Rajasthan High Court

Rajasthan High Court: In an appeal against the rejection of bail applications filed by three appellants who are accused of lynching rape accused, a single-judge bench comprising of Anil Kumar Upman, J., after considering the serious nature of the offenses and the allegations against the appellants, including their alleged involvement in the mob lynching of the deceased, refused to grant bail to the appellants.

The appellants preferred criminal appeals under Section 14A(2) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 against the orders dated 08-02-2024 and 25-01-2024, rejecting their bail applications by the Special Judge, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Cases, Karauli. The appellants were in custody in connection with FIR, for various offenses including those under Sections 147, 149, 342, 382, 386, 504, 506, 302 and 120B of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Section 3(2)(v) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015.

The appellants claimed to be falsely implicated, asserting that the deceased had raped appellant’s minor daughter and was injured while attempting to escape. It was argued that another FIR registered against the deceased corroborated their version of events. The prosecution vehemently opposed bail, citing the seriousness of the alleged offenses, including causing grave injuries to the deceased and obstructing police duties. The prosecution also mentioned another FIR filed regarding offenses against police personnel. It was argued that the appellants, along with others, engaged in mob lynching and obstructed police from performing their duties, leading to the deceased’s death.

The Court emphasised on the seriousness of the charges and the nature of allegations against the appellants, including their involvement in mob violence and obstruction of police duties. The Court condemned mob violence and interference with law enforcement, emphasising that such actions are unacceptable in civilized society. The Court stated that proceedings against the appellants would continue as per law, and they cannot use the FIR against the deceased as a shield at this stage. The Court emphasised on the need to prevent mob violence and uphold the rule of law, stating that individuals cannot take the law into their own hands.

“…mob-lynching practice is not acceptable in civilized society at any cost. We are not living in a barbarian society. People are not allowed to take law in their hands so also, they should also not be allowed to create hindrance in working of the police, who in the instant case, reached at the spot but was prevented in discharging their official duties of maintaining law and order situation.”

The Court, without commenting on the merits of the case, denied bail considering the gravity of the offenses and the nature of allegations against the appellants. The Court dismissed the criminal appeals filed by the appellants and refused to grant bail.

[Darshan Singh v. State of Rajasthan, 2024 SCC OnLine Raj 1088, order dated 14-03-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Anurag Sharma with Ms. Shreya Hatila and Mr. Rajneesh Gupta with Ms. Chanchal Sharma, Counsel for the Appellants

Mr. S.K. Mahala, PP, Mr Fateh Ram Meea and Mr. Babu Lal Bishnoi, Dy. SP, Gangapur City, Counsel for the Respondents

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