Orissa High Court: The Bench of Dr A.K. Mishra, J., dismissed an application filed under Section 439 CrPC for a successive bail to release the petitioner. The earlier bail petition was rejected considering the nature and gravity of accusations and stage of trial in a case involving tender fixing. Mr Asok Mohanty, Senior Counsel for the petitioner submitted that after rejection of bail, six witnesses had already been examined and none of them had implicated the accused-petitioner. It was further submitted that if the statements under Section 161 CrPC were seen, the non-disclosure of the complicity of accused-petitioner in the Court would be a pre-trial punishment. Also, another co-accused person had already been released on bail. Additional Standing Counsel, Mr S. Dash opposed the bail stating that certain witnesses were declared hostile and the threat perception to the witnesses could not be ruled out. Further, the present petitioner could not have been said to be in a similar footing as the co-accused person who was released on bail had no criminal antecedent.

The Court held that substantive evidence of some witnesses recorded in the court during trial cannot be the basis to maintain a successive bail petition when other evidence by prosecution is to be brought. Added to that, the present petitioner did not stand in a similar footing as the co-accused person who has already been released on bail. The Court, considering the gravity of allegations, accusations and threat perception which were still available to the witnesses, rejected the application. [Batu v. State Of Odisha, 2019 SCC OnLine Ori 124, Order dated 14-03-2019]

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