Bail granted in light of the complainant being a hearsay witness

Karnataka High Court: While deciding a criminal petition filed under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a Single Judge Bench of Budihal R.B., J. allowed the petition in light of the complainant being a hearsay witness and inconsistency in statements of Complainant Witnesses.

The petitioner prayed for grant of bail in a criminal case for the offences punishable under Section 302 read with Section 34 of IPC, 1860. The complainant was brother of the deceased. The complainant was informed by the police that the deceased has been murdered. Thereafter he went on the scene of the alleged crime and filed a complaint. And a case was registered against the instant petitioner along with two other co-accused.

The High Court perused the complaint, the charge-sheet, statements of the witnesses and other material on record. And the Court was of the opinion that the complainant was a hearsay witness and not an eyewitness to the incident. The statements of the two said eyewitnesses and the statement of the complainant had material inconsistencies as to the role of the petitioner and other co-accused in the alleged incident. The investigation was complete and the charge-sheet had already been filed. Also Accused  2 had already been granted bail under similar set of allegations.

Accordingly, the High Court held that there was no impediment to allow the instant petition. The petition was allowed and the petitioner was enlarged on bail, subject to the conditions imposed. [Prabhu v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 4101 of 2017, order dated October 6, 2017]

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