Bail rejected in a filmy style murder case

Have you seen how Moosa from the ‘Family Man’ Series kills a homosexual manager at a chemical factory after threatening him? A similar case was heard by the Madras High Court on Tuesday (22nd June).

Background:

According to the prosecution story, the accused saw the deceased(Venkatachalam) person indulging in homo sex activities with another person. The accused persons then threatened the deceased that they will disclose to his wife that he was a homosexual if doesn’t call his wife to a spot specified by the accused persons. The accused persons intended to have sexual intercourse with the wife of the deceased.

Due to the threat made by the accused persons, the deceased Venkatachalam telephonically called his wife and asked her to come over to the farmhouse.  

The deceased tried to make an escape from the farmhouse by raising an alarm. But it triggered the accused persons to kill the deceased. The accused persons attacked the face of the deceased with a wooden log of a Neem Tree and also choked his neck using a ‘Lungi’. This resulted in the death of the deceased.

After concluding the trial, the learned Principal Sessions Judge, Namakkal, Namakkal District, came to the conclusion that the petitioner/Accused No.2 is found guilty of the offense under Section 302(Murder) of IPC and Section 201(Causing disappearance of evidence) thereby, convicted and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs.10,000/-, in default to undergo simple imprisonment for four years.

Aggrieved by the conviction order and sentence, the accused filed a petition before the High Court for suspension of his sentence and grant of bail.

Petitioner’s Contentions:

Mr.S.Arun Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner contended that during the time of occurrence, the petitioner was residing far away from the place of incidence. He submitted that the petitioner has been falsely implicated in this case without any iota of evidence. According to him, registering the case against the petitioner was a pure atrocity committed by the police officials. He submitted that the prosecution has also not examined the eyewitnesses and therefore, convicting the petitioner for the offense under Section 201 r/w 302 IPC, is bad in law.

Court’s Observation:

After considering rival submissions, the Court observed that “it is true, during the time of trial, in order to prove the offense, no eyewitnesses have been examined on the side of the prosecution. However, the evidence given by PW4 is very clear that before the occurrence, he saw the deceased along with the accused. Accordingly, the prima facie evidence is available to prove the last seen theory”

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Further, the Court observed that it was the case of the prosecution that after the alleged occurrence, the other accused in the case had voluntarily surrendered before the Village Administrative Officer and gave an extra-judicial confession statement and the same was substantiated through the material objects, which were recovered by the investigation officer. In the said circumstances, for proving the offense under sections 302 and 201 IPC, expecting an eyewitness is unnecessary.

Importantly the court observed that “The mere fact that during the trial, they were granted bail and there was no allegation of misuse of liberty, is really not of much significance. Further, the mere fact that during the period when the accused person was on bail during the trial there was no misuse of liberties, does not per se warrant suspension of execution of sentence and grant of bail.”

Conclusion:

The division bench of Justice P.N. Prakash and Justice R. Pongiappan ruled that it is not a fit case to suspend the sentence and grant bail to the accused. Hence the petition was dismissed. 

Story by Harshwardhan Pawar

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