Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: The Division Bench comprising of Sandeep Mehta and Abhay Chaturvedi, JJ. allowed an application of suspension of sentence due to improper conviction by the trail court.

In the present case, the accused-appellant was convicted under Section 302 of the Penal Code, 1860 under the pretence that he had committed the murder since the weapon used to murder, in this case, a knife was retrieved from the accused-appellant’s possession. 

The advocates representing the accused-appellant, Hasti Mal Saraswat and Surya Prakash, submitted that according to the FSL Report, it has been stated that there no traces of blood found on the knife when the weapon was subjected to chemical and serological tests. Thus, the trail court erred in convicting the accused-appellant.

The Court upon perusal of the records allowed the application for suspension of sentence and granted bail to the accused-appellant upon execution of personal bond and sureties.[Sahbaan v. State of Rajasthan, D.B. Criminal Misc Suspension of Sentence Application (Appeal) No. 936 of 2019 decided on: 16-09-2019]

Bail Application
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Sandeep Sharma, J. contemplated a bail application filed under Section 439 of CrPC where the applicant was charged under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner was on his motorcycle when he was asked to stop by the authorities and was searched. The petitioner who alleged to be a chemist was found with prohibited drug in huge quantity. The police prepared a recovery memo in front of an independent witness. It was the story of the police that the petitioner failed to produce any permit of license of the prohibited drug. The petitioner was arrested soon after and since then he was in custody.

Additional Advocate General of the State, Sumesh Raj, submitted that the petitioner had not disclosed the source from where he received the illegal drugs he further strenuously argued that keeping in view the gravity of the offence alleged to be committed by the bail petitioner, he did not deserve any leniency, rather needed to be dealt with severely.

On the contrary the counsel for the petitioner K.S. Banyal, contended that the drug named ‘lomotil’ which was allegedly recovered from the petitioner was outside the purview of the definition of manufactured drugs as defined under Section 2(xi) of the Act. On the scientific grounds he argued that the preparations of Diphenoxylate calculated as base, and a quantity of Atropine sulphate equivalent to at least one percent of the dose of Diphenoxylate did not fall under definition of manufactured drugs, as notified by the Government. He further contended that as far as Tramadol the other drug was concerned, the same was of intermediate quantity and as such, rigour of Section 37 was not attracted in the present case. He further contended that for the last four months bail petitioner was behind the bars and there was none at his home to take care of his widow mother.

The Court held that though the offences were of serious nature but considering the age of the petitioner who is very young and his family background and financial background, Court found no reason to let him incarcerate in jail. It was further held that, “Tramadol allegedly recovered from the bail petitioner is also of intermediate quantity, rigor of Section 37 are not attracted in the present case and as such, freedom of bail petitioner whose guilt, if any, is otherwise yet to be ascertained/determined by the Court of law on the basis of cogent and convincing evidence, if any, led on record by the Investigating Agency, cannot be allowed to curtail for indefinite period, during trial.” Hence, bail was granted to the petitioner on certain conditions. [Ankit Kumar v. State of H.P., Cr. MP (M) No. 864 of 2019, decided on 11-09-2019]

Bail Application
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Bail petition was contemplated by Sandeep Sharma, J. where the petitioner was behind the bar for two months and had approached the Court under Section 439 of CrPC, for regular bail.

The petitioner was charged under Section 9 of Protection of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and Section 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The instant bail application arises out of the case where the complainant was a coordinator of child helpline; the complaint was related to a minor who was residing along with the bail petitioner with an intention to solemnize the marriage. Complainant further alleged that as per information prosecutrix had a child aged 7 months. Such facts were found to be true in the investigation by the police. Police further recorded the statements of prosecutrix under Section 154 CrPC, where she stated that she knew the petitioner since her childhood and wanted to marry him. The prosecutrix had stated that she was living with the bail petitioner out of her own will and they were married according to the local custom. Her statements were recorded under Section 165 CrPC where she reiterated the same and admitted that she knew the petitioner since childhood, she also stated that prior to her marriage, her husband was married to her elder sister who died due to prolonged illness. She stated to the magistrate that complaint was made at the insistence of Coordinator Child Helpline, who had assured that in the event of filing complaint they would take care of her child and would also pay money.

On the basis of the aforesaid statement made by the prosecutrix, formal FIR, came to be lodged against the present bail petitioner under Section 9 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act. However, Section 6 of the POCSO, came to be incorporated in the FIR subsequently and bail petitioner was behind the bars.

Advocate General further contended that though the statement of the prosecutrix suggests that she of her own volition solemnized marriage with the bail petitioner, but keeping in view her age, consent, if any, was immaterial and as such, present bail petition having been filed by the bail petitioner may be dismissed.

The Court observed that the statements of prosecutrix given to magistrate were convincing and satisfactory. Court believed that the girl was not kidnapped by the petitioner also she of her own violation joined the company of the petitioner. It further emerged from the record that marriage inter se prosecutrix, who was admittedly minor at the time of the alleged incident, took place with the prior consent/agreement of families of bail petitioner as well as prosecutrix. The Court further held that, “No doubt, in the case at hand, age of the prosecutrix was less then 18 years at the time of alleged incident, but having taken note of the fact that prosecutrix had been living in the house of the bail petitioner for the last one year and she has delivered one baby boy, this Court sees no reason to let the bail petitioner incarcerate in jail for indefinite period, during the trial.

The Court noted that the validity of marriage inter se prosecutrix and the petitioner can only be decided in proceedings before the appropriate Court of law. The Court held that, “it is well settled that freedom of an individual is of utmost importance and cannot be curtailed for indefinite period. Till the time guilt of accused is not proved, in accordance with law, he is deemed to be innocent. In the case at hand, the guilt, if any, of the bail petitioner is yet to be proved, in accordance with law.” Hence, bail was granted to the petitioner on certain terms and condition.[Partap v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine HP 1472, decided on 04-09-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: B. Sudheendra Kumar, J. allowed a bail application seeking relief of anticipatory bail for crimes of criminal conspiracy.

In the present case, the third respondent had purchased the property of the petitioner. However, it was alleged that the survey number of the property was shown incorrectly by the petitioner and hence, a case was registered against the petitioner for criminal conspiracy under Section 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860.

The Counsel representing the petitioner, Binoy Vasudevan, applied for anticipatory bail and submitted that the petitioner was not involved in the acts of criminal conspiracy as alleged by the respondents.

The Public Prosecutor for the State opposed the submission of the petitioner. However, he submitted that the petitioner has not been involved in such activities of a similar nature and has no criminal antecedent.

The Court, upon perusal of the documents and facts presented on the record, allowed the bail application and stated that the documents relating to the transaction had been already been seized by the police and no recovery is to be effected from the petitioner. Thus, the custodial interrogation is not necessary and due to the petitioner having no criminal antecedent, the petitioner needs to be released.[Paily Mathew v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 2866, decided on 04-09-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: P.K. Lohra, J. granted bail and suspended the sentences of the applicant passed by the District Judge.

In the present facts of the case, the petitioner was accused and convicted of offences for an attempt to murder and wrongful restraint by the Additional District Sessions Judge, Bhadra and was handed down the maximum sentence of seven years of imprisonment for the serious offences.

The Counsel representing the applicant, K.R. Bhati prayed for suspension of sentences and submitted that the accused had remained in the custody for a period of four years and eight months out of the total period of seven months of sentence and the final appeal shall not take place in the near future, hence should be granted bail.

The Public Prosecutor for the State, R.R. Chhaparwal, denied and opposed the application for suspension of sentence.

The Court upon perusal of the arguments, facts, and circumstances of the case, granted bail and suspended the sentences passed by the Additional District Judge. The Court stated that the present application is the second application for suspension of sentence and the applicant had already served prolonged incarceration, hence until and unless the appeal has been finally disposed of the applicant shall be released on bail upon executing a personal bond of an amount along with two sureties. The Court also directed the applicant that he shall be present at all times until the appeal is finally disposed of.[Sandeep v. State, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 2499, decided on 29-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Gurvinder Singh Gill, J. allowed the petition for the anticipatory bail with the condition to comply with the order of payment of maintenance to the complainant.

An application for the interim bail was made for the case registered under Sections 323, 406, 498-A and 506 of the Penal Code.

The brief facts of the case were that petitioner and other members of the families were not satisfied with the article of dowry and frequently used to harass the complainant. It was also alleged that the complainant was beaten by the accused on various occasion and was thrown out of the matrimonial house.

Shalender Mohan, counsel for the petitioner submitted that false FIR was registered against the petitioner on the account of some minor matrimonial differences between the parties. It was further added that the petitioner pursuant, to the interim directions, has already deposited an amount of Rs 1.25 lakhs and that he deserves the concession of bail.

Aditi Girdhar and Sandeep Kotla, counsels for the State and complainant respectively informed that the petitioner had joined the investigation but the gold articles comprising stridhan were yet to be discovered. It was further informed that the petitioner had not even deposited any amount towards the maintenance as under Section 125 CrPC, which is due since the last about three years.

The court thus opined that petitioner in the event of arrest be released on bail subject to furnishing the personal bond and surety bond to the satisfaction of arresting and investigating officer. The condition that the petitioner should clears payment of a least 50% of the arrears of maintenance awarded under Section 125 CrPC to the complainant within two months from today was also added by the court.[Vijay v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1475, decided on 19-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Manoj Bajaj, J., allowed a regular bail application on the ground that the co-accused was also on bail. 

A bail application was made for the grant of regular bail where the offence under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860 were registered. 

The brief facts of the case were that the complaint was made herein it was alleged that the complainant was taking a round of the sugar mill when he saw the driver of the tractor-trolley was reversing from the weighing bridge. When inquired regarding the weight, the driver told that the empty trolley was not being weighed on the said machine but the receipt when checked; it was found that he was lying and the receipt was false. The matter was inquired and it was disclosed that he along with Ajay Kumar who was working in the Sugar Mill and some other persons were involved in causing wrongful loss to the Sugar Mill for their gain.

Mukesh Singh, brother of the petitioner submitted that the co-accused, namely Ajay Kumar Sharma, already stands released on regular bail by this Court. It was further revealed that had suffered a confessional statement before the police wherein it was mentioned that he was allegedly involved in five such weighments of the vehicles and a sum of Rs 10,000 came to his share. Thus a prayer that the petitioner be released on regular bail was made.

The court opined that the “investigation qua the petitioner is complete and the trial is likely to consume some time, further detention of the petitioner may not be justified” Thus the petitioner was released on bail subject to furnishing requisite bail bonds and surety bonds to the satisfaction of the trial court. [Ankit Sharma v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1369, decided on 06-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Orissa High Court: S.K. Sahoo, J. dismissed a criminal appeal for the acquittal of the appellant under Section 376 of the Penal Code, 1860.

The victim in the present case was forcibly raped by the appellant on the pretext that he will marry her. The appellant visited the victim on many occasions and raped her and would give her the assurance of marriage. Even after the victim became pregnant, the appellant continued raping her. The news of the pregnancy of the victim spread in the village and the appellant confessed his guilt before the uncles of the victim. He also admitted to having impregnated the victim in presence of the entire village post which, on 11-04-2011, she lodged an FIR. The trial Court acquitted the appellant on 28-06-2012 under Section 417 of the Penal Code but found him guilty under section 376 and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years and to pay a fine of rupees five thousand.

The appellant challenged this judgment and order of conviction on the grounds that there was a delay in filing the FIR by the victim and the prosecution has not satisfactorily explained this delay. It was further contended that there is no hard evidence to prove the age of the victim, and if the age of the victim is held to be more than sixteen years then it can be said that she was a consenting party.

Priyabrata Tripathy, Additional Standing Counsel for the victim, submitted that delay in lodging the FIR in a rape case cannot be a ground to hold the entire prosecution case suspicious. He argued that the victim remained silent an account of assurance of marriage given by the appellant and when the victim disclosed about her pregnancy, an FIR was lodged. Further, there is no infirmity in the evidence of the victim.

The Court held that, “the law is well settled that delay in lodging the FIR in an offence of rape is a normal phenomenon as the FIR is lodged after deliberation. It takes some time to overcome the trauma suffered, the agony and anguish that create the turbulence in the mind of the victim, to muster the courage to expose one in a conservative social media, to acquire the psychological inner strength to undertake a legal battle against the culprit.”

Secondly, the victim stated her age to be fifteen years at the time of her deposition, which was recorded on 13-08-2011. She stated that the occurrence last took place in 2010. No evidence was brought out in the cross-examination to challenge her age. The doctor who conducted ossification test of the victim stated that on the basis of the physical findings, dental examination and development of secondary sexual characteristics and menstrual history and ossification test, that the age of the victim to be more than fourteen years and less than sixteen years. Therefore, the question of the victim being a consenting party was not taken into account.

The appellant also submitted that he has been in judicial custody since 14-04-2011 and he was never released on bail either during pendency of the trial or during pendency of this appeal and therefore, he has already undergone the substantive sentence of eight years and three months and therefore, the substantive sentence should be reduced to the period already undergone.

The Court upheld the order of conviction of the appellant under Section 376 of the Penal Code, 1860 but reduced the substantive sentence from rigorous imprisonment for ten years to the period already undergone. In view of the enactment of the Odisha Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012, keeping in view the age of the victim at the time of occurrence and the nature and gravity of the offence committed and the family background, the Court recommend the case to District Legal Services Authority, to examine the case of the victim for grant of compensation under the Scheme.

The Criminal Appeal was dismissed and the appellant was released from jail custody.[Budha v. State of Odisha, 2019 SCC OnLine Ori 262, decided on 01-08-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: Alexander Thomas, J. disposed a bail application and granted bail by providing various requisite conditions on the petitioner for the safeguard of the victim.

In the present case, the petitioner has been accused of being the sole accused wherein a case has been registered under Sections 450 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’). It has been alleged by the prosecution, being a divorced lady with an 11-year-old minor child that the accused-petitioner had promised her that he would find a tenant for her house which she was looking to let out on rent. It was reported that on the 19-05-2019, the accused-petitioner had invited the lady at a house and to her dismay; the petitioner was alone and indulged her in sexual intercourse.

Counsel representing the accused-petitioner, Sergi Joseph Thomas, submitted that the prosecution in her FI statement had mentioned that she was having an affair with the accused-petitioner and thus indulging in sexual intercourse was based on consent and not forceful. The counsel also submitted that there was a considerable amount of unexplained delay in filing the case since the date of the incident thus leading to fabrication of factual circumstances.

The Public Prosecutor representing the State, Saigi Jacob Palatty contended that if the petitioner is let out on bail, there will be a possibility of the petitioner intimidating the witnesses and the lady as well. 

The present Bench, upon perusal of the facts and circumstances of the case, stated that the petitioner had already served 34 days detention and there has been an unexplained delay in setting the complaint into motion from the victim lady’s end. The Court noted that merely because the investigation is pending the accused-petitioner cannot be denied bail. However, since there exists a possibility of the accused-petitioner influencing the witness or the lady, the court granted bail to the petitioner and imposed various conditions on the accused-petitioner. The Court directed that:

“i. The petitioner shall appear before the Investigating Officer on every 2nd and 4th Saturdays, at any time between 10 am and 1 pm, for a further period of 3 months or till final report is filed, whichever is earlier.

ii. He shall not intimidate or attempt to influence the lady victim, witnesses; nor shall he tamper with the evidence.

iii. He shall not commit any offence while on bail. 

iv. The petitioner shall not visit or go anywhere near to the residence of the lady defacto complainant. 

v. The petitioner shall not reside or enter anywhere within the territorial limits of the Police Station where the lady defacto complainant is residing until the conclusion of investigating process, except for the limited purpose of reporting before the Investigating Officer concerned in this crime, or for attending to the Court in relation to this case or any other cases or for contacting his lawyer/advocate concerned. If the petitioner has any emergent personal need to visit the said area, he may do so but only with the prior permission of the investigating officer concerned.”[Vineesh v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 2408, decided on 29-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Manoj Misra and Ali Zamin, JJ. granted bail on the ground that the appellant were on bail pending trial and had not misused the liberty of bail. 

A bail application was made against the conviction under Sections 302, 307 read with Section 34 and Section 504 of the Penal Code, 1860. In addition to that accused Nanhe was also convicted under Section 30 Arms Act.

Vinay Kumar Tripathi, Counsel for the appellant contended that four persons were made accused; the deceased suffered a gunshot which was specifically attributed to the other co-accused. No other injury was found on the body of the deceased. As per the prosecution case, the accused/appellant along with the other co-accused came armed with lathi only to settle the score in respect of some past incident regarding straying of accused’s cattle on to the field of the deceased. It was further submitted that the appellants assaulted the deceased with the fists and kicks, which suggested that they did not share common intention with the co-accused Om Prakash Singh, who allegedly fired at the deceased from close range. It was also submitted that the appellants were falsely implicated and the court below had not properly evaluated the evidence on record. It was further submitted that the appellants were on bail pending trial and they have not misused the liberty of bail and in case they are released on bail pending appeal they will not misuse the same.

Counsel for State opposed for the bail but was also not able to prove that apart from gunshot injury any other injury was sustained either by the deceased or the person injured.

The Court opined that hearing of appeal is remote, as more than twenty years’ old appeals are in the queue, keeping in mind the role attributed to the appellants as also the totality of facts and circumstances, without expressing opinion on the merits of the case, we find it a fit case for grant of bail to the appellants during pendency of the appeal. Thus, the bail was granted after imposing restrictions. [Nanhe v. State of U.P., 2019 SCC OnLine All 2430, decided on 01-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: A Division Bench of Sandeep Mehta and Abhay Chaturvedi, JJ., allowed an application for suspension of sentences and granted bail to the accused-applicant due to improper findings in the evidence.

According to the facts of the case, the accused-applicant was alleged to have caused two fatal injuries to the deceased using an iron rod. The injuries caused to the deceased were specifically attributed to the accused Babu Khan and the accused-appellant was alleged to have caused the injury with the iron rod. In a High Court order dated 23-05-2019, one of the co-accused had been an extended indulgence of suspension of sentences.

The Senior Advocate representing the accused-applicant, J.S. Choudhary assisted by Tarun Dhaka, challenged the impugned judgment passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, stating that the trial court erred in its finding since according to the post mortem report, no injuries on the body of the deceased were traced to have caused by the usage of a blunt weapon. The Senior Advocate also submitted and brought to the notice of the court that the co-accused was granted an indulgence of suspension of sentences by the present court also due to the same reason.

The Public Prosecutor representing the respondents, Anil Joshi, vehemently and fervently opposed the submission by the accused-applicant counsel.

The High Court upon perusal of evidence placed on record and the facts of the case accepted the petition for suspension of sentences and suspended the sentences passed by the learned trial court till the final disposal of the case. The High Court granted bail to the accused-applicant upon execution of personal bond with two sureties.[Sakeer Mohammad v. State, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 1419, decided on 11-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: The Division Bench of Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Sanjay Kumar Gupta, JJ. dismissed this petition as no special circumstances could be made out for suspension of sentence and for grant of bail at this stage.

The present application was filed to seek a stay of operation of the Judgment of conviction passed by the Principal Sessions Judge, Reasi and also sought bail. The application states that the applicants/appellants were falsely prosecuted.

Counsels for the applicants/appellants, Navneet Dubey and Deepali Arora, submitted that the impugned judgment is erroneous and was pronounced in the light of bad evidence; ridden with material contradictions and discrepancies. The appellants have been incarcerated for more than seven years now.

Akhtari Bi v. State of M.P., (2001) 4 SCC 355; Atul Tripathi v. State of U.P., (2014) 9 SCC 177 and Suddu Kumar v. State of Bihar, Criminal Appeal (DB) No. 583 of 2015, date of decision 09-03-2017, were relied upon by the applicants.

The Respondent – State was not represented by anyone.

The prosecution case was that on 21-03-2012 at 2 p.m., information from a reliable source was received by the Police Station, Mahore to the effect that a person namely Nazir Ahmed is lying dead near the house of Haji Khushi Mohd. He was taken in suspicious circumstances for burial. The then SHO Vijay Dhar, Inspector along with Mohd. Sharief, ASI, Gulzar Ahmed and Abdul Hamid, Constables rushed to the spot in a Government vehicle. When they reached the spot, they found the dead body near the house of Haji Khushi Mohd. Thereafter, both the applicants/appellants were arrested. During the investigation, it was found that the deceased was suffering from Tuberculosis and was bed-ridden for many years. During the years, illicit relations between the appellants developed which the deceased knew about. He forbade both of them. They killed him ultimately. Thereafter, the Trial Court convicted both of them and sentenced them to imprisonment for life.

The Court observed that the appellants instead of arguing the main matter stressed on seeking bail. Section 426 of State Code is pari materia to Section 389 CrPC (Suspension of sentence pending the appeal; release of appellant on bail). State of Haryana v. Hasmat, 2004 SCC (Crl.) 1757 was cited by the Court; in which it was held that – “The appellate court is duty-bound to objectively assess the matter and to record reasons for the conclusion that the case warrants suspension of execution of sentence and grant of bail. In the instant case, the only factor which seems to have weighed with the High Court for directing suspension of sentence and grant of bail is the absence of allegation of misuse of liberty during the period the accused-respondent was granted parole.” The same analogy was given in the case of Kishori Lal v. Rupa, (2004) 7 SCC 638.

The Court after considering all the matters at hand, held that the appellants are not entitled for bail even though they are in custody for more than five years and from the law cited in Akhtari Bi (if appeal cannot be decided within five years, the court may consider the bail application of appellant; but in present case the instant appeal is of 2018) and Atul Tripathi’s case. The Court further observed that there are many appellants convicted in similar offences and are languishing in jails for more than five years of post-conviction stage. [Abdul Rashid v. State of J&K, 2019 SCC OnLine J&K 590, decided on 08-07-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The Court has dismissed the bail plea of self-styled preacher Asaram Bapu in connection with a sexual assault case lodged against him in Gujarat. The bench headed by Justice N V Ramana was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, that the trial in the case was going on and 210 witnesses were yet to be examined.

The bench, while dismissing the bail plea, said the lower court will proceed with the trial and will not be influenced by the prima facie observations given by the Gujarat High Court earlier while dismissing Asaram’s plea. Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai accusing them of rape and illegal confinement among other charges.

(Source: PTI)

Hot Off The PressNews

As reported by ANI, RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav has been granted bail by the Jharkhand High Court.

[More details will be updated soon.]

Background

As reported by the media, The fodder scam involved the withdrawal of money for supplying non-existent fodder for imaginary livestock. The withdrawals that started during the tenure of Mishra when he was chief minister continued during the tenure of Lalu as chief minister and spanned over a decade.

Over the span of various hearings, it was discovered that in an enormous number of cases, fodder was not bought or conveyed and fake bills created.

Lalu had lost his post as chief minister after he was convicted in one of the court cases relating to the scam.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: S.A. Dharmadhikari, J. granted bail under Section 439 CrPC, where the applicant was charged for ‘Deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion’ under Section 295-A Penal Code, 1860.

The applicant was arrested on the allegations that he uploaded filthy language on social media, specifically facebook in the name of God. It was argued by the counsel for the applicant, R.K. Dubey that such was a false and frivolous case registered against the applicant. Further, it was submitted that the applicant was very young, just about 22 years old and had been in custody for a long time. The counsel stated that the investigation was pending and the charge sheet was not filed yet. But the long period of detention in the custody may spoil the career of the applicant as the trial may take some time. The counsel assured the Court that there was no possibility that the applicant will abscond or will tamper any material evidence if he was released on bail.

On the contrary, the public prosecutor, Sanjeev Mishra, opposed the bail application that such was a serious offence and could have caused a ruckus in the society and had outraged the religious feeling of the public at large.

The Court revalued the arguments of both the parties and deemed it to be a fit case for bail. Bail was granted by the Court subject to conditions.[Fezal Khan v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 1461, decided on 05-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Kerala High Court: B Sudheendra Kumar J., allowed a bail application and relieved the accused person from the custody. 

In the instant case, the accused persons were charged under Section 143 (Punishment for being member in unlawful assembly), Section 147 (Punishment for rioting), Section 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), Section 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), Section 120-B (Punishment for criminal conspiracy) for involving inflicting injuries on the injured person. One of the accused was involved in using a torch as a weapon to assault the injured. 

The High Court upon considering the facts and circumstances of the case stated that the incident was not pre-meditated. The court also considered the period of detention of the accused persons while granting the bail. The Court noted the fact that the other accused persons in the matter had already been granted bail and the remaining accused were in detention for an extended period of time. It granted bail on condition of executing bonds and also stated that the petitioners shall be observed if they involve themselves in a similar act during the pendency of the trial.[Karthik v. State of Kerala, 2019 SCC OnLine Ker 1990, decided on 26-06-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Faiz Alam Khan, J., allowed the bail application which was rejected by the subordinate court on the ground that material on record was not properly appreciated.

 A bail application was made by the applicant against the crime registered under Sections 302, 201, 376 IPC and 3(2)(v) SC /ST Act. 

Dileep Kumar Yadav, Counsel for the applicant submitted that the appellant was falsely implicated in this case. Nothing, as claimed by the prosecution, was committed by the appellant. It was further submitted that, there was no direct evidence in this case. An apprehension was stated in the statement given to the Investigating Officer by the informant that the appellant wanted to marry the deceased and he being of a different caste, Informant was not inclined to get her daughter (deceased) married with the appellant and on the basis of this enmity, the appellant had committed the crime with the help of other co-accused persons namely Pintoo Yadav, Pappu Mishra and Shanti w/o Gopi. The counsel also informed that the witness who had given the statement was Pradhan of the village and had enmity with the accused. The other co-accused persons against whom identical allegations had been levelled, was released on bail by co-ordinate Benches of this Court and thus on the above ground and fact that appellant had no criminal history, prayed for the bail. 

Counsel for the respondent opposed the contention raised on behalf of the appellant and submitted that, there was no illegality, so far as the rejection of the bail application of the appellant by the Subordinate Court was concerned, as he had committed a heinous offence. 

The court opined that I am of the view that the learned court below has failed to appreciate the material available on record. In view of above, the order passed by the court below is liable to be set aside. The bail was thus granted with the conditions, breach of which shall be the ground of cancellation. [Shaguni v. State of U.P., 2019 SCC OnLine All 2409, decided on 4-7-2019] 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Manoj Kumar Garg, J., suspended the sentence awarded to the appellants by the trial court and allowed the bail applications.

In the instant case, the appellants were charged and convicted by the Special Judge, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Cases, Merta under Sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Section 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), Section 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), coupled with Section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Penal Code, 1860. They were charged under the abovementioned sections due to attacking the deceased with sticks (laathis) and fist blows, due to which the individual succumbed to the injuries.

The counsel representing the appellants, Vineet Jain and Ravindra Acharya, submitted before the High Court the post mortem report of the deceased which showed the deceased to have received only a single injury and no other injuries, as contrary to the facts of the case.  They also put forth that the laathis were recovered from the possession of the appellants however, upon examination no blood was found on the same. The counsels also persuaded the High Court to note that the accused-appellant, Deepak has been behind the bars since 2013 and the appellant-Raju has been in judicial custody since 2014 and therefore, due to the pending of appeal proceedings since long, they should be released from such custody.

Learned Public Prosecutor for the State, Mukhtiyar Khan opposed the bail application.

The High Court after considering the evidences put forth, and keeping in view of the delay in the appeal proceedings, allowed the bail applications and suspended the substantive sentences awarded to the accused-appellants. The appeal was filed under Section 389 (Suspension of sentence pending the appeal) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the High Court noted the fact that there has been a long delay in the appeal proceedings resulting in the accused spending almost five years in the respective custody’s hence were to be released upon executing the bail bonds with sureties.[Deepak v. State Of Rajasthan, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 1272, decided on 02-07-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: Vivek Rusia, J. dealt with a bail application where the petitioner sought bail for the offence under Section 14 of the State Security Act and thereby granted the said bail to the externed petitioner.

The first bail application was filed under Section 439 CrPC by the petitioner who was externed by the District Magistrate under the State Security Act. The petitioner was found within the prohibited area of Dewas and was subsequently arrested. The learned counsel for the petitioner, Hitesh Sharma submitted that the offences had been tried by the court and the petitioner was ready to abide by the conditions.

The counsel for the State, Akshat Pahadia, submitted that there were several cases against the petitioner and therefore he was externed for a period of one year.

The Court observed that an investigation was over and the offences attracted the penalty of three years. It was further observed by the Court the fact that early conclusion of the trial was a bleak possibility and prolonged pre-trial detention being an anathema to the concept of liberty and the material placed on record did not disclose the possibility of the petitioner fleeing from justice, the Court was though inclined to extend benefit of bail to the petitioner but with certain stringent conditions in view of nature of offence. Hence, the bail was granted.[Jakir v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 1286, decided on 26-06-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: R. C. Khulbe, J. refused to grant a bail where the applicant was charged under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of Penal Code, 1860.

The prosecution stated that a complaint was lodged against the applicant mentioning that he was posted as Deputy Manager in Kalawati Nyas Dharamshala, Dehradun. The applicant used to stay in Dharamshala of the complainant every month for a few days. Applicant disclosed to the colleague of the complainant that there were vacancies in Secretariat of Government of India, Delhi for the post of Junior Clerk. The son of the complainant was unemployed and applicant demanded Rs 3 lakhs for getting employed the son of the complainant and demanded Rs 50,000 as advance. Further, it was alleged by the prosecution that the said complainant gave the advance money on the very same day. In the same way, other relatives of the complainant believed the complainant and gave money to the applicant. The complainant was accused of the fraudulently received amount of Rs 20 lakhs from the complainant and his relatives on the pretext of providing job to the son of the complainant and other relatives of the complainant.

The applicant alleged that he was falsely implicated in the crime and hence bail should be granted to him.

The Court found that, FIR stated the commission of a heinous crime and hence no bail was granted to the applicant.[Shambhu Nath v. State of Uttarakhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 541, decided on 27-06-2019]