Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal from five NIA detenues seeking bail in a case related to the detection of an explosive device under the car of Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy in 2014. A division bench of Justice M Venugopal and Justice P N Prakash dismissed the plea that also sought quashing of an order of the special court for National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases detaining them in connection with the case.
The bench said, "Under section 43-D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, read with CrPc section 167, the maximum period of detention is 90 days." It said, "However, the proviso to section 43(2) states that the period of 90 days can be extended to a period of 180 days, if the court is satisfied that the report of the public prosecutor indicates the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for the detention of the accused."
Under Section 43(2) of the UAP Act, Parliament empowered the public prosecutor to file a report seeking extension, since it is considered that the public prosecutor, being an officer of the court and a public functionary, would have without bias assessed the necessity for seeking extension of time for completing the investigation, the bench said.
In this case, the 90-day period was to expire on 8 July 2014 for the accused Thiruselvam, Kaviarasan and Kalailingam and on 6 August 2014 for the accused Karthik and John Martin, the bench said. But, much before the expiry of the period, the public prosecutor filed the report under section 43-D (2)(b) of the UAP Act on 30 May 2014 itself and on 4 July 2014, a 'docket' order was passed on the report by the special judge in Puducherry, the bench said.
Further, the investigation was completed and charge sheet filed on September 30, 2014, well within the extended period of 180 days from the first remand of the accused, the bench said. "Thereafter, the accused were remanded under CrPc section 309...," it said.
Counsel M Radhakrishnan and Sankarasubbu, appearing on behalf of the petitioners while referring to an order passed by the division bench of Madras High Court, which granted bail to one of the co-accused in the case, said the five accused were also entitled for bail.
In this case, the remand of the accused was extended by a docket order by the magistrate and no judicial order was passed by the magistrate, the bench said. The division bench, while stating the failure of the judge to pass a formal judicial order of extension of remand on the application of the prosecution, said default bail was not the remedy.
The five accused were arrested in connection with a case in which an explosive device was detected beneath the parked car of Narayanasamy, then a Union Minister, on 29 January 2014 and the case was transferred to Puducherry CB-CID. The case was transferred to the NIA on 31 January 2014 and re-registered following central government orders.
Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 08:31 AM