Anticipatory Bail granted by Karnataka High Court in Lingadahalli Cowshed Dispute Case
Manjunatha S vs The State Of Karnataka
11 May, 2023
Bench: Hon’ble T G Bytgsj
In a recent ruling on May 11, 2023, Justice T.G. Shivashankare Gowda of the High Court of Karnataka granted anticipatory bail to Manjunatha S and Arvinda D.P. in a case related to a dispute over the construction of a cowshed. The petitioners sought bail under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for their alleged involvement in a series of offenses under the Indian Penal Code. This blog post provides a summary of the case and the court’s decision.
Manjunatha S and Arvinda D.P., residents of Doddalingenahalli Village in Tarikere Taluk, Chikkamagaluru District, found themselves entangled in a legal battle over the construction of a cowshed. The complainant accused the petitioners of encroaching two feet of space during the construction, leading to a quarrel between the two parties. Subsequently, both sides allegedly assaulted each other, resulting in injuries.
Summary of Arguments:
The petitioners’ counsel argued that the dispute arose from conflicting claims regarding the cowshed construction. They highlighted the existence of a case and counter case, with the complainant’s side allegedly assaulting the petitioners and their family members. In response to the injuries sustained, the complainant filed a separate case against the petitioners. The injured party received outpatient treatment at a government hospital in Shivamogga and is now out of danger. The petitioners expressed their willingness to cooperate with the investigation.
The prosecution, represented by the State Public Prosecutor, vehemently opposed the bail application. They contended that petitioner No. 2 had allegedly inflicted a head injury on the complainant, Smt. Gayithribai, using a stone. The prosecution argued that if bail were granted, the petitioners might repeat the offense. They highlighted that the Principal District and Sessions Judge at Chikkamagaluru had already refused to exercise discretion in favor of the petitioners in a related matter (Crl.Misc.No.196/2023).
Justice T.G. Shivashankare Gowda carefully considered the arguments presented by both parties and examined the available material on record. The court observed that there was a specific overt act against petitioner No. 2, who allegedly caused the head injury. However, there was no specific overt act attributed to petitioner No. 1. The court noted that the allegations made in the FIR may not prima facie attract the offense under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
Considering the circumstances of the case, the court found it to be a fit case for the exercise of discretion. The court also took into account the fact that both sides had sustained injuries, including female members. It imposed certain conditions to address the prosecution’s concerns, such as the petitioners not tampering with prosecution witnesses and cooperating with the investigating officer.
In the case of Manjunatha S and Arvinda D.P., the High Court of Karnataka granted anticipatory bail, allowing their release in the event of their arrest. The court considered the nature of the dispute, the injuries sustained by both parties, and the absence of a prima facie offense under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. By imposing suitable conditions, the court aimed to address the prosecution’s apprehensions. This ruling highlights the court’s role in balancing the rights of the accused with the need for a fair investigation and trial.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREEYA S SHEKAR