On 26 August 2020, The Kerala High Court involving a single bench judge of Honourable Mr Justice Ashok Menon heard the case of Prince v. State of Kerala.
Facts of the Case
Applicants are accused 1 and 2, Prince and Sunny of Chavara Thekkumbhagom Police Station, Kollam, for having allegedly committed offences punishable under Sections 143, 144, 147, 341, 323, 324, 326 and 427 r/w 149 of the IPC. On 16.02.2020 at about 10.30 PM, at a place called Ayyankoyikkal Vanchimukku, the applicants’ Prince and Sunny along with 5 others, all part of an unlawful assembly, caused grievous hurt to the defacto complainant. The de facto complainant was travelling on a motorcycle when one of the accused kicked him and he fell down. They also assaulted him with sticks. One Krishnamoorthy, who came to assist the defacto complainant was severely beaten up by the accused, as a result of which, he also sustained injury. The friend of the defacto complainant had lost his eyesight in the attack. A mobile phone belonging to the defacto complainant worth ₹30,000 was also lost in the scuffle.
The applicants state that they are innocent and the allegations are false. The applications were disposed of, with a direction to surrender before the Investigating Officer. Accordingly, both of them surrendered on 11.08.2020. Custodial interrogation is over, recovery is also complete. The applicants, therefore, pray that they may be released on bail. It is further submitted that the 3rd accused has already been granted bail.
The learned public prosecutor points out to the antecedents of the applicants by stating that they were involved in ever so many cases including offence under Section 302 of the IPC and therefore, releasing them on bail would only result in their reiterating similar offences.
The court in the case of Chidambaram P. v. Directorate of Enforcement (2019 (16) SCALE 870), observed that it is a well-accepted principle that bail is the rule and jail is the exception so as to ensure that the accused has the opportunity of securing fair trial.
In the end, the application is allowed and the applicants are directed to be released on bail after the execution of bonds for ₹50,000 each, with two solvent sureties, each for the like amount to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional court and on following further conditions:
(i) They shall appear before the Investigating Officer on all Mondays, between 9.00 Am and 12.00 Pm for a period of three months or till filing of the final report whichever is earlier.
(ii) They shall not intimidate or influence witnesses and tamper with evidence.
(iii) They shall not get involved in similar offences during the currency of the bail period.
In case of breach of any of the bail conditions, the prosecution shall be at liberty to apply for cancellation of the bail before the jurisdictional court.
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