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“Justice Served: Delving into the High Court’s Dismissal of the Habeas Corpus Petition in a Family Dispute”- Delhi HC

Case Title: INDRAKALI VERMA Versus STATE OF NCT OF DELHI

Case No: W.P.(CRL) 1611/2024

Decided on: 20th May , 2024

Quorum: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SURESH KUMAR KAIT and HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MANOJ JAIN

Facts of the case

Indrakali Verma, the petitioner in this case, sought a writ of habeas corpus to force the court to produce her son Vikas, daughter-in-law Rachna, and grandsons. According to the petitioner, they were being held illegally. But it turned out that the son, daughter-in-law, and grandsons were not being held illegally; rather, they were living apart from the petitioner on their own volition during the legal proceedings. Through video conference, the son verified this information. It was further observed that the petitioner is actively seeking criminal prosecution against the defendants, having previously filed a similar petition (W.P. (Crl) No. 2359/21) which was withdrawn. In the end, the court dismissed the petition since it was determined that no additional order was required because of the voluntary residence of the relatives are kept apart from the petitioner.

Issues

1. Was the petitioner’s son and his family members wrongfully held, as stated in the writ of habeas corpus petition?

2. Based on the conversation with the son during the video conference, does the petitioner’s claim of wrongful imprisonment have merit, in the opinion of the court?

3. Did the petitioner’s allegation of unjustified detention receive enough support from the court to warrant the petition’s dismissal?

4. In deciding not to issue additional orders in this matter, did the court take into account the petitioner’s prior actions such as withdrawing a comparable petition and pursuing criminal prosecution into account?

5. Did the petitioner’s family members confirm during the court proceedings that they were living apart from her voluntarily?

Legal Provisions

Writ of Habeas Corpus: The petitioner requested a writ of habeas corpus, a legal procedure that allows someone to request release from unjustified incarceration or detention [T2]. Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) Section 156(3): Following the dismissal of an earlier petition [T1], the petitioner was granted permission to present evidence under Section 200 Cr.P.C. After receiving a complaint of an offense [T1], a magistrate may question the complainant and witnesses under Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C). The petitioner’s claims and the court’s ruling in the case were taken into account when evaluating these legislative provisions.

Appellant Contentions

Seeking a writ of habeas corpus to bring her son Vikas, daughter-in-law Rachna, and grandsons before the court, the appellant, Indrakali Verma, alleged in the case [T2] that they were being wrongfully held. Nevertheless, it became clear throughout the proceedings that the family members were not being held in violation of the law; rather, they were living apart from the petitioner willingly. Through video conference, the son verified this information. The petitioner made some initial arguments, but the court dismissed the case after concluding that the claim of unlawful imprisonment lacked merit [T1].

Respondent Contentions

With the help of attorneys Priyam Agarwal and Shivesh Kaushik as well as counsel Mr. Sanjay Lao, the respondent in this matter, the State of the NCT of Delhi, argued that the petitioner’s family members her son Vikas, daughter-in-law Rachna, and grandsons were not being held in violation of the law. The son’s remark made during their video conference with the court provided evidence in favor of this claim. According to the respondent, the family members were not being forcibly detained and were living apart from the petitioner. Consequently, the respondent contended that there was no need for additional orders in this matter [T1].

Court Analysis and Judgement

The court examined the arguments made by the petitioner and the respondent in the matter of Indrakali Verma v. State of the NCT of Delhi. Through video conference, the petitioner’s son confirmed to the court that he was not being held illegally and that he, along with his wife and small children, were living apart from the petitioner freely. Additionally, the son said that the petitioner was welcome to see him at his home [T1]. The court determined that the petitioner’s request for a writ of habeas corpus was without merit in light of the facts that were given and the dearth of evidence that backed up the petitioner’s allegation of wrongful imprisonment. The petitioner had previously withdrawn a similar suit, the court found, and was already prosecuting the responders in criminal court. As a result, the court determined that no more orders were necessary in this matter and granted the petition [T1]. The evidence that was produced during the proceedings ultimately served as the foundation for the court’s decision, indicating that the petitioner’s family members were living apart from her freely and were not being wrongfully held.

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Judgement Analysis Written by – K.Immey Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Case Title: LAKSHMAN Vs. STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case No.: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3537 OF 2024

Dated on: 16th MAY, 2024

Coram: HON’BLE MR JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH

Facts:

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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K’taka High Court Upholds Election Commission’s Decision to deny Free Public Transportation for 2024 MLC Elections.

CASE TITLE – SAYED KHALIL ULLA HUSSAINI v. THE CHIEF ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

CASE NUMBER – WP NO. 12711 OF 2024

DATED ON – 16.05.2024

QUORUM – Justice R. Devdas & Justice J.M. Khazi

 

FACTS OF THE CASE

The petitioner is before this Court seeking a Writ of Mandamus, directing the respondents Chief Electrol Officer, Bengaluru and The Regional Commissioner, Kalaburagi to consider his representation dated 12.03.2024, Annexure-A, and 13.03.2024 at Annexure-B, requesting that the implementation of free bus services to transport the voters on the polling date, and he has also pleaded to enhance the number of polling booths, which has been fixed at 160 for the Election to the post of Member of Legislative Council in the North East Graduate Constituency, 2024.

 

ISSUES

Whether the Election Commission can be compelled to implement free bus services for voters.

Whether the Election Commission is obligated to consider the petitioner’s representation regarding the enhancement of Polling Booths.

 

LEGAL PROVISION

Section 123(5) of The Representation of People Act, 1951, deals with restrictions on providing transportation to voters during elections.

 

CONTENTIONS BY THE PETITIONER

The petitioner was seeking to espouse public cause, in as much requesting the implementation of free bus services to transport the voters on the polling date so that the voters could be facilitated to travel by such free buses and cast their votes, which according to the petitioner would be in the interest of democracy. He has also pleaded to enhance the number of polling booths, which has been fixed at 160 for the Election to the post of Member of Legislative Council in the North East Graduate Constituency, 2024. The Petitioner has prayed to a) Allow this Public Interest Litigation and b) To issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 to consider the representation Dated 13.03.2024 submitted.

 

CONTENTIONS BY THE RESPONDENT

The Learned Counsel for the respondents pointed out from the statement of objections that in so far as first prayer made by the petitioner, firstly, such powers cannot be exercised by the Election Commissioner. Secondly, it is pointed out from the express provision contained sub-section (5) of Section 123 of The Representation of People Act 1951, and more particularly, the second proviso of sub-section (5) and submits that neither the candidates nor the State Governments or the Public Transport Corporations can make such provision, since it would go contrary to the express provision. The Learned counsel therefore submits that if such directions are issued either by the State Government or the Head of Department of the Public Transport Corporation, it would violate the express provisions contained in the statute. And the second request made by the petitioner regarding the enhancement of polling booths, the learned counsel for the respondents had drawn attention to Annexure-R3, which was filed along with the statement of objections. He submitted that the polling stations which were earlier fixed at 160 are enhanced to 195 having regard to the number of voters and the information obtained from the respective Deputy Commissioner and, therefore, was of the argument that the prayers made in the writ petition cannot be granted.

 

COURT ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka viewed an an endorsement dated 19.03.2024 that has been issued by the Regional Commissioner, Kalaburagi, Sub-Division to the petitioner bringing to his notice the prayer made by the petitioner and the arrangements made by the Chief Election Commissioner for the purposes of the impending elections. It had been stated that no such arrangement for plying free buses can be made either by the Chief Election Commissioner or any other Authority, since it would be in violation of the express provision contained in the Act, 1951. The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka was of the considered opinion that the two prayers made by the petitioner having regard to representation given by him have been answered by the respondents in the statement of objections. And also in the Endorsement to the petitioner, they brought to his notice the enhancement of polling booths made from 160 to 195, which would meet the requirements having regard to the number of voters in the constituency. And In that view of the matter, The Hon’ble High Court was satisfied that the respondent Chief Election Commissioner, through the Regional Commissioner has considered the grievance of the petitioner, and had concluded that Writ Petition shall hereby be dismissed.

 

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Judgement Reviewed by – Gnaneswarran Beemarao

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Karnataka HC grants Bail to Udaya Kumar Shetty, a bank supervisor, accused of harassing a woman, leading to her suicide.

Case Title: UDAYA KUMAR SHETTY Vs. STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case No.: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3835 OF 2024

Dated on: 16th MAY, 2024

Coram: THE HON’BLE MR JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH

Facts:

In Criminal Petition No. 3835 of 2024, Udaya Kumar Shetty, a Supervisor at SLDCC Bank, sought anticipatory bail after being implicated in a case where the wife of Vijay Kulal allegedly committed suicide. The prosecution claims Shetty harassed the victim with false accusations of fund misappropriation, which led to her suicide on March 20, 2024. Initially, a complaint mentioned she attempted suicide after leaving the office abruptly. A subsequent complaint on March 25, 2024, alleged Shetty and others scolded her at her home, prompting her suicide. The court granted Shetty anticipatory bail, citing inconsistencies in the complaints and imposing conditions for his release.

Issues framed by Court:

  1. Whether Udaya Kumar Shetty, the petitioner, has been falsely implicated in the case.
  2. Whether there is sufficient prima facie evidence to suggest Shetty’s involvement in the offenses under Sections 504, 448, 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with Section 34, as alleged by the prosecution.
  3. Whether Shetty is entitled to anticipatory bail, considering the circumstances of the case, the evidence presented, and the potential risk of him absconding or interfering with the investigation.

Legal Provisions:

Section 438 Of Cr.P.C: It deals with the provision of Anticipatory Bail.

Section 504 of IPC: Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace.

Section 448 of IPC: Punishment for house-trespass.

Section 306 of IPC: Abetment of Suicide.

Contentions of the Appellant:

The appellant, Udaya Kumar Shetty, argued that he’s innocent and wrongly accused in the case. He’s just a supervisor at the bank, not involved in any misconduct. The complaint against him changed over time, suggesting inconsistencies. Initially, it was said the victim attempted suicide after leaving her job abruptly. Later, it was claimed that he, along with others, went to her house and scolded her, leading to her suicide. He believes these contradictions cast doubt on the case against him. Therefore, he requested anticipatory bail, asserting that he won’t flee and will cooperate with the investigation.

Contentions of the Respondent:

The respondent, representing the State of Karnataka, argues that Udaya Kumar Shetty, the petitioner, should not be granted anticipatory bail. They claim that there is evidence suggesting the petitioner’s involvement in the events leading to the victim’s suicide. According to the respondent, Shetty, along with others, allegedly harassed the victim by falsely accusing her of misusing funds, which ultimately drove her to take her own life. They assert that there is enough initial evidence to suggest Shetty’s complicity in the offenses outlined in the complaint. Therefore, they argue that granting anticipatory bail to Shetty may impede the investigation and compromise justice.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The court examined a case where Udaya Kumar Shetty, a bank supervisor, was accused of harassing a woman, leading to her suicide. There were two conflicting versions of events which suggests that she attempted suicide after leaving work, along with claim that Shetty and others scolded her at home, prompting the suicide. However, the hon’ble court found these contradictions troubling, leading to doubts about Shetty’s involvement. As a result, they granted him anticipatory bail, meaning he wouldn’t be arrested if the police investigated further. However, certain conditions were imposed, like surrendering to the investigating officer and cooperating with the investigation. This decision was made to ensure fairness and prevent Shetty from fleeing, allowing the investigation to proceed smoothly.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Shramana Sengupta

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K’taka High Court grants relief to Accused after nearly 3 years due to Failure of Witness testimony to provide Incriminating Evidence.

CASE TITLE – Salman Chirik v. State of Karnataka

CASE NUMBER – CP NO.3782 OF 2024

DATED ON – 14.05.2023

QUORUM – Justice H.P. Sandesh

 

FACTS OF THE CASE

This petition was a successive bail petition of the Petitioner, who is accused the No.3. The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka earlier in Crl.P.No.9818/2021, in view of the filing of the charge sheet, granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the Trial Court. The petitioner also approached this Court in Crl.P.No.7785/2022 and the same was rejected vide order dated 21.11.2022, on merits. The petitioner once again approached the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka by filing a fresh petition in Crl.P.No.2600/2023 and the Court rejected the same vide order dated 14.06.2023, but with liberty to approach this Court after examination of the eye-witnesses.

 

ISSUES

Whether the evidence on record against the Petitioner/Accused No.3, is adequate to deny bail.

 

CONTENTIONS BY THE PETITIONER

The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the injured witnesses, as well as the eye-witnesses have been examined before the Trial Court as P.W.1 to P.W.7 and none of them have supported the case of the prosecution and during the course of cross-examination also, nothing was elicited from their mouth and nothing is there to appreciate in the matter on merits. He also brought to light that the Accused No.1 in the same case, facing similar charges was enlarged on bail by this same Court vide order dated 29.07.2022, and stated that the Petitioner in turn had been in Custody for 2 years and 8 months. He further went on to mention that Accused Nos.5 and 7 and this Petitioner are in custody and other than this petitioner and accused Nos.5 and 7, all are on bail. The learned counsel argued that in view of the injured witnesses and eye-witnesses who have not supported the case of the prosecution, the Court has to enlarge the petitioner on bail.

 

CONTENTIONS BY THE RESPONDENT

The learned High Court Government Pleader appearing for the respondent State submitted that the charges levelled against the Petitioner is different and the evidence on record is different. Hence, the petitioner is not entitled to bail.

 

COURT ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka after hearing the arguments of both the parties, looked into the depositions of the injured witnesses and eye-witnesses. They stated P.W.1 to P.W.3, who have sustained injuries in the incident, though P.W.1 stated that when he went to pacify the Galata, he had sustained injuries on above the left eye, but he says that the accused persons were not there in the spot and his brother and Yasin were not subjected to assault by this petitioner. P.W.2 stated that someone had inflicted injury on his cheek and the said person is not before the Court. He was subjected to cross-examination and nothing had elicited from his mouth either. P.W.3 though says that he was also assaulted, none of the accused persons, who were present before the Court assaulted him and he had turned hostile. P.W.4 to P.W.7 are the eye-witnesses. The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka stated that they have also not stated anything about the incriminating evidence about the petitioner herein and that when such being the material on record and when the eye-witnesses and the injured witnesses have been examined, in the absence of incriminating evidence, the petitioner is entitled for bail and the Criminal Petition was allowed, certain to some conditions, those being: (i) The petitioner shall execute his personal bond for a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs only) with two sureties for the like-sum to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional Court. (ii) The petitioner shall not indulge in tampering the prosecution witnesses. (iii) The petitioner shall appear before the jurisdictional Court on all future hearing dates, unless exempted by the Court for any genuine cause. (iv) The petitioner shall not leave the jurisdiction of the Trial Court without prior permission of the Court till the case registered against him is disposed of.

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Judgement Reviewed by – Gnaneswarran Beemarao

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