9 June 2022
The Forensic Report Gets to the Crux of the Matter, and a Challan Without It Is Not Considered Complete: Punjab and Haryana High Court
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday decided that; the filing of a challan without the report of the; Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is not to be recognized as a full challan since; it gets to the heart of the matter and is a significant document.
With this in mind, Justice Karamjit Singh’s single-judge bench overturned a decision denying Rohtash default bail in a criminal case under Sections 22-C/27A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. (NDPS Act).
Advocate Aditya Sanghi, representing Rohtash, said that; the police challan against his client lacked the FSL report and hence; should be deemed an incomplete challan.
Sanghi further told the court that, under the terms of Section 36A(4) of the NDPS Act, no application filed by the public prosecutor or supplementary public prosecutor seeking an extension of time to conclude the investigation in this instance.
The council also argued that, in order to obtain an extension of time, the public prosecutor required to submit a report to the Court detailing the progress of the investigation, but that; no such report submitted in this case, and that; the trial court’s decision to grant the request not justified.
The petitioner’s counsel also cited the case of Jagvinder Singh vs. the State of Haryana, which held that; the FSL report on the nature of the recovered substance would get to the heart of the matter and that; a challan filed without the FSL report on the same would be an incomplete challan, failing to satisfy the; requirement set out in Section 167(2) CrPC, and the accused entitled to be released on default bail.
Thus, the High Court allowed the plea for default bail, relying on the case of Joginder Singh Vs. The state of Haryana, decided on February 11, 2022, by its coordinate bench, and the Apex Court in Mohammad Arbaz and others Vs. State of NCT and Delhi, where relief granted to the accused under similar circumstances.
Rohtash @ Raju vs. the State of Haryana is the name of the case.