25 April 2023 1:14 PM GMT
The Kerala High Court recently held that mere settlement of an attempt to murder case between the parties by itself could not be a ground for granting bail to an accused. The Single Judge Bench of Justice A. Badharudeen observed that the grant of bail shall be subject to the merits of the matter, including the antecedents of the petitioner. "Going by the available materials, the allegations...
The Kerala High Court recently held that mere settlement of an attempt to murder case between the parties by itself could not be a ground for granting bail to an accused.
The Single Judge Bench of Justice A. Badharudeen observed that the grant of bail shall be subject to the merits of the matter, including the antecedents of the petitioner.
"Going by the available materials, the allegations are very serious and the same are supported by medical evidence and statements of the other witnesses. Merely because the injured persons submitted that they have settled the matter, that by itself is not a reason to grant bail to the accused in a crime involving offence punishable under Section 307 of IPC, since the other witnesses if depose at the time of evidence in support of the prosecution, conviction and sentence are possible," the Court observed.
The prosecution case was that the de facto complainant was abused by the accused persons 1 and 2 with the intention to commit his murder, due to previous animosity between the parties. The complainant was allegedly manhandled by the accused persons and sustained multiple injuries including serious fracture. Offences under Sections 294(b), 323, 324, and 307 r/w 34 of IPC were thus alleged to have been committed by the accused.
The petitioner who is the 2nd accused person in the case with 14 criminal antecedents, sought grant of regular bail in the present bail application, on two grounds. It was submitted that firstly, the petitioner had been in custody from February 22, 2023, and secondly, that the de facto complainant as well as another injured person had filed affidavits stating that the entire dispute had been settled, and that they did not intend to proceed with the prosecution.
The Public Prosecutor on the other hand, argued that the antecedents of the petitioner and the serious injuries sustained were factors which also had to be considered.
The Court relied upon the Apex Court decision in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan & Ors. (2019) wherein it had been laid down that criminal proceedings in respect of an offence under Section 307 IPC could not be quashed in exercise of the powers under S.482 of the Cr.P.C, on the ground that the parties had resolved their dispute amongst themselves.
The Court noted that it is the settled position that it would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 IPC is there simply for the sake of it or if the prosecution had collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing of charge under Section 307IPC, and for the said purpose, the High Court could ascertain the nature of injury sustained, the weapons used, and other factors.
However, the Court added that the same would be permissible only after the evidence had been collected and the charge sheet had been filed and/or during the trial. On these grounds, the Court was of the firm view that mere settlement of the crime between the parties would not be itself amount to a ground to grant bail.
"On perusing the antecedents, it is noticed that the offences alleged against the petitioner are very serious. That apart, he was detained under Section 3(1) of Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act on 17.07.2018 and 05.10.2019. Most importantly, the prosecution records prima facie would justify commission of offences alleged herein. Therefore, the petitioner cannot be released on bail, at this stage," the Court added while dismissing the petition.
The petitioner was represented by Advocates Harikrishnan M.S., Shakthi Prakash, and K. Dhruv Kumar. Senior Public Prosecutor T.V. Neema and Public Prosecutor Vishnu Vijayan appeared on behalf of the respondents.
Case Title: Nishad H. v. State of Kerala & Ors.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 205
Click Here To Read/Download The Order