In criminal cases, the court is inclined to grant bail to the accused person where the evidence that has been submitted is not strong enough to indicate prima facie that the accused has committed the crime. This issue was addressed in the case of Ashok Kumar Das v State of Chhattisgarh [MCRC No. 2333 of 2021] by a single member bench of the High Court of Chhattisgarh consisting of Justice Goutam Bhaduri on 16th July 2021.
The applicants in this case, Ashok Kumar Das, Manoj Das, Bharat Das and Shouki Das applied for regular bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after they were arrested on 14th February 2020 in connection with Crime No, 161/2018 and accused of murder, robbery and destroying evidence which are punishable under Sections 302, 392 and 201 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The deceased man was strangulated to death and the mobile locations of the applicants indicated they were present at the place of the crime at the time when the deceased was believed to have died. Additionally the applicants were believed to have had some dispute with the deceased over the promise of a gold coin worth Rs. 5,00,000 with the inscription of Hanuman. The applicants counsel submitted before the High Court that there was nothing except the mobile location, Call Detail Record (CDR) and a purse recovered from the applicants which was submitted as evidence and that this was not enough evidence to come to any conclusion.
The learned state counsel strongly opposed the prayer for grant of bail on the grounds that the mobile location of the applicants was at the place where the deceased was believed to have been murdered. Additionally the state counsel also stated that the recovered purse belonged to the deceased man, although it did not contain any identity proof. The applicants counsel however continued to argue that none of this was enough evidence to keep the accused persons in jail for so long without having a trial and for this reason; bail should be granted to the four applicants in this case.
Justice Goutam Bhaduri stated that “Perused the documents. Considering the nature of allegation and the evidence which have been collected so far and further considering the fact that only on the basis of the mobile location the applicants have been apprehended and the bag which was recovered from Ashok Kumar Das as appears has not been identified that it belongs to the deceased. Taking into such fact I am inclined to release the applicants on bail”. Thus the application was allowed and the applicants were released on bail as the evidence submitted could not be considered enough to keep them in jail.