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Karnataka HC grants bail; Imposed stringent conditions to ensure compliance and prevent interference with the investigation.

CASE TITLE – Yunus Ahmed & Ors. v. State of Karnataka

CASE NUMBER – CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 4103 OF 2024

DATED ON – 02.05.2024

QUORUM – Justice V. Srishananda

 

FACTS OF THE CASE

The Chithradurga Rural Police registered a case in Crime No.133/2024 for offences under Sections 427, 504, 143, 147, 148, 149, 395, 448, 307, 323, 324 of Indian Penal Code, on 02.04.2024 at about 8:30.p.m., based on a complainant lodged by B.H.Gowdru alias B. There was an incident that had occurred at about 2:30.p.m., on 02.04.2024, where under a Muslim Woman by name Farzana Khanum had a conversation with B.H.Gowdru alias B. At that juncture, about 18 to 20 persons from Muslim community people have forcibly ingressed to the compound wall of the house of B.H.Gowdru and took serious objection in having a conversation with Muslim Woman. It is also contented that the mob assaulted with hands and legs and stones and had a Neck Chain weiging of 55 grams, One Bracelet of 30 grams and Two Rings of 20 grams and Cash of Rs.40,000/- from his pocket were stolen by the mob and they also caused damage to the car. In respect of the same incident, Smt. Farzana Khanum also lodged a complaint before the Women Police Station, Chitradurga against B.H.Gowdru alias B on 03.02.2024 at 6:00.a.m. Police are investigating both matters. In the process, petitioners who were accused Nos.2, 4, 5 and 6 were arrested and sent to Judicial custody. The attempt made by the petitioners herein to obtain an order of grant of bail was turned down by the learned District and Sessions Judge, Chithradurga. Thereafter, petitioners are before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka.

 

ISSUE

Whether the Petitioners/Accused are entitled to bail given the severity of the charges against them.

 

CONTENTIONS BY THE PETITIONERS

The learned Senior Counsel for the revision petitioners contended that even assuming that entire allegations found in the complaint lodged by Sri. B.H.Gowdru is to be accepted as gospel truth, no ingredients are attracted in so far as the offence under Section 307 of I.P.C., prima-facie. He further contended that at any rate, since there is case and counter-case, the accused/petitioners are entitled to be enlarged on bail. He further pointed out that having regard to the allegations levelled against the present petitioners in the incident, continuation of the accused/petitioners in Judicial custody no longer warranted and the apprehensions expressed by the prosecution can be met with by imposing suitable conditions.

 

CONTENTIONS BY THE RESPONDENT

The learned High Court Government Pleader opposes the grant of bail on the ground that the offence alleged against the petitioners are heinous in nature and it stands proved, the petitioners are liable for the punishment of life imprisonment and therefore, gravity of the offence is on the higher side. He further contended that the investigation is still in inception stage and if the bail is granted to the petitioners, then the investigation process could be hamper. He also pointed out that the release of the petitioners on bail may result in reputation of the offences and therefore, sought for release of bail

 

COURT ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

The Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka held that the complainant averments clearly depict that the mob including the petitioners attacked the complainant by hands and legs and also stones and damaged the car and robbed the precious items from the custody of the complainant. Since, the accused persons were already in custody on and from 04.04.2024, the investigation could have progressed a considerable extent and at any rate, custodial interrogation if any, would have been completed. There was no criminal antecedents insofar as the petitioners are concerned. They also stated that from the complainant averments itself, even though the prosecution has invoked Section 307 of I.P.C., prima-facie materials would not disentitle petitioners, from obtaining an order of grant of bail by resorting to special powers vested in this Court under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. Therefore, the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka held that the Bail Petition is allowed certain to some conditions, those being: (a) Petitioners shall be enlarged on bail by taking a bond in a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- with two sureties for the like sum to the satisfaction of the Trial Court. (b) Petitioners shall attend the Court regularly. (c) Petitioner shall mark their attendance before the investigation officer every alternative Sunday in between 10:00.a.m., to 2:00.p.m., till the charge sheet is filed. (d) Petitioners shall not directly or indirectly tamper the prosecution evidence nor hamper the investigation process. (e) Petitioners shall not leave the Jurisdiction of the Chitradurga District without prior permission. And stated that violation of any one of the conditions would entitle the prosecution to seek for cancellation of bail.

 

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Judgement Reviewed by – Gnaneswarran Beemarao

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