Supreme Court to decide filing period of chargesheet in matter of Default Bail

In this case, the accused had been booked under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, for allegedly leaking information to the Chinese Agents. The offence which was alleged against him attracted maximum punishment of 14 years imprisonment, but, there was no minimum punishment prescribed.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notice on this question of law in the case State (NCT of Delhi) v Rajeev Sharma.

A petition was filed under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C challenging in Delhi High Court for granting bail as the chargesheet was not filed within 60 days.It was stated that that as per provision of Section 167 (2)(a)(ii), Cr.P.C., the expression “for a term not less than 10 years” is fully attracted in the facts of the present case and charge sheet was required to be filed within 90 days and the punishment for the offence which is alleged against the respondent has maximum punishment of 14 years, therefore the view taken by the High Court in incorrect.

The bench, also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, agreed to examine the legal question whether the present case is covered under the expressing “not less than 10 years” under Section 167(2)(a)(i).

Looking into the fact that only legal question is involved in this appeal, the appeal itself may be heard and decided on the next date of hearing.

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