Uttarakhand HC Allows Bail in Ranjit Chauhan’s Murder Case

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On 24th August 2020, a Single Judge Bench of Hon’ble Justice Alok Kumar Verma heard the case of Harish Rautela v. State of Uttarakhand via video conferencing.

This case was a second bail application which was filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for grant of regular bail in connection, registered with Police Station Didihat, District Pithoragarh for the offence punishable under Sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) & 302 (Punishment for murder) of the I.P.C. and Section 4/25 of the Arms Act. 

Facts of the Case

An FIR was registered on 27.10.2019 against the applicant based on a written report lodged by the informant Hayat Singh, father of the deceased Ranjit Chauhan. The report alleged that on 26.10.2019 at about 6:30 – 7 p.m. his son and his colleagues Yogesh, Suraj, Deepak Bora, Divakar and others were going by Jhanpatta Road on a motorcycle. The applicant was standing on Jhanpatta Tiraha, and kicked the deceased and his colleagues. When they protested, the applicant stabbed the deceased in his stomach with a knife, due to which the deceased sustained severe injuries. The deceased died on 30.10.2019 during his treatment in Sushila Tiwari Hospital. After completion of the investigation, the charge sheet was filed.

Applicant’s Submissions

The learned Senior Advocate submitted that the applicant had been falsely implicated and no motive to commit such a crime was shown by the respondent. He also contended that the respondent had not explained the delay in lodging the FIR. He further alleged that there were no fingerprints on the said knife. 

State’s Submissions

The learned counsel appearing for the State opposed the bail application. However, they fairly admitted that the applicant had no criminal history. The learned counsel for the victim submitted that the applicant may be released on bail subject to the condition that the applicant shall attend the trial court regularly and shall not seek any unnecessary adjournment.

Court’s Observations

The Court opined that Bail is the rule, and the committal to jail is an exception. Refusal of bail is a restriction on the personal liberty of the individual, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The object of keeping the accused person in detention during the trial is not punishment. The main purpose is to secure the attendance of the accused. Further, there was nothing on record to indicate that the applicant had earlier been involved in any unacceptable activity. 

The Court referred to the case of Siddharam Satlingappa Mhetre v. State of Maharashtra, (2011) 1 SCC 694, which observed that personal liberty is a very precious fundamental right and it should be curtailed only when it becomes imperative according to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.

Court’s Decision

The Court held that there was no reason to keep the applicant behind the bars for an indefinite period, therefore, without expressing any opinion as to the merits of the case, the bail application was allowed.  The applicant was released on bail on executing a personal bond and furnishing two reliable sureties, each in the like amount, to the satisfaction of the court concerned with the following conditions: 

  • The applicant shall present personally before the trial court as and when required.  
  • The applicant shall not seek any unnecessary adjournment. 
  • The applicant shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of this case. 

The Court further clarified that if the applicant misuses or violates any of the conditions imposed upon him, the prosecution would be free to move to the court for cancellation of bail.


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