whom an accused person is forwarded under this
section may, whether he has or has no 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) 1 the Magistrate may authorise 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,:
- 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
- Subs. by Act 45 of 1978, s, 13, for paragraph (a) (w, e, f, 18- 12- 1978).
- Ins. by act 10 of 1990, s. 2 (w. e. f 19- 2- 1990)
- 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;]
The Supreme Court questioned the decision of the High Court and granted the
complainant bail. The Supreme Court emphasized the legal framework and saw that
the legislature's main objective in passing Section 167 (2) and its Code was
that the investigation should be completed promptly and that the defendant
should not be detained. As absurdly as it was under the Code of 1898. This will
be in line with the Section 21 obligation on the Government to follow a fair,
just and reasonable process before depriving any person of their freedom.
The Court applied the above-mentioned rules, saying that the defendant was
deemed to have exercised his inescapable bail right when he applied for bail and
said that he would comply with the terms and conditions of the bail order, which
is at 10:30 a.m. on 01.02.2019. He was entitled to be released on bail despite
The Supreme Court ruled that the State / organization investigating the cases,
in order to invalidate the defendant's invalid right to be granted bail, filed
another appeal before the relevant court after the Court of Appeal had concluded
the bail application. If such a practice is permitted, the right under Section
167 (2) will be deemed to be invalid as the investigating officers cannot pull
the trigger until the defendant exercises his or her right and lodges an
additional complaint including the defendant's name as soon as the bail
application is revoked.
Such a complaint may be for trivial reasons or simply
motivated to keep the respondent in custody, although we avoid commenting on the
appropriateness of the additional appeal in this case. Regardless of the case
and the reliability of the evidence available, filing additional appeals just to
avoid a bail application for non-payment, in our opinion, is a misnomer.
Thus, the Supreme Court ruled that the High court had no reason to reverse the
decision and order of the Trial Court.
The right to bail for failure to pay continues to apply if the respondent has
applied for that bail, regardless of the nature of the bail application; or
subsequent filing of a case paper or report requiring an extension by the
prosecutor before the Court; or filing a case sheet during the trial period
where the challenge of refusing a bail application is pending before the High
However, if the respondent fails to apply for bail when he or she obtains his
or her right, and then issues a letter of complaint, an additional complaint or
extra-time report is lodged with a Magistrate, the right not to pay bail will be
The Magistrate may have the right to recognize the case or grant
another time for the completion of the investigation, as the case may be,
although the defendant may be released on bail under other CrPC provisions.
Notwithstanding the bail order issued by the Court, as a result of Article, I
Section 167 (2), the actual release of the respondent from custody is subject to
the orders issued by the competent court granting bail. If the respondent fails
to grant bail and/or compliance with the terms and conditions of the bail order
within a period specified by the Court, his or her continued detention is valid.