Detention of applicant not necessary until crime is prima-facie proved: Bombay High Court

Bail may be granted to an individual who is accused of a cognizable offence, if the crime alleged against him/her is not prima facie proved. A single judge bench comprising of Justice Prakash D Naik, while adjudicating the matter in Papu Ashok Waghela v. State of Maharashtra; [BAIL APPLICATION NO.1355 OF 2021], dealt with the issue of granting bail to an accused alleged to have committed the offence of murder under the Indian Penal Code.

The prosecution case is that, on a certain day the complainant was on duty at the police station. The applicant visited police station and informed the police that her daughter was leaving the house with her clothes. She was caught by her and brought back in the house. With the help of odhani, she was strangulated and killed. The police visited the spot and found that the daughter of the applicant aged about 23 years was found dead. During inquiry, it was revealed that the victim was in love with a boy, and, her family was against the said relationship. While the victim was trying to run away from the house with her clothes, she was caught and brought home. There was quarrel between them at that time. She was killed by strangulation. Ligature marks were noticed on the body of the victim. An FIR was registered in respect of the same.

The learned counsel for the applicant stated that the incident had occurred all of sudden. It was not pre-planned. The role of strangulation is not attributed to applicant. The victim was the daughter of the applicant. The eye witness has attributed the role of strangulation by odhani to the co-accused. As per the public prosecutor, the informant had categorically stated that the applicant had visited the police station and she had disclosed that she killed her daughter

The Court upon considering the aforesaid facts stated that “From the documents it appears that the victim is the daughter of the applicant. Victim was having love affair with one boy. The applicant and the brother of the victim were against the said relationship. The victim was trying to run away from the house with her clothes. She was caught by the family members, and, brought back to her home. The statement of eye witness mention that the co-accused was found strangulating the victim, and, the applicant was standing at the feet of the victim. The applicant is lady. Considering the factual aspects, further detention of the applicant is not necessary.” The Court thus granted bail to the applicant after relying on the eye-witness statements, with a few conditions imposed.

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