The question of grant of bail would not arise, if it can be said that there are grounds to believe that the accused is involved in offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life: High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh

While considering the application for bail, it is necessary to take into consideration, first whether the accused would take up the trial without hampering it and secondly, whether he would subject himself to the verdict of the Court as upheld by the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh through the learned bench lead by Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul in the case of Bashir Ahmad Bhat v. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (Bail App no.96/2020).

The brief facts of the case are that on 12.01.1996, police station Pulwama received an information that at village Pishwara Keegam, some unknown gunmen entered into the house of one, Gh. Mohammad Sheikh, and locked all the family members in a single room, fired indiscriminately upon them with their illegally occupied arms/ ammunition with an intention to kill them and as a result whereof, Dr. Ab. Rashid Sheikh and Gh. Nabi Sheikh, got killed on spot while as one girl, namely, Mst Benazir, received bullet injuries, and the gunmen fled from the spot. On receipt of information, case FIR under Sections 452, 302, 307, 120-B RPC, 25/27 IA Act was registered. It is also stated by respondent that during course of investigation, the dead bodies were taken into custody and after completion of all formalities, the bodies were handed over to their legal heirs for last rites and the injured girl was taken by her legal heirs to hospital for treatment and regarding her injury memo was prepared. It is also submitted that during investigation, statements of witnesses were recorded and evidence collected, and the identity of gunmen was ascertained. The order impugned, on its perusal, reveals that it has been passed by the Trial Court after making comprehensive discussion. The Trial Court has said that applicant cannot seek and be given bail on parity because he is not similarly situated with the other accused persons.

The Hon’ble High Court held, “From perusal of the record on the file as also application, no definite view can be made that there are reasonable grounds to believe that applicant is not guilty of alleged offences and no doubt applicant is facing trial for last five years but it is also a fact that he is facing trial for commission of offence of murder. In the above backdrop, the judgements relied upon by learned counsel for applicant do not render any help to the case of applicant as being distinguishable in facts and circumstances of the present case. Resultantly, order impugned does not warrant any interference. For the foregoing reasons, this is not a fit case for grant of bail. Bail application/petition is accordingly, dismissed.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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