Opposing the bail application of the alleged kingpin of a counterfeit currency racket, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday contested the 90-day period mandatory for filing chargesheet, failing which gives an accused the benefit of default bail.
The NIA claimed that in Gujarat the period for filing chargesheet is 120 days . This was one of the first major cases in which notes in the denomination of newly introduced Rs 2000 were found to be fake. The probe agency submitted its reply before the special judge, opposing the bail application of financier Ketan Dave, who was arrested on February 27 in connection with case in which Rajkot police had recovered fake currency notes of Rs3.92 crore face value.
Five others were also arrested by the police. The Ministry of Home Affairs later took a suo motu decision and handed over the case to the NIA on March 21. Dave moved the application for default bail after the NIA failed to file the chargesheet within the stipulated period of 90 days — expired on May 26.
Opposing the application, the NIA in its reply stated that the state government in 1976 had made a special amendment to Section 167 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), extending the period of 90 days to 120 days for the offences punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years.
Against this argument, accused’s lawyer Maulik Vakhariya submitted that the Supreme Court in 1989 had overruled this amendment, and there are several other High Court judgments on the same issue, clarifying that the period is of 90 days. The plea will now be heard on Monday.