22 Oct 2021 4:26 AM GMT
The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court dismissed the bail application of an accused charged with abetment of suicide and sexual assault on a minor girl. Justice Javed Iqbal Wani refused to consider the general contention made by the accused-petitioner that there is no direct evidence connecting him with the commission of the alleged offence. In rejecting the said contention, it relied...
The Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court dismissed the bail application of an accused charged with abetment of suicide and sexual assault on a minor girl.
Justice Javed Iqbal Wani refused to consider the general contention made by the accused-petitioner that there is no direct evidence connecting him with the commission of the alleged offence. In rejecting the said contention, it relied on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Neeru Yadav vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another (2014).
In the said case the Supreme Court had observed,
"A society expects responsibility and accountability from its members, and it desires that the citizens should obey the law, respecting it as a cherished social norm. No individual can make an attempt to create a concavity in the stem of social stream. It is impermissible. Therefore, when an individual behaves in a disharmonious manner ushering in disorderly things which the society disapproves, the legal consequences are bound to follow. At that stage, the court has duty. It cannot abandon its sacrosanct obligation and pass an order at its own whim or caprice. It has to be guided by the established parameters of law."
It is the prosecution's case that a 16-year-old minor girl has died in otherwise than under normal circumstances, which allegedly has attributed reasons thereof to the petitioner-accused while divulging the same to her mother-Satya Devi, during the last hours of her life on the way to the hospital as also allegedly having written the same in her diary.
The petitioner-accused does not explain in the instant petition in response to the said allegations. The chain of events revealed from the prosecution case does prima-facie at this stage connect the accused-petitioner herein with the commission of alleged offences.
Based on the statement of the mother, a case was registered under Sections 376/306 IPC. Later on, during the investigation, the accused was found to have committed an offence under Sections 305/376 IPC read with 3/4 of the POSCO Act. The accused was also found to have been misleading the deceased on the pretext of marriage intentionally and manipulating her physical, mental relations without her consent, having married somewhere else, resulting in the committing of suicide by the deceased.
The Court perused Section 305 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code and referred to Neeru Yadav vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another (2014) and Anil Kumar Yadav Vs. State (NCT of Delhi) (2018).
In Anil Kumar Yadav, the Supreme Court had noted,
"While granting bail, the relevant considerations are- (i) nature of seriousness of the offence; (ii) character of the evidence and circumstances which are peculiar to the accused; and (iii)likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice; (iv) the impact that his release may make on the prosecution witnesses, its impact on the society; and (v) likelihood of his tampering. No doubt, this list is not exhaustive. There are no hard and fast rules regarding grant or refusal of bail; each case has to be considered on its own merits. The matter always calls for judicious exercise of discretion by the Court."
Thereby the Court rejected the bail application and made the following observations,
"The general contentions and grounds urged by the accused/petitioner herein that he did not commit the alleged offence and that there is no direct evidence connecting him with the commission of the alleged offence or that the case of the prosecution is based on circumstantial evidence cannot alone be taken into account at this stage, either discarding or else overlooking the evidence collected by the prosecution during the investigation being part of the charge sheet against the accused/petitioner herein and same in view of the principles laid down by the Apex court in the judgements supra particularly regarding nature of accusation, severity of punishment in case of conviction and nature of supporting evidence as also reasonable apprehension of tampering with witness or apprehension of threat to complainant, have to be considered before grant of bail."
On the plea for applicability of Section 29 of the POCSO Act as urged by the respondents, the Court noted that it has paled into insignificance and need not be addressed.
Petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate KS Johal and Advocate Supreet Singh Johal; State represented by AAG Aseem Sawhney.
Title: Ranjit Singh v. Union Territory of J&K
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