(Prayer: This Criminal petition is filed under Section 439 of Cr.P.C praying to enlarge the petitioner on Bail in Cr.No.179/2019 (S.C.No.1729/2019) of Kengeri P.S., Bengaluru City for the offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC.)
1. Heard learned counsel for the petitioner and learned HCGP. Learned HCGP has filed statement objections.
2. The petitioner, who is accused No.1 has filed this petitioner under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. The police have registered a case against this petitioner and other accused persons inCr.No.179/2019 for the offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC. The police have already completed the investigation and filed charge sheet against the petitioner and other accused persons for the aforesaid offence.
3. The case of the prosecution is that on a complaint filed on 22.6.2019 by one Smt. Jayanthi (sister of the deceased-Rajashekar) and in Cr.No.179/2019 was registered by Kengeri P.S. against unknown persons for the offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC for causing the murder of one Rajashekar. During the course of investigation the police have arrested petitioner No.1 on 27.6.2019 and other accused and filed charge sheet against them which is registered in C.C.No.23227/2019 before the LVI ACMM, Bengaluru alleging that the petitioner- accused No.1 gave supari of Rs.3 lakhs to accused No.2 to 5 for murdering Rajashekar, who was the brother of the petitioner with an intention to stop the marriage of her daughter Srushti (CW.13) with Chandrashekar (CW14).
4. Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is aged about 45 years and is a permanent resident of Maruthinagar Bengaluru. She is an innocent and a law abiding citizen and a false case is foisted against her by the police. It is submitted that the entire case of the prosecution is based on circumstantial evidence, which has to be established during the course of trial. The investigation is already completed and charge- sheet has already been filed and if the petitioner is not released on bail, it would amount to punishing her before establishing her guilt. It is further submitted that there are no direct incriminating materials or circumstances against the petitioner herein linking her to the crime. Even according to the prosecution case, she was not present on the spot at the time of murder. Even the recovery of the material object i.e., weapon used for committing the offence, is not at her instance. It was also submitted that this Court in Crl.P.No.1137/2020 has granted bail to accused No.2 namely Mumbaj @ Subani vide order dated 24.02.2020 and sought for bail in favour of the petitioner on the ground of parity. The petitioner being a permanent resident of Bengaluru, unlike the other accused and in case bail is granted, she will not flee from justice and would be available for trial. She would also abide by any conditions that may be imposed.
5. The learned HCGP submitted that the offence alleged is heinous in nature in committing the murder of her own brother. Looking to the gravity of the offence, it is submitted that this is not a fit case for grant of bail. He has further submitted that the petitioner and several of the witnesses are related to each other and there is every chance of the petitioner influencing the witnesses. The accused have confessed to the crime and the police have made recoveries of several incriminating materials and statements of witnesses have been recorded. The police have secured CDRs pertaining to the mobile numbers of the accused, which indicate that they were in contact with each other. All these materials show the involvement of the petitioner and other accused in committing the crime. Hence, he prayed for dismissal of the petition.
6. I have perused the material on record. The case of the prosecution is that the petitioner had performed the engagement of CW-13 with CW-14 and their wedding was fixed on 23/24.06.2019. Just before the wedding she wanted to stop the wedding and asked the deceased Rajashekar to advice her daughter Srushti C.W-13 not to marry C.W-14, as she suspected his character. When the deceased Rajashekar refused and told her that he would fully support in the performance of the marriage, the petitioner sought the help of Mumbaj-Accused No.2 and offered her supari for murdering Rajashekar with an intention to stop the wedding. It is also alleged that the petitioner paid a sum of Rs.2 lakhs in advance and promised to pay the remaining amount thereafter. It is further alleged that a dilapidated house at Dananayakanahalli, was identified for committing the crime. The deceased who was as a painter by profession, was to be brought there by accused No.2, on the pretext of offering painting work. With that intention they had visited the house of the deceased on 21.06.2019. The accused No.2 took him to the house and accused Nos.3 to 5 committed the crime on that night.
7. It is seen that there are no eye witnesses to the crime. The entire case of the prosecution is resting on circumstantial evidence, which has to be proved during the course of trial. There is no recovery at the instance of this petitioner. The petitioner is not stated to have had any criminal antecedents. There is no evidence to show any prior agreement between the accused. There is no charge of conspiracy also.
8. It is seen that the learned Sessions Judge at the time of rejecting the bail application has stated that the petitioner may flee away from justice and the investigation of the case would be hampered. These factors cannot be the only consideration for rejecting the bail. The petitioner accused is a woman, who does not have any prior criminal antecedents. The petitioner fleeing away from justice can be prevented from imposing conditions. Moreover, the prosecution bears a heavy burden of establishing all the material facts during trial. For the above reasons, the petition deserves to be allowed. Accordingly, the following:
Criminal Petition is allowed subject to the following conditions:
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/> i) The Petitioner-accused No.1 is ordered to be enlarged on bail on furnishing a bond in a sum of Rs.1,00,000/-(Rupees one lakh only) with two sureties for the likesum to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional court, where atleast one of the surety is below the age of 60 years. ii) The petitioner shall appear before the court as and when required. iii) The petitioner shall not threaten or allure the prosecution witnesses in whatsoever manner. iv) The petitioner shall not involved in similar offences. v) The petitioner shall not leave the territorial limits of the Trial Court without prior permission of the Trial Court.