New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court has cancelled the default bails of three people accused in drug smuggling. In doing so the top court upheld the Hyderabad High Court’s order to the same effect and also observed that default bail granted under Section 167(2) CrPC could be cancelled under Section 439(2) CrPC. The three have been accused in an NDPS case.
The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M. R. Shah pronounced its verdict on appeals by the accused, challenging the high court order that had allowed the application under Section 439(2) CrPC by the State and cancelled their default bail granted earlier by a Sessions court.
The apex court cited the judgment rendered by it in the case of Pandit Dnyanu Khot Vs State of Maharashtra and Ors., (2008) 17 SCC 745, wherein the Court had held: “The proviso to Section 167 itself clarifies that every person released on bail under Section 167(2) shall be deemed to be so released under Chapter XXXIII. Therefore, if a person is illegally or erroneously released on bail under Section 167(2), his bail can be cancelled by passing appropriate order under Section 439(2) CrPC. This Court in Puran v. Rambilas [(2001) 6 SCC 338] has also clarified that the concept of setting aside an unjustified, illegal or perverse order is totally different from the concept of cancelling the bail on the ground that the accused has misconducted himself or because of some new facts requiring such cancellation.”
The three accused in a drug smuggling case were stopped by the officer of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on January 11, 2018, on Hyderabad Toll Plaza, while they were coming from Omerga, Osmanabad District Maharashtra. They were found in possession of 45 kg of (Methaqualone) drug. Next day the appellants were arrested in exercise of power conferred under Section 42 of NDPS Act, 1985 and remanded to custody.
Later the appellants applied for default bail as the stipulated time of 180 days for filing charge sheet was over and the charge sheet had not been filed. The Sessions court had granted default bail which was challenged before the High Court.
The High Court was informed that the Chargesheet was filed in same case before the Omerga Court which was taken on file and same was informed to DRI. Taking the submission the High Court had dismissed the default bail.
Following this the accused challenged the order of High Court in the Supreme Court wherein the Supreme Court has upheld the order of the High Court and said the default bail was rightly rejected.
The Supreme Court noted in its order: “It is not even submitted before us that Omerga Court where common complaint has been filed against the accused had no jurisdiction to inquire and try the offence. It was due to some miscommunication that at the time when Court passed the order on 12.07.2018, the factum of filing of combined complaint dated 06.07.2018 was not brought into the notice of Special Court, Hyderabad. Although, letter of the same date 12.07.2018 was received by Special Court, Hyderabad from Special Court, Omerga praying for custody of the appellants, which custody was also granted by the Special Court, Hyderabad on the next day, i.e., 13.07.2018. All these facts were brought before the High Court in application filed under Section 439(2) Cr.P.C. and the High Court has rightly cancelled the bail order dated 12.07.2018. We do not find any error in the order of the High Court cancelling the bail order dated 12.07.2018.”