Not mandatory to send accused to custody after charge sheet filed: SC


The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it was not mandatory for the trial court to send an accused to custody, after the charge sheet was filed in the matter, especially when the accused was on bail and had also co-operated in the investigation.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh said that custody of an accused may not be necessary in all cases after filing of the charge sheet.

It observed that the trial court should not send the accused to judicial custody in all cases in a routine manner, which would unnecessarily curtail liberty of that person. The bench noted that if the investigating agency has filed the charge sheet and the trial court has taken the cognizance of the same, yet it cannot be a ground to arrest the accused.

The top court passed the order on a plea of Amanpreet Singh, an accused in a chit fund scam, for whom non-bailable warrants were issued, as he failed to appear before a trial court in Odisha. The bench noted that the accused was not arrested throughout the probe by the investigating agency.

On August 19, the Supreme Court had observed if arrest is made routine, it can cause incalculable harm to the reputation and self-esteem of a person and emphasised that it is not mandatory to take the accused in custody at the time of filing a charge sheet.

Then, a bench of Justices Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy, in a different matter, had said: “If the Investigating Officer has no reason to believe that the accused will abscond or disobey summons and has, in fact, throughout cooperated with the investigation we fail to appreciate why there should be a compulsion on the officer to arrest the accused.”