Bail petition of a politician rejected; held, need to curb criminalization of politics in country

Orissa High Court: The Court recently dismissed a bail application by a politician criticizing the trend of criminalization of politics growing at a fast pace. The case before the Court was of a politician who was alleged with the charge of murder of his opponent politician. Hearing the petition, the Court even went on to say that crime and politics which should be poles apart have instead become two sides of a coin.

The counsel for respondent contended that it was clearly a political murder, there is prima facie material against the petitioner and number of eyewitnesses have stated about the specific overt act played by the petitioner and the postmortem report indicates the ghastly manner in which the offence has been committed and that the petitioner being an influential person (ex-sarpanch) can easily manipulate the investigation and trial if let out on bail.

The Bench of SK Sahoo, J. observed that it is a well-settled law that while granting bail the nature of the offence, the position of accused, etc. has to be kept in mind and laxity of giving bail rampantly to people accused of serious offences would make the society a paradise for criminals. Keeping in mind the severity of punishment in case of conviction, reasonable apprehension of tampering with the evidence and taking into account the fact that further investigation of the case is under progress, the Court rejected the bail petition. [Simanchala Samal v. State of Orissa,  2017 SCC OnLine Ori 813, order dated 10.11.2017]

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