Andhra Pradesh  High Court: Cheekati Manavendranath Roy, J., dismissed the criminal petition being devoid of merits.

This criminal petition under Section 439(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, is filed to cancel the bail that was granted to the accused in a case registered under Sections 147, 148, 324, 307, 302 r/w 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. It is a case of double murder. It is the version of the prosecution that the respondents 3 to 8 herein along with other accused formed themselves into an unlawful assembly and attacked the two deceased persons, who are brothers and committed murder of the said two persons.

It was submitted by the wife of one of the deceased that there are no change of circumstances for grant of bail after dismissal of the earlier bail application. It was also alleged that the accused through their men have been threatening the witnesses and interfering with the process of investigation. Therefore, on the aforesaid two grounds, the bail that was granted to the said accused is now sought to be cancelled.

The Court relied on judgment Raghubir Singh v. State of Bihar, (1986) 4 SCC 481; wherein it was held that “… bail can be cancelled where (i) the accused misuses his liberty by indulging in similar criminal activity, (ii) interferes with the course of investigation, (iii) attempts to tamper with evidence or witnesses, (iv) threatens witnesses or indulges in similar activities which would hamper smooth investigation, (v) there is likelihood of his fleeing to another country, (vi) attempts to make himself scarce by going underground or becoming unavailable to the investigating agency and (vii) attempts to place himself beyond the reach of his surety, etc….”.

The Court observed that nothing was brought to the notice of the police or the investigating agency stating that the accused are interfering with course of investigation by way of threatening the witnesses through their men. Therefore, in the absence of any valid material to substantiate the said allegation, the bail that was granted to the accused earlier cannot be cancelled on the basis of the said vague allegation.

The Court observed that none of the grounds which are enumerated in the Raghubir Singh v. State of Bihar, (1986) 4 SCC 481 case is found to be existing in the present case. Although it is alleged that the accused are making an attempt to threaten the witnesses through their men, it appears to be a vague allegation without any valid basis.

The Court held “this Court finds no valid reasons emanating from the record to cancel the bail that was earlier granted to the accused.”

The Court directed “….the accused, who are on bail, shall not enter the Pesaravayi village, where police are deploying, till the charge sheet is filed in this case.” [Vaddu Lakshmidevamma v. State of Andhra Pradesh, Criminal Petition No. 7029 of 2021; decided on 24-02-2022]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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