U/S-167(2)(a)(I)Cr.P.C, 90 days be computed when investigation to that particular offence began, 90 days is counted when investigation of fresh offence starts not from date of FIR, right to seek statutory bail accrues as indefeasible right only if remedy availed within prescribed window from the date of expiry of total period of detention of accused person(s) u/s 167(2)Cr.P.C., until filing of the charge-sheet.
Serious Fraud Investigation Office Vs. Rahul Modi & Ors., Criminal Appeal Nos.185-186 of 2022, decided on 07.02.2022, wherein the Hon’ble Apex Court was of firm opinion that if on either the 61st day or the 91st day, an Accused makes an application for being released on bail in default of chargesheet having been filed, the court has no option but to release the Accused on bail. However, once the charge-sheet was filed within the stipulated period, the right of the Accused to statutory bail came to an end and the Accused would be entitled to pray for regular bail on merits.
During the period of investigation, the accused is under the custody of the Magistrate before whom he or she is first produced. During that stage, under Section 167(2) Code of Criminal Procedure, the Magistrate is vested with authority to remand the accused to custody, both police custody and/or judicial custody, for 15 days at a time, up to a maximum period of 60 days in cases of offences punishable for less than 10 years and 90 days where the offences are punishable for over 10 years or even death sentence. In the event, an investigating authority fails to file the charge-sheet within the stipulated period, the accused is entitled to be released on statutory bail. In such a situation, the accused continues to remain in the custody of the Magistrate till such time as cognizance is taken by the Court trying the offence, when the said Court assumes custody of the accused for purposes of remand during the trial in terms of Section 309 Code of Criminal Procedure. The two stages are different, but one follows the other so as to maintain a continuity of the custody of the accused with a court.[Suresh Kumar Bhikamchand Jain Vs. State of Maharashtra and Ors. (2013) 1 SCC (LS) 480]
- Whether cognizance is taken or not is not material as far as Section 167 Code of Criminal Procedure is concerned.
- Rakesh Kumar Paul Vs. State of Assam (2017) 15 SCC 67
- The basic legislative intent of completing investigations within twenty-four hours.
- Whether the Accused makes a written application for ‘default bail’ or an oral application for ‘default bail’ is of no consequence.
- M. Ravindran Vs. The Intelligence Officer, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (2021) 2 SCC 485 wherein “The right to be released on default bail continues to remain enforceable if the Accused has applied for such bail, notwithstanding pendency of the bail application; or subsequent filing of the chargesheet or a report seeking extension of time by the prosecution before the Court; or filing of the chargesheet during the interregnum when challenge to the rejection of the bail application is pending before a higher Court.”