Under the UAPA, Magistrate cannot extend the period of investigation beyond 90 days

The Supreme Court has reasoned that magistrates cannot tilt towards investigating agencies or grant extra time for investigation at their own reasoning.

The probe under the UAPA needs to be finished within 90days, and if such investigation does not happen within this prescribed period, then the accused is entitled to get default bail.

Justice UU Lalit noted that for ‘extension of time for investigation’, the Magistrate is not the competent authority, rather it is the ‘Court’ given in Section 43-D (2)(b) of the UAPA that can decide whether extension of investigation period can be granted or not.

The Court given in Section 43-D (2)(b) is the Special Court under UAPA.

Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), had granted extension of investigation period from 90 days to 180 days in March 2014, but the accused in this case Sadique petitioned for bail on the basis that during the first 90 days of probe not even a chargesheet had been filed.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court also refused the accused’s plea for bail, but the Supreme Court quashed the extension for investigation and allowed bail to the accused, saying that only the ‘Special Court’ was competent authority for extending investigation to 180days.

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