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Karanataka HC grants bail: States that prima facie evidence does not preclude petitioners from using the special authority granted to the Court

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

CASE NUMBER – CRL.P No. 4103 of 2024

DATED ON – 02.05.2024

QUORUM – MR. JUSTICE V SRISHANANDA

FACTS OF THE CASE

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 the complainant lodged by B.H.Gowdru alias B. Facts further reveal that 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 contended 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 bearing registration NO.KA-16-N-6574, which was parked there. 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.

 

ISSUES

Whether bail petition can be granted to the accused(s)?

 

STATUTES

Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which empowers the High Court and the Sessions Court with special powers regarding bail.

 

CONTENTION OF PETITIONERS

Reiterating the grounds urged in the bail petition, Sri. Hasmath Pasha, learned Senior Counsel for the revision petitioners contended that even assuming that entire allegations found in the complaint lodged by Sri. B.H.Gowdru to be accepted has 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 OF RESPONDENTS

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 court looked over the evidence. Upon reviewing the available evidence, it is acknowledged that an incident related to a small matter has occurred. The complainant’s allegations would unequivocally show that the mob, which included the petitioners, attacked the complainant with hands, legs, and stones, damaged the car, and took valuables out of the complainant’s possession. Given that the accused individuals are being held in custody as of April 4, 2024, the investigation could have advanced significantly and, in any case, any necessary custodial questioning could have been finished. From the petitioners’ side, there are no prior criminal convictions. The court stated that as could be seen 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. Hence allowing the bail petition.

 

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Judgement Reviewed by – Gnaneswarran Beemarao

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