Bail in youth’s murder: Court cites provocation in the name of religion

Bombay High Court: While disposing of bail petitions of accused persons who were being prosecuted under Sections 302, 307, 143, 147, 148, 149, 120-B and 153-A of the Penal Code, 1860, for their involvement in an incident where a mob killed a person and injured another, the Single Bench of Mridula Bhatkar, J. granted bail to the accused persons on the ground that they had no personal animosity towards the deceased person.

The Court observed that the fault of the deceased was only that he belonged to another religion and considered this fact ‘in favour’ of the applicants/accused. The Court also noted the accused did not have criminal record and that it appeared that the accused were provoked in the name of religion to commit the murder. The incident relates to a mob which attacked two persons only because they were Muslims. The mob prior to this incident attended a meeting of Hindu Rashtra Sena where inflammatory speeches were delivered on account of defiling of statute of King Shivaji Maharaj. Thereafter, the applicants/accused, armed with weapons, spotted two persons on the road, whom they ascertained to be Muslim by their appearance, and attacked them with hockey sticks and stones. The Court granted bail to the accused persons on conditions that the accused furnish P.R. bond of sum of Rs 40,000 and some other conditions. [Vijay Rajendra Gambhire v. State of Maharashtra, Bail Application No. 2092 of 2016, decided on 12/01/2017]

One comment

  • It is extremely difficult to subscribe to the view that that the murder victim was at fault for belonging to another religion and this fact acted in favour of the bail applicants/accused. The implication that provocation of the alleged perpetrators, in the name of religion, resulting from inflammatory speeches they heard at a meeting prior to the incident, can be a ground for granting bail is likely to set an unhealthy precedent in deciding upon bail application of murder accused.

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