Filing Piece-Meal Charge Sheet Before Completing Investigation Is Against Article 21: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court has recently stated that it is against Article 21 of the Constitution for filing a “piece-meal” charge sheet picking one aspect of the investigation to defeat the right of an accused to default bail.

Further, the court observed while granting default bail to an accused arrested by the CBI in an alleged corruption case that the agency proceeded to file a charge sheet even when it had not completed the investigation of the offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act for which he was arrested.

In an order on May 18, Justice Amit Sharma observed that the investigation for the offenses in relation to which an accused has been arrested should be complete at the time of filing of the charge sheet and a supplementary charge sheet which is acceptable only when certain aspects of the investigation, which are otherwise complete in the main charge sheet and are still required to be looked into.

In the present case, the FIR was registered under various provisions of the IPC and the PC Act.

The court stated as it proceeded to grant bail to the accused with a condition of a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh that, “Permitting the CBI to pick up one aspect of the investigation and file a piece-meal charge sheet with respect to the same and consequently, defeating the right of the applicant to default bail, goes against the mandate of Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution, as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, who appeared for Avinash Jain, argued that the CBI filed an incomplete charge sheet in the matter only to defeat the right of the applicant to get default bail under the law.

Therefore, the prosecution opposed the bail application and argued that when the charge sheet was filed is sufficient for the trial court to take cognizance of then the charge sheet cannot be termed incomplete.

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About the Author: Meera Verma

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