10 Sep 2022 8:26 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application filed by Anand Giri, the prime accused in the alleged suicidal death of Mahant Narendra Giri who was the President of Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad as well as the Mahant/Head of Shri Math "Baghambari Gaddi", Allahpur, Prayagraj and "Shri Bade/Lete Hanuman Ji Temple", Prayagraj.The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh observed that...
The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application filed by Anand Giri, the prime accused in the alleged suicidal death of Mahant Narendra Giri who was the President of Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad as well as the Mahant/Head of Shri Math "Baghambari Gaddi", Allahpur, Prayagraj and "Shri Bade/Lete Hanuman Ji Temple", Prayagraj.
The Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh observed that the materials collected by the C.B.I. during the investigation indicated that on account of the acts of Anand Giri (booked for abetting suicide) and coaccused, the deceased was put under tremendous pressure to die by suicide.
"The conduct of the applicant and his accomplices was such that the deceased because of fear of his slander was left with no other option, but to end his life. The manner in which the deceased committed suicide, prima facie, indicates that the same is the outcome of cumulative effect of series of acts of accused persons as mentioned above. The conduct of the applicant and his accomplices was such that the deceased because of fear of his slander was left with no other option, but to end his life. The manner in which the deceased committed suicide, prima facie, indicates that the same is the outcome of cumulative effect of series of acts of accused persons as mentioned above."
The case in brief
Essentially, Mahant Narendra Giri (72) was found dead inside his room at the Baghambari Math in UP's Pyayagraj on September 20, 2022, and the names of the accused Giri and one Adya Tiwari had surfaced in an alleged suicide note which is said to have been written by the Hindu saint shortly before he died by suicide.
The letter, allegedly written by Mahant Narendra Giri stated that he feared that Anand Giri would circulate a morphed photo of him with a woman to defame him and that it won't be possible for him to give an explanation. He had also expressed that he was deeply disturbed by Anand Giri's false allegations of financial irregularities against him.
The FIR registered against Anand Giri (booking him under Section 306 of IPC) states that Mahant Narendra himself used to say that he is being troubled by Anand Giri. Accused Anand Giri had developed grudges against Mahant Giri after Mahant Giri had removed him as his successor on account of the arrest and involvement of Anand Giri in molestation cases in Australia.
Anand Giri was also removed from "Baghambari Gaddi", Prayagraj as well as from "Shri Bade/Lete Hanuman Ji Temple", Prayagraj, and subsequently, he was also expelled from "Niranjani Akhada" for a period of three years on the persuasion of Mahant Narendra Giri.
CBI, which is probing the matter alleged that accused persons namely Anand Giri, Adhya Prasad Tiwari, and Sandeep Tiwari along with their other associates in collusion with each other adopted different modus–Operandi to hatch a criminal conspiracy and mount pressure upon Mahant Narendra Giri making his character assassination.
The same was doned primarily with a motive to compel Mahant Narendra Giri to revoke the expulsion of accused Anand Giri from Niranjani Akhada
At the outset, the Court observed that the matters of suicide in each case has to be decided on the basis of its own facts and circumstances and that if the accused kept on mental torture the deceased by words, deeds, or conduct, which may provoke, urge or encourage the deceased to commit suicide, then the act may be a form of abetment.
Against this backdrop, the Court found a proximate link between the unfortunate incident of the suicide of Mahant Narendra Giri and acts of the accused persons and their other concerned associates.
"Though Mahant Narendra Giri has died because of hanging, but facts of the case reflect that he was a hypersensitive man and considering his post and position in the society...(he) was very much depressed on account of the reason that if Anand Giri (accused) makes his edited obscene video with a girl viral, then he will not be able to show his face in the society and feels humiliated among his known persons and in the society on account of his character assassination by the accused persons and to avoid defamation and insult in the eyes of society, his followers and devotees, he has committed suicide. The said facts are corroborated by the suicide note written by the deceased and the video made by the deceased just before his death as well as other attending circumstances mentioned above. The deceased in his suicide note and video has disclosed the reasons and other compelling circumstances implicating Anand Giri, which prevailed upon him for committing suicide. At this stage, there is no reason to disbelieve the suicide note and video made by the deceased just before his death. Normally it is presumed that no one tells a lie while dying by committing suicide. Thus, abetment of suicide by Anand Giri and his associates, cannot be ruled out at this stage," the Court remarked as it denied bail to accused Anand Giri.
Significantly, the Court took into account an audio clip filed by the CBI wherein the accused was talking to two of his associates using vulgar language related to debauchery, womanizing, and sex. Observing that such vulgar conversations cannot be expected from a man who claims himself to be a sage or religious/spiritual guru in a real sense, the Court emphasized that this reflected Anand Giri's dual personality in the guise of wearing a religious cloak.
"This Court is of the view that the conduct of any person should be in accordance with the dignity of his position. The higher the position, the greater the responsibility. A man is also known by the company he keeps in society," the Court further remarked.
Case title - Anand Giri alias Ashok Kumar Chotiya v. State of U.P. and another [CRIMINAL MISC. BAIL APPLICATION NO. 51323 of 2021]
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 427
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