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Allahabad High Court grants bail to dowry death accused

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The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to a dowry death accused, who has been in jail for over 11 years.

A single-judge bench of Justice Shamim Ahmed passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Fayanath Yadav. The applicant, Fayanath Yadav, has moved this fourth bail application seeking bail in Case under Sections 498A, 304B IPC and Section 3/4 Dowry Prohibition Act, Police Station Kurebhar, District Sultanpur.

The fourth bail application has been placed before the regular Bench in the light of the Chief Justice’s order dated 13.11.2018.

The counsel for the applicant submitted that the applicant is innocent and has been falsely implicated in the case.

He submitted that the applicant has almost completed more than 11 years in incarceration, but till date, the trial of the case has not been concluded.

The counsel for the applicant also submitted that the FIR was lodged on 23.05.2011 and the applicant is named in the FIR along with other co-accused persons and during investigation the complicity of four co-accused persons was not found, as such they were exonerated by the Investigating Officer.

The counsel for the applicant said there is no overt act assigned to the accused applicant and the allegation that the deceased was beaten in front of villagers and was taken around the village is not supported by any independent witness. The entire prosecution story developed in the FIR is false and fabricated with the intention to falsely implicate the applicant and his relatives.

The counsel for the applicant further said the mother of the applicant, namely, Smt Kesh Pati, was already granted bail by the Court order dated 13.09.2011, but the applicant has been in jail since 01.06.2011 and his first bail application was rejected by the Justice Ashok Pal Singh (now retired) by order dated 27.05.2013.

The counsel for the applicant also said that thereafter the applicant has moved second bail application, which was also rejected by the Justice Surendra Vikram Singh Rathore (now retired) by order dated 27.08.2015 and while rejecting the second bail application, the Court directed the trial court to expedite the trial, strictly adhering to provisions of Section 309 CrPC.

The counsel for the applicant stated there was a specific direction of the Court to expedite the trial but the trial of the case was not concluded for three years. Thereafter, the applicant again moved the third bail application, which was also rejected by the Justice Anant Kumar (now retired) by order dated 25.07.2019 with the direction that the trial court is directed to expedite the trial and take proper coercive steps against the witnesses to ensure that the trial will be concluded preferably within a period of six months.

The counsel for the applicant further stated that more than three years have passed after the rejection of the third bail application, but the trial of the case till date has not been concluded and as per information received out of 18 prosecution witnesses, only 6 witnesses have been examined till date.

He submitted that there is a clear cut direction of the Court to expedite the trial of the case and the time prescribed by the Court i.e six months have already expired and more than 11 years have passed from the date of detention of the applicant, but the trial of the case has been yet been concluded and further submitted that it will take much time for conclusion of trial.

It has been assured on behalf of the applicant that he is ready to cooperate with the process of law and shall faithfully make himself available before the court whenever required and is also ready to accept all the conditions which the Court may deem fit to impose upon him. The applicant undertakes that in case he is released on bail, he will not misuse the liberty of bail and will cooperate in trial. It has also been pointed out that the applicant does not have any criminal history.

Aniruddh Singh, AGA opposed the prayer for bail, but does not dispute this fact that till date as per information furnished by the Investigating Officer, out of 18 prosecution witnesses only 6 prosecution witnesses have been examined, which is also mentioned in the counter-affidavit filed by the State and also does not dispute this fact that the applicant is languishing in jail since 01.06.2011 and has completed more than 11 years in incarceration.

“After perusing the record in the light of the submissions made at the Bar and after taking an overall view of all the facts and circumstances of this case, at the very outset, the Court anguish towards the poor progress of trial, the trial must have been concluded by now and the trial court is having powers to take coercive method to conclude the trial and also armed with the provisions of Section 309 CrPC, therefore, the Court is unable to comprehend as to how there is no good progress in the trial, the nature of evidence, the period of detention already undergone, the unlikelihood of early conclusion of trial and also the absence of any convincing material to indicate the possibility of tampering with the evidence, and considering that applicant is in jail since 01.06.2011 and has completed more than 11 years in incarceration and the trial has not yet been concluded and out of 18 witnesses only 06 witnesses have been examined as per the counter affidavit filed by the State as well as considering the larger mandate of the Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the law laid down by the Apex Court in the cases of Saudan Singh’s case (supra) and Suleman (supra), K.A Najeeb (supra), Paras Ram Vishnoi (supra), Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba (supra), Kamal (supra), Takht Singh (supra) and Dataram Singh vs State of U.P and another, reported in (2018) 3 SCC 22, the Court is of the view that the applicant may be enlarged on bail. The prayer for bail is granted,” the Court observed while allowing the bail application.

The Court ordered,

Let the applicant, Fayanath Yadav, involved in Case under Sections 498-A, 304B IPC and Section 3/4 Dowry Prohibition Act, Police Station Kurebhar, District Sultanpur, be enlarged on bail on his executing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned on the following conditions:-

(i) The applicant will not make any attempt to tamper with the prosecution evidence in any manner whatsoever.

(ii) The applicant will personally appear on each and every date fixed in the court below and his personal presence shall not be exempted unless the court itself deems it fit to do so in the interest of justice.

(iii) The applicant shall cooperate in the trial sincerely without seeking any adjournment.

(iv) The applicant shall not indulge in any criminal activity or commission of any crime after being released on bail.

(v) In case, the applicant misuses the liberty of bail and in order to secure his presence proclamation under Section 82 CrPC is issued and the applicant fails to appear before the court on the date fixed in such proclamation, then, the trial court shall initiate proceedings against him, in accordance with law, under Section 174-A of the Indian Penal Code.

(vi) The applicant shall remain present, in person, before the trial court on the dates fixed for (i) opening of the case, (ii) framing of charge and (iii) recording of statement under Section 313 CrPC. If in the opinion of the trial court default of this condition is deliberate or without sufficient cause, then it shall be open for the trial court to treat such default as abuse of liberty of his bail and proceed against him in accordance with law.

(vii) The party shall file a computer generated copy of such order downloaded from the official website of High Court Allahabad or certified copy issued from the Registry of the High Court, Allahabad.

(viii) The concerned Court/ Authority/ Official shall verify the authenticity of such computerized copy of the order from the official website of High Court Allahabad and shall make a declaration of such verification in writing.

It may be observed that in the event of any breach of the aforesaid conditions, the court below shall be at liberty to proceed for the cancellation of applicant’s bail.

The Court directed the trial court to conclude the trial of the case preferably, within a period of four months from today without granting any unnecessary adjournment to either parties except there is any legal impediment or order of higher Court.

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