A septuagenarian accused of sexually assaulting a minor secured bail from a special court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on Monday as the police filed the chargesheet against him 20 minutes late.
The man, a resident of Colaba, had been arrested in the case on August 10 and produced before the court the same day. He claimed default bail as the police had not submitted the chargesheet against him even after completion of 60 days in custody. He said he is thus entitled to be released on bail as per section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
The police officer concerned from Colaba police station had appeared before the court on Monday and said that the chargesheet had been filed that day. The court noted that the attached token to the chargesheet showed it was submitted at 11.20 am.
Special judge Kalpana Patil said that all offences he is charged under provide for punishment of under 10 years and hence under section 167 of the CrPC the chargesheet should be filed within 60 days. “The accused was produced before court on August 10. Hence it is clear that the 60-day period is over,” the court said. It further noted that the application for bail was submitted at 11 am before the court, and the police report as well as the attached token show that the chargesheet is filed at 11.20 am. “Hence it is clear that the chargesheet is filed after the accused filed the application seeking default bail. Therefore the accused is entitled to default bail,” Judge Patil said.
Recently, in four separate drugs cases registered at different police stations, the accused had managed to get default bail in a similar manner as the police had submitted the chargesheet with a delay of one to two days. In two cases, where there was a two-day delay, the accused persons had been found in possession of mephedrone and in two other cases, where the delay was of one day, the accused had been found in possession of ganja.