“High Court Grants Bail in Attempt to Murder Case: Importance of Evidence and Thorough Investigation”: Karnataka High Court
Kartik S/O Yallappa Lesappanavar vs The State Of Karnataka
Bench: Hon’ble C M Bycmjj
FACTS OF THE CASE”:-
A case was registered at APMC Navanagar PS of Hubballi under various sections of IPC, based on the complaint filed by Siddappa. It is alleged that on 14.02.2023, when the complainant had been to Jatra festival at Savadatti Yellamma Temple, accused No.2-Beerappa and accused No.3-Arjun had abused Siddappa’s elderly uncle Bhimappa in filthy words. When Siddappa questioned accused No.2-Beerappa about the incident, a scuffle ensued between them. It is alleged that with the intention to kill Siddappa, accused No.2-Beerappa and accused No.3-Arjun and several others, who came in 8-10 two-wheelers, assaulted Siddappa with stick, stones, etc. Siddappa’s friend Shivakumaraswami also tried to rescue him. There were threats to the life of Siddappa and all the accused went away from the spot. Siddappa was admitted to the hospital, and there were stone pelting on the house of Siddappa’s uncle Bhimappa. The petitioner, who is accused No.9, has approached the Court seeking bail.
The petitioner in this case is seeking bail and argues that he is innocent and the offence of attempt to murder is not made out by the prosecution. He is the only earning member in the family and looks after his widowed mother, grandmother, and two sisters. The prosecution has not attributed any overt acts against him and the complainant himself had approached accused No.2, therefore there is no need for his custodial detention.
However, the learned HCGP opposes the bail application stating that the petitioner has been arrested with recoveries made in the form of stick, iron rod, and knife. There are prima facie materials against the petitioner, and if released on bail, he may tamper with the prosecution witnesses. The Sessions Court has already rejected his bail application, and there are eyewitnesses to the incident who may be tampered with if the petitioner is released on bail.
After hearing both sides, the High Court observed that the FIR did not mention the petitioner’s name and that his name was included only on the basis of subsequent statements made by prosecution witnesses during the investigation. The court also noted that the injured-complainant had been discharged from the hospital on the same day and that there was no material showing that the assault on the complainant was pre-planned. It appeared that the scuffle had ensued between two rival groups.
The court further observed that the Sessions Court had mainly rejected the bail application on the ground that other accused had criminal antecedents, whereas no such antecedents were forthcoming insofar as the petitioner was concerned. The court noted that a co-ordinate Bench of the same court had granted bail to another accused in a similar case, and therefore, the petitioner was entitled to bail on the ground of parity.
Accordingly, the court allowed the bail application and ordered the petitioner’s release on bail, subject to certain conditions. The petitioner was ordered to execute a personal bond in the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- with two sureties, make himself available for investigation as and when required, not tamper with the prosecution witnesses, and not indulge in any criminal activities during the pendency of the case.
This case highlights the importance of evidence and the need for a thorough investigation before implicating someone in a criminal case. The court also emphasized the need for bail to be granted unless there are strong reasons to believe that the accused may abscond or tamper with the prosecution witnesses. In this case, the court found that the petitioner was not a flight risk and that the apprehension of tampering with witnesses could be addressed by imposing suitable conditions.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREEYA S SHEKAR