SC suspends sentence and grants bail to murder convict, pending appeal in HC

The Supreme Court has suspended the sentence and granted bail to a murder convict who was awarded a life term by the trial court and had undergone incarceration of more than 11 years.

A bench of justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal ordered that convict Dinesh alias Paul Daniel Khajekar be released on bail pending the final disposal of the appeal by the Bombay High Court.

Dinesh was arrested on October 29, 2011, when he was 20 years old, in connection with the death of a man in a scuffle involving him and others. He is at present 32 years old and his appeal has been pending in the High Court for the past six years, according to his lawyer.

The Bombay High Court had refused to suspend his sentence in its order dated February 7 after which he approached the top court.

“In fact, the High Court ought to have granted relief under Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to the appellant.

“Accordingly, the appellant (Dinesh) shall be enlarged on bail pending the final disposal of the appeal before the High Court,” the apex court said in its order dated September 25.

Section 389 of CrPC allows the court to suspend the sentence of the accused pending hearing of the appeal and can enlarge him on bail.

The apex court directed Khajekar to be produced before the trial court to complete the bail formalities and said he shall be enlarged on bail on appropriate terms and conditions.

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Advocate Sana Raees Khan, appearing for Dinesh, submitted the appellant, who has been awarded a life sentence by the trial court for the alleged offence, has undergone incarceration for 11 years and his appeal has been pending in the High Court for the past six years.

She argued that there are three interested eye witnesses in the case and no independent witness was examined though the offence allegedly took place in a public place.

Khan submitted that two of the eyewitnesses have deposed in their cross-examination that when they reached the spot, they saw the deceased lying in a pool of blood, which establishes the fact that they had not witnessed the incident.

According to the prosecution, an FIR was registered on October 29, 2011 on the complaint of Tushar More that his brother Tanmay More, working in Ganesh Lottery Centre at Pune, was allegedly killed in a scuffle with Dinesh and others.

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