Tripura High Court: S.G. Chattopadhyay, J., rejected a pre-arrest bail application which was filed apprehending arrest registered for offence punishable under sections 341 and 302 read with section 34 IPC.

A suo motu complaint was lodged by office in charge of the police station that at 06.25 am on the day he received a telephonic information that one person suspected to be a cattle lifter was detained by the local people at Sovaram Chow Para where presence of police was urgently required. Having arrived at the spot, complainant found that one Saiful Islam of about 18 years’ of age was lying on the street near Sovaram Chow Para SB school in an alarming condition with several cut wound in his body and the injured was not able to speak anything. The injured was shifted to Mungiakami primary health centre from where he was referred to GBP hospital. The injured succumbed to his injuries in GBP hospital at Agartala on the same day.

During investigation, police recorded the statements of some of the witnesses who witnessed the assault on Saiful Islam and saw his assailants. In the course of investigation, the post mortem examination report of the deceased and other materials were also collected by the investigating officer. On the basis of the incriminating materials collected during investigation, the investigating agency took initiative to arrest the applicant namely, Gagan Debbarma for which he has filed this application under section 438 Cr.P.C seeking protection from arrest and detention.

Mr. R. Datta, P.P. on the other hand contended that a boy of 18 years of age was brutally murdered by a mob on suspicion that he was in the team of cattle lifters and the statements of the eyewitnesses has revealed the name of the present accused petitioner as one of the members of the mob who were found chasing the deceased and killing him. After killing said Saiful Islam, his assailants tried to cause disappearance of evidence by burying his body under earth.

The Court was of the opinion that apart from the gravity of offence, there are other factors which are unfavourable to the accused applicant in this case. A young boy of 18 years was brutally lynched by a mob only on the suspicion that he was a cattle lifter even though no cattle was found in his possession. The eye witness version of some of the witnesses whose statements have been recorded by police in the course of investigation demonstrate that the present applicant was one of the members of the mob who was found chasing and lynching the deceased. The Court further relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Siddharam Satlingappa Mhetre v. State of Maharashtra, (2011) 1 SCC 694 and Jai Prakash Singh v. State of Bihar, (2012) 4 SCC 379 where parameters for granting or refusing the anticipatory bail were mentioned.

The Court resultantly rejected the application for pre arrest bail.[Gagan Debbarma v. State of Tripura, 2021 SCC OnLine Tri 513, decided on 08-10-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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