Default Bail is a fundamental right rather than a statutory one under Article 21

  • The Supreme Court while hearing an appeal regarding default bail, granted the relief sought by the appellant and remarked that the state cannot take advantage of the supplementary charge sheet to extend the time limit of such bail.

  • An FIR was registered against the appellant under multiple sections of IPC, the Arms Act and section 18 of UAPA. The appellant was arrested and the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lucknow granted 180 days to the police to file the charge sheet. The police filed the charge sheet within the given time period except for charges under UAPA which required state government’s sanction.

  • The second supplementary charges sheet under UAPA was filed after 211 days after obtaining state government’s sanction. The appellant moved to the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate seeking default bail since the time period of 180 days had been elapsed. However the Court rejected the plea for default bail on the grounds that the second charge sheet was a supplementary charge sheet in addition to the previous charge sheet, similar view was given by the High Court after which the appellant moved to the Apex Court. After 211 days, the second supplementary charges sheet under UAPA was filed with the state government. The appellant appealed to the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate for default bail after the 180-day limit had expired. The Court, however, dismissed the petition for default bail on the grounds that the second charge sheet was a supplemental charge sheet to the previous charge sheet; the High Court agreed, and the petitioner then appealed to the Supreme Court.

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