Allahabad High Court rejects bail application stating offence of criminal conspiracy is exception to general law

The Allahabad High Court while rejecting a bail application said that the offence of criminal conspiracy is an exception to the general law, where intent alone does not constitute crime. It is the intention to commit a crime and join hands with persons having the same intention.

A Single Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Praveen.

Applicant-Praveen has approached the Court by way of filing the bail application seeking enlargement on bail in Case under Sections 302, 506, 120B, 34, 201, 473 IPC, Police Station Civil Lines, District Aligarh.

The case is arising out of an occurrence where a businessman was shot dead by multiple close range firearm shots (five entry and three exit firearm wounds) in his car by contract killers, who were following deceased by another vehicle, at about 08.45 PM on 27.12.2021 at a busy place in the heart of Aligarh City.

A thorough investigation was conducted and a large conspiracy was unearthed. It was revealed that the main conspirator was co-accused, Ankush Agrawal, whose bail application was rejected by a Coordinate Bench of the Court on 09.01.2023.

During the investigation, on the basis of CCTV footage and eyewitness account, sketches of two assailants and driver of vehicle were drawn. During investigation, gradually layers of conspiracy were peeled out, truth revealed and involvement of as many as 13 accused came into light. Trial is proceeding and it has reached upto statement of the last prosecution witness.

Submission was made that an application under Section 311 Cr.P.C is being filed on behalf of the applicant, but it was not supported by any document. Otherwise also, it would be a fatal argument as it would amount to delaying trial on part of the accused side only.

Counsel for the applicant has mainly urged that there was no eye witness who could identify real culprits. Applicant’s name was disclosed in the confessional statement of co-accused (Sahil Yadav), who has already been released on bail. There is no direct evidence of conspiracy and role assigned to applicant being contract killer along with other co-accused (Jitendra) is not supported by cogent evidence. Driver of the car, who was also alleged to be a contract killer, has been released on bail and other co-accused, alleged to be part of conspiracy, have also been granted bail.

Per contra, the Senior Advocate appearing for Informant submitted that the applicant being contract killer, has no fear of law and order. He has a long criminal history of at least eighteen cases involving offences of attempt to murder, murder, murder during robbery, Arms Act etc. Applicant is menace to society and if bail is granted, he not only remains a flight risk but there is likelihood to repeat grievous offences. Ballistic report also proved that weapon recovered on pointing out of applicant, was used in occurrence.

The Court observed that,

I have considered the above mentioned rival submissions in referred factual and legal backgrounds and in view of established principle of jurisprudence of bail i.e ‘bail is rule and jail is exception’ as well as relevant factors for consideration of a bail application such as (i) whether there is any prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the offence; (ii) nature and gravity of the accusation (iii) severity of the punishment in the event of conviction; (iv) danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if released on bail; (v) character, behaviour, means, position and standing of the accused; (vi) likelihood of the offence being repeated; (vii) reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced; (viii) danger, of course of justice being thwarted by grant of bail etc, and that an order to grant or not to grant bail must assigned reasons, I am of considered opinion that present is not a fit case to grant bail to applicant mainly on following grounds:- (i) The orders whereby co-accused were granted bail were not accompanied with reasons as warranted by Supreme Court in Manoj Kumar Khokhar (supra) and Brijmani Devi vs. Pappu Kumar (2022) 4 SCC 497. All co-accused were mainly alleged to be part of larger conspiracy whereas allegations against applicant are of execution of plan to cause death by firing, therefore, claim of parity is rejected.

(ii) In the case a thorough investigation was conducted that not only various evidence such as, photo sketch, CCTV footage, statement of various witnesses, call details etc. were collected but active involvement of applicant being contract shooter was also unearthed and at this stage there is no material to doubt credibility of evidence collected during investigation.

(iii) Trial is proceeding and the applicant has not placed statements of witnesses recorded during trial and is relying only upon material collected during investigation. It appears that they want that this Court may not peruse even prima facie nature of evidence before Trial Court. This factor also goes against applicants. Complainant has filed some statements but counsel for the applicant has not referred to it. In this regard Court takes note submission of learned Senior Advocate for Informant that testimony of witnesses are prima facie against applicant.

(iv) The argument with regard to lack of evidence for hatching conspiracy is also liable to be rejected as not only the nature of evidence before Trial Court is not brought before this Court but questions likely to be put under Section 313 Cr.P.C are still not ascertained.

(v) The Court also takes note of a long criminal history of grievous offences of the applicant and submission that he is a flight risk as well as likelihood of repeating offence is also very high.

(vi) The Court also takes note of reasons assigned while rejecting bail application of co-accused, Ankush Agrawal.

(vii) It has not been denied that prosecution witnesses have substantially supported the prosecution case and that they have been tested with lengthy cross-examination.

Accordingly, the Court rejected the bail application.

Crime Today News | Judiciary

Source | Powered by Yes Mom Hosting

Crime Today News

Welcome to Crime Today News, your trusted source for timely and unbiased news coverage. Since our inception in 2014, we have been dedicated to delivering the latest updates to our valued readers and viewers across Telangana.

Related Posts