Can't Deny Bail Merely Based On Community's Sentiments: Kerala High Court Grants Bail To Greeshma Accused In Sharon Murder Case
The Kerala High Court today allowed the bail application filed by prime accused in the Sharon Murder case, Greeshma. Bench of Justice Mohammed Nias said it cannot refuse bail merely because the sentiments of the community are against her.Sharon Raj was allegedly poisoned by Greeshma to weasel out of their romantic relationship. Her mother and maternal uncle are also arrayed as co-accused...
The Kerala High Court today allowed the bail application filed by prime accused in the Sharon Murder case, Greeshma. Bench of Justice Mohammed Nias said it cannot refuse bail merely because the sentiments of the community are against her.
Sharon Raj was allegedly poisoned by Greeshma to weasel out of their romantic relationship. Her mother and maternal uncle are also arrayed as co-accused for allegedly abetting the crime and for destroying the evidence.
“…I feel that denying bail to the accused cannot be right on the facts and circumstances of this case, despite the serious nature of the accusations against the petitioner. Right to bail is not to be denied merely because of the sentiments of the community being against the accused, nor can bail be withheld as a punishment, pending trial. Accordingly, this application is allowed, and the petitioner is granted bail…” Court ordered.
The accused are charged under Section 364 (kidnapping or abducting to murder), 328 (causing hurt by poison), 302 (punishment for murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence and giving false evidence to screen offender), 203 (giving false information) and 34 (criminal act done in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.
Greeshma has been in judicial custody since 31.10.2022. Her counsel Advocate Sasthamangalam S. Ajithkumar contended that the deceased did not raise any suspicion on her in the dying declaration. The Counsel also informed the Court that the final report has been submitted and that Greeshma has been co-operative in the investigation.
Additional Director General of Prosecution, Senior Advocate, Gracious Kuriakose vehemently opposed the bail application, calling it a 'gruesome and planned murder'.
The Court found that Greeshma has co-operated with the investigation and that she was a first time offender and found that the chances of her interfering with the trial was also very remote. It noted thus,
“I also cannot lose sight of the fact that the accused is a woman aged 22, in the light of the proviso to S.437 Cr.P.C. I also note that the accused has been in custody since 31.10.2022, and the prosecution raises no apprehension that if released on bail, the petitioner is likely to abscond.”
The Court stated that a person is presumed to be innocent until found guilty and principle is that bail is the rule and jail is the exception. The court found that there must be strong reasons for keeping a person in judicial custody after the charge sheet was filed. It noted that the accused has participated in the investigation and bail cannot be denied to her, despite the seriousness of the offence committed by her.
On the above findings, the Court allowed the bail application filed by Greeshma.
Case number: Bail Application No.7347 of 2023
Case title: Greeshma @ Sreekutty V State of Kerala