SRINAGAR The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has dismissed a petition for bail by a CRPF personnel accused of killing three fellow colleagues at a camp in Kulgam district of south Kashmir on 24 December 2011.
A case (FIR No. 271/2011) was registered and accused (applicant), Sanjay Kumar Rai arrested after four CRPF personnel were fired upon in 18 battalion CRPF Camp on 24th of December 2011 at 22:20 hours in the barrack when they were sleeping on the carts, as a consequence of which three of them were killed while as the fourth one sustained serious injuries.
Rai was roped in the commission of the crime on the ground that his involvement surfaced in this gruesome incident.
In his application, Rai pleaded that the police authorities filed a charge sheet against him in the Court in the year 2012, citing as many as 33 persons as witnesses to the case. After framing the charge against him, the Prosecution was directed to produce the evidence.
On the 27th of April 2016, when the statements of 19 witnesses were recorded by the Court, Rai submitted an application for his release on bail before the trial Court, stating that since all the important witnesses have been examined in the case, therefore, his further detention was not warranted as it will amount to pretrial punishment.
He stated that he will not tamper with the Prosecution evidence and his prolonged incarceration has badly affected his family, including his children, who have been forced to face starvation.
He also stated that he has to arrange for his defence and, in case, he remains in custody, he cannot effectively defend himself, which will result in violating his legal, fundamental and constitutional rights
The state government contended the bail application and said that during the course of investigation, it has came to the fore is that 10 police personnel were putting up at MT barracks, amongst them, the deceased HC driver Sohan Pilai, driver Hussain and HC driver P Shabo and injured SD Jorti used to taunt Rai which was not tolerated by him and, in order to take revenge, he, with intention to kill the persons, fired upon them with his allotted service rifle.
The law is that bail, in non bailable cases, is not a matter of right. It is in the discretion of the Court. This discretion is not a wild horse. It has to be supported by reasons and the law governing the grant of the bails. The question of the grant of the bail cannot be put in a steel jacket formula, a bench of Justice M K Hanjura said.
The Court has to take an overall view of the matter taking all relevant factors into consideration, the court said. The Law of Bails should balance between two conflicting demands, viz. shielding the Society from misadventures of persons allegedly involved in crime and the presumption of the innocence of the accused till he is found guilty.
The law also provides that, normally, grant of bail, in a case of murder, is not a rule, the court said.
In a case of murder, public policy and the general state of crime of such nature, should be the consideration which should weigh with the Court while considering an application for bail, the court said and rejected the application.
The court also directed the trial court to conclude the trial without any unnecessary delay and within a period of six weeks on day to day basis avoiding unnecessary adjournments. The learned trial Court shall not get swayed by any observations made hereinbefore, but shall decide the matter on its own Merit, the court added.