Read Order: Manmeet @ Monty v. State of Haryana

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 5, 2022: The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has recently denied the grant of regular bail to a person, who (allegedly) in connivance with others, mercilessly murdered a young boy owing to an ongoing rivalry which sparked with the uncle of the deceased. 

The Bench of Justice Suvir Sehgal considered the factors before holding that the apprehension of the State about the accused absconding could not be ruled out, “They (accused) have been duly identified by the complainant and Jai Singh, who have supported the case of the prosecution. DNA analysis establishes that the blood which was picked up from the road and the car, matches with that of deceased. The car, which was being driven by the petitioner, belongs to hisfather and has been recovered from him. The gruesome manner in which the killing has been done is extremely horrifying.”

The Court was dealing with the third petition filed under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr.P.C.) seeking grant of regular bail to the petitioner in an FIR registered under Sections 148, 149, 285, 302, 364, 452 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 25 of Arms Act, 1959. 

Essentially, there was an altercation which took place about a year and a half ago between the complainant on the one hand and the accused-petitioner and his co-accused on the other, in which injuries were inflicted upon the complainant. In pursuance of the same injury, the petitioner along with a bunch of others came outside the house of the complainant and attacked the complainant’s cousin (deceased) with a sword, while Manmeet @ Monty (co-accused) along with other boys gave him blows with sword, gandasi and kirpan which they were carrying. 

Further, they abducted the said Varinder in a car, dragged him about 1 k.m. and dumped him there by roadside, from where he was taken to the hospital by the complainant. However, he was declared dead on arrival. Thus, the petitioner was arrested. 

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that he underwent a custody period of five years and there was no complaint against him regarding any misconduct while in custody. He submitted that the petitioner deserved to be released on regular bail as all the material witnesses were examined.

Per contra, the State counsel opposed the prayer by submitting that the petitioner and his co-accused were the main accused and they led a young boy to death mercilessly. According to the State counsel, all crucial witnesses, who were extensively cross- examined, supported the case of the prosecution. She submits that the co-accused, who was a friend of the petitioner, was declared as Proclaimed Offender in 2017 and was absconding. 

She apprehended that in case the petitioner was released on bail, he was also likely to flee. It was her submission that prosecution evidence was almost over and the bail was not warranted at this stage. 

The petitioner’s first before the High Court– application was dismissed, and the SLP filed by him against this order of dismissal was withdrawn with liberty to move a fresh application at an appropriate stage. The second application filed by the petitioner before the High Court was withdrawn with liberty to approach the Trial Court, where he did not succeed and his prayer for regular bail was declined. Hence, the present application was filed. 

The court observed, after considering the above-stated that the petitioner and his co-accused were main accused and that they were duly identified by the complainant and one Jai Singh who supported the case of the prosecution. Further, the fact that DNA analysis established that the blood which was picked up from the road and the car (belonging to the petitioner’s father), matched with that of the deceased, was also taken into consideration. 

The Court also stated that the gruesome manner in which the killing was done was extremely horrifying. It was also noted that Varinder Singh, who was a friend of the petitioner and was declared a Proclaimed Offender, was not nabbed despite a lapse of five years. Thus, the Court found substance in the apprehension expressed by the State regarding the likelihood of the petitioner to abscond, if granted bail, thus, bringing to naught the entire effort of the prosecution.

Thus, keeping in view the totality of the facts and circumstances, the nature of allegations, the gravity of the offence, the categoric role ascribed to the petitioner and last stage of prosecution evidence, the Court was not inclined to accept the prayer made despite the period of custody of the petitioner.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed. 

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