SC sets aside bail granted to man accused of murder conspiracy; Says mere examination of aggrieved after rejection of earlier bail is no change in circumstances

Supreme Court: The Bench of N.V. Ramana, CJ and A.S. Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, JJ., reversed the order of the Rajasthan High Court granting bail to the accused alleged to have conspired in the murder of her sister’s husband.

Background

In the instant appeal, it was alleged that respondent 2 was the main conspirator in the crime leading to the killing of the husband of the appellant. Appellant was aggrieved by the impugned order whereunder respondent 2 was had been ordered to be enlarged on bail.

Issue

A complaint was filed for the offence under Sections 302, 452 and 120B of the Penal Code, 1860. The Mother-in-law of the appellant, who was the mother of the deceased had lodged the said complaint.

Honor Killing

According to the complainant and appellant herein, the husband of the appellant had been killed by the family members of the appellant as an honor killing since they had not agreed to the marriage between the deceased and the appellant.

Grievance

High Court had without taking into consideration all the aspects of the matter had enlarged respondent 2 on bail in a mechanical manner through an order bereft of reasons.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Supreme Court noted that the impugned order referred to the contention of respondent 2’s counsel that this Court had cancelled the bail earlier.

Further, documents already taken note by this Court indicated that there was prima facie material against respondent 2. Though, wife of the deceased had been examined and contention was put forth with regard to her statement, it was not the evidence in its entirety and it would be premature to conclude on the basis of a stray sentence. Further, merely classifying the appellant as the principal star witness and referring to her statement is of no consequence since the entire evidence will have to be assessed by the Sessions Court

In Court’s opinion, Rajasthan High Court’s order impugned herein was not sustainable. The same was accordingly set aside and the bail granted to respondent 2 was cancelled. Hence, Supreme Court directed respondent 2 to surrender before the Court of Upper District and Sessions Judge.

Taking into consideration the nature of the offence, it is appropriate that the trial be concluded at the earliest. The trial court shall therefore make all efforts to conclude the trial and dispose of the case as expeditiously as possible but in any event not later than one year from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.

In view of the above discussion, appeal was allowed. [Mamta Nair v. State of Rajasthan, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 462, decided on 12-07-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Ms. Indira Jaising, Senior Counsel for the appellant, Shri H.D. Thanvi, Government Advocate for the State of Rajasthan, Shri V.K. Shukla, Senior Counsel for respondent 2.

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