29 Jan 2121

There is a difference between cancellation of an order of bail and legal sustainability of an order granting bail - Karnataka High Court

Case : Smt. Swapna v. State of Karnataka and Anr. Criminal Petition No.6696/2020

Court : Karnataka High Court

Bench : Justice H. P. Sandesh

Decided on : 29 Jan 2121

The Relevant Statutes

 

Sections 307, 326A, 354A, 448, 504, 506 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

Sections 439 and 482 of the  Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. The complainant who is the sister-in-law of the accused gave the statement that the accused visited her place in connection with the loan borrowed by her dead husband from PACARD Bank, Kadaba and caused a disturbance. He misbehaved and sexually harassed the complainant who lives with her 2-year-old daughter.

2. On 23.01.2020 at about 4 pm the accused abused the complainant and threw the golden touch formic acid on the face and chest of the complainant, as a result of which both the complainant and her daughter suffered burn injuries

3. Based on the complaint, a case was registered against the accused of the offences punishable under sections 354A, 509, 504, 506, 448, 307 and 326A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

4. The accused filed for the bail petition under section 439 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and the learned District Judge granted the bail. Hence, the present petition is filed for the cancellation of the bail.

The Issue of the Case

Whether the learned District Judge while passing the order exercised his discretion and legal sustainability of the order?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Karnataka High Court observed by the learned Judges of the Honourable High Court that the photographs, which have been produced before the court show the gravity of the offence and the acid was thrown on the face of the complainant and spilt over the body of the complaint and also on her child. It is noted that the complaint averment discloses that an attempt was made to outrage the modesty of the complainant.

2. The Karnataka High Court observed that the material aspects particularly the wound certificate when the complainant had suffered 20 to 25% of burn injuries on account of acid attack and also the child of the complainant, the learned Sessions judge failed to take note of the said fact into consideration and while exercising the discretion also, it was mentioned that there was a strained relationship between the complainant and family members of the accused much prior to the institution of the present case.

3. Various aspects relating to the events in the present case have not been considered by the learned Sessions Judge while passing the order. It was contended that the learned Sessions Judge failed to appreciate the facts of the case and also the gravity of the offences and committed an error in taking note of the seriousness of the charges levelled against the accused. The trial judge lost sight of the gravity of the offence, it made the order absolutely perverse and totally indefensible as was held in the case of Neeru Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr. (2015 (15) SCC 422)

4. On perusal of the entire material particularly, wound certificates of the complainant, her daughter and also the accused, there is a prima facie and reasonable ground that the accused had committed the offence as a balance of the consideration involved, the continued custody of the accused subserves the purpose of the criminal justice system as observed by the Apex Court in the case of Mahipal v. Rajesh Kumar and Anr. (Criminal Appeal No.1843/2019)

5. The Honourable Court deems it fit in the present case to cancel the bail granted by the learned Sessions Judge invoking under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

The Decision Held by the Court

1. The petition is allowed.

2. The order dated 08.10.2020 on the file of V Additional District and Sessions Judge, D.K., Mangaluru, sitting at Puttur, is hereby set aside.

3. The accused has to be taken to custody, forthwith.

4. The trial judge is directed to conduct the trial as expeditiously as possible.

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