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Report No. 268

2. Consultation with Police Officers

The Law Commission had the opportunity to consult experienced police officers in a round table meeting convened at the Bureau of Police Research & Development Headquarters at New Delhi, on 02 November 2016. Various notes were also sent by the agencies and departments to the Commission regarding the problems faced by the police in bail-related matters. The suggestions made are as follows:

i. There should be a mandatory verification of the nationality of the accused at the time of granting bail so as to ensure that courts ascertain his/her credentials through the investigating agency.

ii. Regarding Section 309 of the Cr.P.C., which deals with the power of the court to postpone or adjourn proceedings, it has been suggested that a proviso be added to the effect that bail applications under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAP Act) be necessarily heard on a day to day basis and no adjournment be granted by the court. This proviso would go beyond the Supreme Court's present ruling that proceedings are ordinarily to be on a day to day basis and reasons for adjournment are to be recorded in writing.

iii. In view of the decision of the Guwahati High Court, an explanation should be added to Section 43D (5) of the UAP Act stating that no bail is to be granted.

iv. Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, a rule should be made that no unconditional bails be granted in cases involving commercial quantities.

v. Section 437 (1) (i) of the CrPC states that if there appear to be reasonable grounds to believe that a person is guilty of an offence punishable with death or life imprisonment, such person shall not be released. Suggestion has been made that the rule should be amended to make it applicable for offences punishable with imprisonment of 7 years or more.

vi. It was similarly suggested that Section 437 Cr.P.C. should be amended to ensure that prosecutors be mandatorily heard for opposing bail applications for offences punishable with imprisonment of three years or more.

vii. Another separate recommendation was made to amend Section 437 (1) (ii) Cr.P.C., so that bail is denied not just to people convicted but also people merely charge-sheeted in an offence punishable with death, life imprisonment or imprisonment for 7 years or more.

viii. Under Section 167 Cr.P.C., the mandatory time limit for the filing of police report should be increased from 60/90 days to 120/180 days. A suggestion forwarded is that district level committees be set up in prosecution wing with a mandate to look into the circumstances under which bail has been granted and the reasons recorded. So as to ensure uniformity in the grant of bail, the findings of these district level committees should be circulated regularly and its recommendations should be implemented.

Amendments to Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Provisions relating to Bail Back

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