bail to murder accused

Supreme Court: While hearing a criminal special leave to appeal against the Rajasthan High Court’s order whereby, the accused person’s bail was declined for offences under Section 302 and 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the Division bench of Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta, JJ. allowed the appeal and released the accused on bail, considering the period spent by the accused in custody.

In the matter at hand, a First Information Report (‘FIR’) was registered against the accused person by the deceased’s father (‘complainant’), alleging that the accused person had murdered his son. The complainant’s case was that deceased was working in the Intelligence Bureau and his colleague/ accused person came in contact with his daughter-in-law and his son had objected to it. It was alleged that the accused person had threatened the deceased with dire consequences. The deceased was found dead on railway culvert on 14-02-2018 and his nails were blue. The cause of death was ‘ketamine’ drug which was injected in the deceased, and the said fact was also revealed by the co-accused. The accused was arrested on 18-08-2018, however, he was released on bail by the High Court on 12-02-2021. The said bail orders were challenged by the complainant before the Court, and the release on bail orders were set aside. The accused was taken into custody, aggrieved by his custody, the accused moved his bail application, which was rejected by both the Trial Court and High Court. Hence, the present appeal.

The Court noted that the accused was in prison for about four and half years. The Court said that the prosecution had examined about 53 witnesses out of 76 and all the crucial witnesses were already examined. Considering the period spent by the accused in custody and the fact that the conclusion of trial will take some reasonable time, the Court directed to release the accused on bail, subject to furnishing bail bonds to the satisfaction of the Trial Court. The Court clarified that nothing was expressed on the merits of the case.

The Court said that the accused shall remain present before the Trial Court regularly on each and every date of hearing. The Court also said that any attempt to influence the witnesses or hampering of evidence would be sufficient grounds for the State or complainant to seek cancellation of bail. The Court also directed the Trial Court to make an endeavour to conclude the trial at the earliest.

[Praveen Rathore v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1268, Order dated: 06-10-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For the respondents: Advocate Amit Pai, Advocate on Record Sandeep Kumar Jha, Advoate Vansika Dubey, Advocate Chitrangda Rastravara, Advocate Aishwary Mishra, Advocate Dhananjai Shekhwat, Advocate Anirudh Singh, Advocate Abhijeet Singh, Advocate Dashrath Singh, Advocate on Record Gp. Capt. Karan Singh Bhati

For the accused: Advocate on Record Charu Mathur

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