‘When No Minimum Sentence Is Prescribed, Accused is Entitled To Default Bail If Charge-Sheet Not Filed In 60 Days’: Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Journalist Rajeev Sharma

first_imgNews Updates’When No Minimum Sentence Is Prescribed, Accused is Entitled To Default Bail If Charge-Sheet Not Filed In 60 Days’: Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Journalist Rajeev Sharma LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK4 Dec 2020 2:13 AMShare This – xThe Delhi High Court has granted bail to journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information to Chinese intelligence.The court observed that an accused is entitled to default bail if chargesheet is not filed in 60 days, if no minimum sentences is prescribed under the statute for the offences alleged against him.Sharma had earlier moved a petition seeking…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Delhi High Court has granted bail to journalist Rajeev Sharma, who was arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information to Chinese intelligence.The court observed that an accused is entitled to default bail if chargesheet is not filed in 60 days, if no minimum sentences is prescribed under the statute for the offences alleged against him.Sharma had earlier moved a petition seeking default bail before on the ground that 60 days period having expired since his arrest and charge sheet not been filed by the State. This petition was magistrate on the ground that the time period of filing the charge sheet in this offence would be 90 days. The court had upheld the state’s contention that since there is no minimum punishment prescribed and the maximum punishment is more than 10 years then the chargesheet can be filed beyond 60 days but before 90 days from the date of arrest.Justice Yogesh Khanna, while considering the revision petitions, referred to the judgments in Rajeev Choudhary vs. State of NCT of Delhi 2001(5)SCC 34 and Rakesh Kumar Paul Vs State of Assam and observed that the words “not less than” in Section 167(2) would mean that the imprisonment should be of 10 years or more and would cover only those cases for which the punishment and imprisonment would be for a clear period of 10 years or more. The court also noted that in Rakesh Kumar Paul, it was observed that, in all cases where the minimum sentence is less than 10 years but the maximum sentence is not death or life imprisonment then Section 167(2)(a)(ii) will apply and the accused will be entitled to grant of “default bail” after 60 days in case charge-sheet is not filed.”Under the Official Secret Acts for which the petitioner is being tried, though entail punishment which may extend to 14 years but the Section does not talk of minimum period of sentence and thus does not pass the test of clear period of 10 years or more, per Rajeev Choudhary (supra) and Rakesh Paul (supra) and as such the period of challan in this case would be 60 days and thus the impugned order passed by the learned MM being illegal is set aside and the petition is allowed. The petitioner is thus entitled to default bail; the challan having not been filed within 60 days.””In Rakesh Kumar Paul (supra) the Court observed that the undoubtedly the legislature can bind the sentencing Court while laying down the minimum sentence (not less than) and it can also lay down the maximum sentence. If the minimum is laid down the sentencing Judge has no option but to give a sentence period not less than that sentence provided for. Therefore the words “not less than” occurring in clause (i) of proviso (a) to Sub Section (2) of Section 167 of Cr.P.C. must be given their natural and obvious meaning which is to say, not below the minimum threshold and in case of Section 167 Cr.P.C. these words must relate to the offence punishable with a minimum imprisonment of 10 years.”Observing thus, the court granted default bail to Sharma by directing him to execute personal bond of Rs.1,00,000/- to the satisfaction of the Jail Superintendent/Duty MM.Case: RAJEEV SHARMA VS. STATE (NCT) OF DELHI  [CRL.REV.P. 363/2020] Coram: Justice Yogesh KhannaCounsel: Sr. Adv Adish C. Aggarwala, Standing Counsel Rahul MehraClick here to Read/Download OrderRead OrderNext Storylast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *