DC Edit | SC warns police, courts on bail
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
The order of the Supreme Court against investigating agencies filing chargesheets without completing the probe just in order to scuttle the undertrial’s chances of getting statutory bail comes as a warning to them as well as the lower courts. Both care little for the rights of the citizen, whether accused of a crime or otherwise.
The order has two parts; one meant for the agencies and the other for the courts. The court has not only underscored the need for arrest and remand for the proper conduct of investigation but also asserted that the accused have some rights which cannot be overlooked or trampled upon. The law provides a time period to agencies to keep the accused in custody or remand during which they are supposed to complete the investigation. It also provides for bail to the accused should the agency fail in its job. Agencies often look for shortcuts, such as filing an incomplete chargesheet mentioning that further investigation is required. The Supreme Court has now stopped them from so doing.
The order has something for the lower courts, too. An accused cannot apply for statutory bail if the investigating agency files a chargesheet in the stipulated time. Now, courts often look at the procedure mechanically and keep the person behind bars on the pretext of some irrelevant technicality. The Supreme Court has now stepped in to tell the courts that they cannot. If the agencies do a shoddy job and still quote the law to deny a person his fundamental rights, then it is for the courts to step in, quote the Constitution and protect the freedom of the citizen. It is time the judiciary across the country put its foot down on the abuse of the law by state machinery. This order will go a long way in that direction.