Plea for Default Bail can be made Orally

Default bail on oral application

Default bail under Section 167(2) of the Criminal Procedures Code, 1973 (CrPC) can be granted to an accused based on an oral application alone the High court of Kerala, says in a judgement in Akshay v State of Kerala [ 2023(1) KLT SN 44 (C No 38)]. No physical copy or written application is needed for seeking default bail.

The concept of default bail

The concept of default bail in India is provided for in Section 167(2) of the CrPC> It says that when an accused is arrested and detained in custody, the investigation must be completed within a specified period. If it is not completed in the time frame the accused shall be released on bail. Default bail is a basic statutory right of an accused person. The Supreme Court in many judgements reminds that it should not be interfered with lightly

The charge sheet (Police Report) for offences punishable with imprisonment up to 10 years must be filed within 60 days of arrest. For offences punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for more than 10 years, must be filed within 90 days of arrest. However special statutes provide a different time frame for filing police report.

The Supreme Court in Ravi Prakash Singh v State of Bihar held that the period of 60 days or 90 days shall be computed from the date of first remand after arrest and not on the date of arrest. The day on which the accused was remanded to the judicial custody should be excluded, and the day on which Charge Sheet is filed in the court, should be included.

E-file the bail plea

Since e-filing of cases is compulsory an accused can express his preparedness to be released on statutory bail by filing the case in e-filing mode.

What the court must examine?

The court must then consider whether the period for filing charge sheet has expired, whether the charge sheet has been filed, and whether the accused is prepared to furnish bail bond.

If the three conditions stated above are satisfied the court is bound to release the accused on default bail.