[Vizag Gas Leak] AP HC | Bail granted to 12 accused, including CEO and two directors of LG Polymers; Except S. 304-II IPC, other offences complained of are bailable

Andhra Pradesh High Court: M. Venkata Ramana, J. while pronouncing the grant of bail to certain persons from the management of LG Polymer in the Styrene Gas Leakage Matter, quoted the following:

‘Life’s Good’. It is always so, on this beautiful planet, the Earth.

In Visakhapatnam, an unfortunate incident occurred due to styrene vapour release in an uncontrolled manner affecting flora, fauna including water bodies, etc.

A complaint was filed with regard to the incident for offences under Sections 278, 284, 285, 337, 338 and 304-II, Penal Code, 1860.

Petitioner were arrested in connection with this incident.

Point for determination in the present matter is, whether the petitioners are entitled for bail?

Question of knowledge either with reference to last clause in Section 299 IPC and clause fourthly in Section 300 IPC is largely based on probable consequences of an alleged criminal act attributed against the accused and do not connote any intention at all.

Bench also observed that except Section 304-II IPC, other offences complained of against all these accused are bailable.

Whether the said offences and Section 304-II IPC could go together or not is again a question not open for consideration at this stage in these petitions. All these questions relate to realm of trial.

Incident stated had an enormous impact and was of great magnitude. Yet, there are circumstances, in favour of the accused to to dilute the gravity of the instance in relation to their role if, as a whole responsible.

Externally forced events like shut down of the plant due to lockdown and the effort of the company to air its apprehension of lurking danger due to bulk storage of Styrene monomer in its tanks to the authorities concerned in vain.

Factors sated positively stand in favour of the accused.

Hence, if the request of the accused of bail is considered, Court stated that it is unlikely that the investigation would suffer or get stalled.

With certain conditions, the bail application was accepted.[PPC Mohan Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2020 SCC OnLine AP 550, decided on 04-08-2020]


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