The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to disqualified BJP MLA Vikram Saini, convicted in the Muzaffarnagar riots case of 2013.
The order was passed by the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Samit Gopal on Friday, while hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by Vikram Singh Saini alias Vikar Saini.
The BJP leader had challenged the October 11 order of a special MP/MLA court, which had convicted him to two years imprisonment in a case related to the 2013 riots, along with a fine of Rs 10,000.
Special Judge Gopal Upadhyay had found Saini guilty of offences under Section 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Saini was further found guilty of offences under Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.
The Counsel for the appellant argued that the maximum sentence awarded to the appellant was two years imprisonment along with fine and default stipulation with conviction and sentence under other Sections.
It was argued that the trial court has ordered the sentences to run concurrently. Further the trial court has extended the benefit of set off under Section 428 CrPC. The appellant was on bail during pendency of trial.
Counsel has further argued that the appellant has been granted interim bail vide order dated 11.10.2022 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, MP/MLA Court, Muzaffarnagar by extending the benefit of Section 389(3) CrPC.
It is further argued while placing the affidavit in support of application for suspension of sentence/bail that the appellant is not a previous convict and in three other criminal cases, he has been acquitted and only one case is pending against him in which he is facing trial.
Counsel for the appellant said that the case in which the trial is pending against the appellant, is an offshoot of the case with regard to offence under Section 153(A) IPC which was separated as sanction was needed for the prosecution of the appellant and as such the same is continuing.
Counsel for the appellant further said that there is no credible evidence against him.
Counsel for the appellant also said that there is no public witness to support the prosecution case. It is a case of no injury.
Counsel argued that although the prosecution has shown the recovery of a balkati from the house of the appellant on his pointing out but the same is a false and planted recovery. It is argued that the appellant has been acquitted of the charges levelled against him under Section 307 IPC by the impugned judgement and order.
Per contra, the State Counsel opposed the prayer for suspension of sentence/bail.
After hearing the counsels for the parties and perusing the records, the High Court noted that the appellant was on bail during the pendency of trial and was also acquitted for the offence under Section 307 IPC. It added that the case was a case of no injury.
The Single Bench ordered Saini to furnish a personal bond with two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned, and suspended his sentence.
However, the High Court refused to stay the realisation of the fine amount.