Rajasthan High Court: Manoj Kumar Garg, J., suspended the sentence awarded to the appellants by the trial court and allowed the bail applications.

In the instant case, the appellants were charged and convicted by the Special Judge, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Cases, Merta under Sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Section 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), Section 325 (Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), coupled with Section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Penal Code, 1860. They were charged under the abovementioned sections due to attacking the deceased with sticks (laathis) and fist blows, due to which the individual succumbed to the injuries.

The counsel representing the appellants, Vineet Jain and Ravindra Acharya, submitted before the High Court the post mortem report of the deceased which showed the deceased to have received only a single injury and no other injuries, as contrary to the facts of the case.  They also put forth that the laathis were recovered from the possession of the appellants however, upon examination no blood was found on the same. The counsels also persuaded the High Court to note that the accused-appellant, Deepak has been behind the bars since 2013 and the appellant-Raju has been in judicial custody since 2014 and therefore, due to the pending of appeal proceedings since long, they should be released from such custody.

Learned Public Prosecutor for the State, Mukhtiyar Khan opposed the bail application.

The High Court after considering the evidences put forth, and keeping in view of the delay in the appeal proceedings, allowed the bail applications and suspended the substantive sentences awarded to the accused-appellants. The appeal was filed under Section 389 (Suspension of sentence pending the appeal) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the High Court noted the fact that there has been a long delay in the appeal proceedings resulting in the accused spending almost five years in the respective custody’s hence were to be released upon executing the bail bonds with sureties.[Deepak v. State Of Rajasthan, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 1272, decided on 02-07-2019]

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