Law Relating to Police Remand in Case of Abscounding Accused, Clarified

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The Supreme Court in a recent decision Central Bureau of Investigation v. Rathin Dandapat on 21st August 2015 decided in a case where the Court was called upon to decide as to whether no remand in police custody can be given to the investigating agency in respect of the absconding accused who is arrested only after filing of the charge sheet, the Court, relying upon State v. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, (2000) 10 SCC 438, held that police remand can be sought under Section 167(2) CrPC in respect of an accused arrested at the stage of further investigation, if the interrogation is needed by the investigating agency.

Considering the relevant provisions of law under Proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 167 CrPC, which empowers a Magistrate to authorize detention of an accused in the custody of police, Sub-section (8) of Section 173, under which investigating agency has power to further investigate the matter in which the report/charge sheet has already been filed and sub-section (2) of Section 309 CrPC which empowers remand of an accused, the bench of Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant, JJ further clarified that that expression ‘accused if in custody’ in Section 309(2) CrPC does not include the accused who is arrested on further investigation before supplementary charge sheet is filed.

In the present case which relates to killing of nine persons and injuring large number of villagers in a village of West Bengal, the High Court had refused the police remand. The Court, hence, set aside the impugned order and held that the said refusal was against the settled principle of law.

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