Read Order: Manoj v. State of Haryana

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, April 12, 2022: The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has granted the benefit of regular bail to a law student implicated as an accused in an accident and attempt to murder case resulting in infliction of injuries to Police Oficials who alleged that the accused intended to kill the said officials under a state of intoxication. 

The Bench of Justice Rajesh Bhardwaj granted the said relief considering the facts that no evidence to corroborate the plea of intoxication of the accused-petitioner was made, the prosecution was going on before the Trial Court, and the injured police officials were dismissed from the hospital after a week of being admitted there. Also, the absence of criminal antecedents of the petitioner was also considered as a favorable factor. 

The Court was dealing with a bail petition seeking the grant of regular bail to the petitioner in an FIR registered against him under Sections 186, 332, 353, 307 of the Indian Penal Code (Sections 3/181, 185, 188 of Motor Vehicle Act and Section 61 of Punjab Excise Act, 1914.

The complaint which resulted in lodging of the present FIR was filed by a Police Official alleging that the offending vehicle (car), coming from from Sonipat to Kakroi was being driven by the accused-driver (petitioner herein) and one more boy was present therein. It was alleged in the complaint that when the complainant pointed towards the car to stop, the driver of the car increased the speed and rammed the police officials with intention to kill them, as a result, the complainant, other police officials and the car driver suffered injuries. 

It was also alleged that the accused-driver who was arrested at the spot, was under drunken condition. It was also the case of the complainant that on the commencement of the investigation, the injured and the petitioner were sent for the medical examination wherein grievous injuries were found to be caused on the persons of the police officials who were harmed in the accident. Hence, this bail plea. 

The case of the petitioner’s counsel was that the petitioner (a law student) did not attempt murder, rather it was a case of accident which was given the colour of attempt to murder only because the injured parties in the case were police officials. He submitted that the petitioner had every opportunity to escape from the scene, however, in all his bona fide, he never escaped from the scene of occurrence and as per the case of the prosecution itself, he was arrested on spot. 

On the alleged drunken state of the petitioner, the Counsel argued that even after the petitioner’s medical examination, no evidence could be produced to support this allegation. Further, he added that the bottle of the liquor shown to have been recovered from the car was also planted by the police officials in order to increase the gravity of the offence. Next, addressing the claim of grievous injuries to the police officials, the Counsel submitted that the injured were discharged from the hospital within a week itself. 

Thus, to conclude his case, the Counsel submitted that the accident was totally unintentional and from the facts and circumstances of the case, no case under Section 307 IPC was made out. Based on the facts that the charges were already framed, the petitioner was never involved in any other cas and he was behind bars since August 2020, the Counsel pleaded for the grant of bail. 

On the contrary, the State Counsel argued that the petitioner had intentionally hit his vehicle with the police officials who suffered grievous injuries. 

After considering the facts and the rival submissions, the Court opined that there was nothing on record to corroborate the allegations levelled against the petitioner being drunk at the time of alleged accident. Further, the Court noted that the injured in the case were police officials who were discharged after treatment from the hospital. The investigation in the case was already complete and the prosecution evidence was going on before the trial Court. Also, the Court added that there was nothing on record to show that the petitioner was having any criminal antecedents/background. 

Thus, considering the fact that the veracity of the allegations would be assessed by the trial Court after the conclusion of the trial which would take a sufficiently long time, the Court was of the view that no useful purpose would be served by keeping the petitioner in custody for such a long time. 

Confining to the prayer made for the grant of bail, the Court was convinced that the counsel for the petitioner succeeded in making out a case for grant of regular bail. Accordingly, the present petition was allowed and the petitioner was ordered to be released on bail on his furnishing bail/surety bonds to the satisfaction of the concerned trial Court/Duty Magistrate. Nothing said herein shall be treated as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case.

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