A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court including Justices- RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph held that the right to default bail is not merely a statutory right as per the first provision of Section 167(2) of CrPC. It is a part of the procedure established by law under the Constitution of India under the Article 21 (Bikramjit Singh v. State of Punjab). And therefore, it is granted to an accused that is to be relieved on bail as a Fundamental Right after all the conditions of the first provision of Section 167(2) of CrPC are fulfilled.
As per the Section-167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the detention of an accused shall not be permitted beyond a given statutory period required for the investigation.
In the offences punishable with life imprisonment or death, the statutory period required for the investigation and filing a charge sheet is maximum 90 days. While for the offences under UAPA, the period can be extended up to 180 days.
Under the given case, the Supreme Court was dealing with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case in which the accused was denied for the default bail. The Court observed that the Special Court alone has the jurisdiction in the matter of extending the time up to 180 days. Also all the offences under the UAPA, whether handled by the National Investigation Agency or the State Government investing agencies are to be given to and tried by the Special Courts.