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Report No. 43

7.100. Suggestion relating to section 497(3A), Cr. P.C. considered.-

According to sub-section (3A) of section 497, Criminal Procedure Code1 if, in any case triable by a Magistrate, the trial of the person accused of any non-bailable offence is not concluded within a period of sixty days from the first date fixed for taking evidence in the case, then such person shall, if he is in custody during the whole of the said period, be released on bail unless, for reasons to be recorded, the Magistrate otherwise directs. Now, there is a suggestion2 that this benefit should be denied to the accused tried for offences under the Official Secrets Act. Money, it is stated, is no consideration to foreign agents, and they can afford to jump bail.

1. Cf. 41st Report, Vol. 2.

2. F. 1(1)/71-L.C., S. No. 21 (Suggestion forwarded by one Ministry).

7.101. It does not, however, appear to be proper to insert a rigid provision and to take away the benefit of the above provision in all cases. The Magistrate has a discretion not to release the accused on bail, even if the period of sixty days has elapsed. That discretion should be adequate for practical purposes.

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