Bail Granted to Accused No.5 in a Chamarajanagar Murder Case: A Closer Look at the Decision
Mahesh vs State Of Karnataka
18 May, 2023
Bench: Hon’ble Rajendra Badamikar
In a recent development, the Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge in Chamarajanagar District, sitting at Kollegala, has granted bail to Accused No.5 in a high-profile murder case registered as Crime No.93/2022 at Gundlupet Police Station. The accused was charged with several offenses under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Sections 143, 147, 323, 427, 120-B, 341, 302 read with 149.
The Indian Penal Code
|143||Punishment for members of unlawful assembly|
|147||Punishment for rioting|
|323||Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt|
|427||Punishment for committing mischief and thereby causes loss or damage|
|120-B||Punishment for whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death,|
|341||Punishment for wrongfully restraining|
|302||Punishment for murder|
|149||Punishment for offence committed by any member of unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly|
The case revolves around a love affair between the complainant, Vinodraj, and CW.9, who happens to be the sister of Accused No.2. Allegedly, the accused individuals had warned Vinodraj to end his relationship with CW.9. On the fateful day of April 2, 2022, the deceased, Chikkaraju (Vinodraj’s elder brother), arrived in his village from Bengaluru. The accused suspected that Chikkaraju had influenced Vinodraj. Later that evening, Accused Nos. 1 and 2 approached Vinodraj and Chikkaraju, urging Chikkaraju to come to Gundlupet town for a discussion regarding the love affair. During this encounter, Chikkaraju was assaulted by Accused Nos. 1 and 2, and he was warned against encouraging Vinodraj’s relationship with CW.9.
After the initial altercation, Chikkaraju returned home and narrated the incident to the complainant and another individual, Nandeesha. The trio set out to seek medical treatment for Chikkaraju at Gundlupet Government Hospital. However, on their way, the accused intercepted them near Aralikatte in Hosur Village. They forcibly took Chikkaraju away, assaulted him, and Accused No.3 stabbed him, resulting in his death. The complainant filed a complaint, leading to the registration of the case, and a subsequent charge sheet was filed after the investigation. The petitioner, Accused No.5, surrendered before the learned Magistrate and has been in judicial custody for the past six months.
Bail Petition and Court’s Decision:
Accused No.5 filed a bail petition under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) after his earlier anticipatory bail application was rejected. The petitioner’s counsel argued that there was no specific overt act alleged against the petitioner, and the witnesses examined so far did not support the prosecution’s case. The defense further contended that the petitioner had been in custody for six months, and with the trial already underway, there was no risk of him tampering with witnesses or fleeing from justice.
On the other hand, the prosecution opposed the bail petition, stating that some witnesses were yet to be examined, and there was material evidence against the petitioner. However, it was revealed that the complainant, who was a key eyewitness, had turned hostile, and another eyewitness did not support the prosecution’s case. The court noted that the allegations against the petitioner were primarily related to assault by hands, whereas the major allegation of stabbing was directed at Accused No.3. Considering these circumstances, the court found no impediment to granting bail.
After a careful evaluation of the arguments and perusal of the records, the Court granted bail to Accused No.5 in the Chamarajanagar murder case. The court acknowledged that the petitioner had surrendered and cooperated with the judicial process. With several witnesses having been examined, including eyewitnesses who did not support the prosecution’s case, the court deemed it appropriate to release the petitioner on bail. However, the court imposed certain conditions, such as refraining from influencing or threatening witnesses and appearing for all court hearings. The case continues to unfold, and further proceedings will determine the final outcome
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREEYA S SHEKAR