The main accused in the RK Kasper death case was granted a default bail on non-filing of chargesheet by the investigating officer of the case within the prescribed statutory period of 180 days under section 167(2)CrPC.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on Thursday released Longjam Rakesh, 45, son of Longjam Achou of Kakwa Huidrom Leikai on bail under section 167(2) CrPC, on his executing PR bond of Rs 1,00,000 with a surety of the like amount.
Longjam Rakesh is the main accused in the alleged firing incident that took place at Kakwa Huidrom Leikai in the month of February, 2021 during which one RK Kasper died.
During the hearing, counsel for the accused person submitted that the accused was arrested on February 27 and has been in judicial custody since March 8 till date. Therefore, the accused is in custody for more than 180 days i.e. 187 days. The counsel prayed for releasing the accused on default bail by operation of Section 167 (2) CrPC as prescribed in the provision of law.
The additional public prosecutor for the state, on the other hand, objected to the prayer of the counsel by submitting that as the chargesheet is in the process of filing before the court within a short period of time and the trial is likely to be commenced soon, the accused may be kept in judicial custody for securing his presence during the course of trial.
It was submitted that “the investigating officer of the case in fact submitted the chargesheet U/S 173 Cr.P.C to the OC of Singjamei Police Station. The OC in turn submitted the chargesheet to the SDPO-SJM, Imphal West vide Memo No 859/SJMPS/2021 on August 30. Thereafter, the same was submitted to additional SP (Law and Order) Imphal West from SDPO-SJM vide Memo No. 5/SDPO-SJM/2021 on August 31 and then from additional SP (Law and Order) Imphal West to SP (prosecution) vide M/No. 5/es/ASP(L-O)-IW/21 on August 31.”
As per latest reports, the body of the case along with chargesheet is now in the office of SP Prosecution, Manipur and the same has not been submitted to the court in its physical form, the court observed.
Accordingly, it was concluded that the chargesheet, as prepared by the investigating officer of the case, has not been submitted to the court in technical sense of the term as the same has not been received by the court in physical form despite the fact that there is a process going on within the prosecution department/ agency for submitting the same.
The court released the accused with conditions that he should not threaten, contact or induce any of the prosecution witnesses; he should make himself available for interrogation by the investigation officer as and when required; he should not commit any similar offence in the future; he should not leave the State of Manipur without prior permission of the court till trial is over; he should not temper or threat the witnesses or the complainant respectively.
The court in its order mentioned that very often, when an accused is being released on default bail on account of non-filing of charge sheet by the investigating officer of the case before the lapse of statutory period (which is 180 days in the present case), the court is made to take all blames for releasing an accused person on default bail.
It is clarified that the accused is entitled to be released on bail by operation of the provisions under Section 167(2), CrPC if the investigating officer of the case fails to file chargesheet within the statutory period prescribed by law, it stated.
It stated that on various occasions, the court is compelled to release many accused persons on account of non-filing of chargesheet within prescribed statutory period.
“The factual position is at times wrongly perceived or quoted by the public and media persons. Even the media very often wrongly quotes by stating that the court has released a person involved in a heinous crime, and they fail to report the actual factual and legal position on account of which an accused is or was released on default bail by operation of section 167(2) CrPC,” the court stated.