Karnataka HC: Gravity of Offence Considered, Bail Granted to Accused in Mangalore Robbery Case



Dated on: 16th MAY, 2024



The case involves the petitioner, Lakshman, who was accused of participating in a robbery on January 15, 2024. According to the prosecution, Lakshman, along with two others, stopped the complainant and his friend, threatened them with a knife, and forcibly took a mobile phone and Rs. 500. Lakshman was specifically accused of snatching the cash. The incident was reported to the police early on January 16, 2024, leading to the registration of a case under Sections 394 and 397 read with Section 34 of the IPC. Lakshman was arrested on January 18, 2024, and a motorcycle used in the crime was recovered. However, no cash or mobile phone was recovered from him. After investigating, the police filed a charge sheet, and the court by considering the gravity of the offense and lack of prior criminal record, granted bail to Lakshman with certain conditions.

Issues framed by Court:

  1. Whether the petitioner had a role in the crime, as alleged by the prosecution.
  2. Whether the allegations against the petitioner, Lakshman, were credible, given that there was no direct recovery of the stolen mobile or cash from him.
  3. Whether the petitioner should be granted bail considering the gravity of the offense.
  4. Whether conditions could be imposed to ensure that the petitioner does not tamper with the evidence or witnesses and appears for future court proceedings.

Legal Provisions:

Section 439 Of Cr.P.C.: It states about Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail.

Section 394 of IPC: It states about the act of voluntarily causing hurt during the commission of a robbery.

Section 397 of IPC: Robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt.

Section 34 of IPC: When multiple people commit criminal conduct in pursuit of a common intention, each of them is accountable for the act in the same way as if it were committed by him alone.

Contentions of the Appellant:

The appellant, Lakshman, contended that the allegations against him were false and fabricated and that he had been falsely implicated based solely on the voluntary statement of the co-accused, from whom the stolen mobile phone and knife were recovered. He argued that there was no direct recovery of the mobile phone or cash from him, only the motorcycle. Further, he emphasized that he had been in custody since January 18, 2024, the investigation was complete, and the charge sheet had been filed, hence there was no need for his continued detention. However, he requested to be enlarged on bail, asserting that he had no prior criminal record and posed no risk of tampering with evidence or witnesses.

Contentions of the Respondent:

The respondent contended that the petitioner, Lakshman, was involved in the crime, as the motorcycle used in the robbery belonged to him and was recovered at his instance. Moreover, the respondent argued that all the accused acted together in committing the robbery, which involved serious charges under Sections 394 and 397 read with Section 34 of the IPC. The respondent maintained that the mere filing of the charge sheet was not sufficient grounds for granting bail, emphasizing the gravity of the offense and the collective involvement of the accused.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The hon’ble court, upon hearing the arguments from both sides, analyzed the credibility of the allegations and the involvement of the petitioner, Lakshman, in the robbery. It noted that although Lakshman was implicated in the crime and the motorcycle used was recovered from him, there was no direct recovery of the stolen mobile or cash. The court also considered that Lakshman had no prior criminal record, the investigation was complete, and the charge sheet had been filed. Given the gravity of the offense but also recognizing that Lakshman’s specific role and intent would be determined at trial, the court decided to grant bail. However, the court further imposed conditions to prevent tampering with evidence, ensure his appearance at future hearings, and restrict his movement outside the trial court’s jurisdiction without permission. Consequently, the petitioner was released on bail with a personal bond and sureties, along with other specified conditions to safeguard the prosecution’s interests.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Shramana Sengupta

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