Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sreenivas Harish Kumar, J., allowed a criminal petition filed under Section 439 of CrPC and granted bail to the petitioner considering the facts and circumstances of the case.

The petitioner was a co-accused in a criminal case registered under Section 304 read with Section 34 of IPC. The allegation against the petitioner was that he, along with other accused persons, assaulted the deceased outside a church that resulted in his death. Learned counsel for the petitioner prayed that he may be enlarged on bail contending that from the averments made in the complaint, intention on the part of accused to cause death of the deceased was not made out. Per contra, the prosecution submitted that the accused persons teased the wife of the deceased in the church and this was questioned by the deceased. Later, when the deceased and his wife came out of the church, the deceased was assaulted by the accused persons. Therefore, the prosecution contended that the intention on the part of the accused to cause murder could be clearly made out.

The High Court perused the record and was of the opinion that at the instant stage, it was too early to say whether there was any intention on part of the accused to cause murder; it was for the trial court to appreciate the evidence and come to a proper conclusion. Although the allegations against the petitioner were serious in nature, however, having regard to the fact that the charge was laid in his presence and his custody was no more required for further investigation, the Court held that the petitioner could be enlarged on bail by imposing stringent conditions. Orders were made accordingly. [Santhosh v. State of Karnataka, Crl. Petition No. 440 of 2018, order dated 9.3.2018]

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