Supreme Court refuses pre-arrest bail to youth accused in Ballabhgarh shootout

The Supreme Court declined to grant pre-arrest bail to a 19-year-old college student implicated as an accused in a FIR registered for the offences under attempt to murder, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation with common intention of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 25 of the Arms Act.

The three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, and Justices A.S. Bopanna & Hima Kohli dismissed the appeal with a direction, in case, if he surrenders and applies for regular bail, the same may be considered and disposed of expeditiously in accordance with law.

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Advocate Pradeep Yadav appearing for the petitioner submitted that he has already joined the investigation but Investigating Officer kept on saying that he is not cooperating. “I am a 19-year-old boy. One month time shall be granted to me. I am a college-going student,” he said.

Accused Manish Saini moved the Supreme Court against the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had denied granting him a relief of pre-arrest bail on the basis of the CCTV footage of the Oyo Hotel which justified his presence with the other co-accused in the case. The Court had denied his contention that his name wasn’t mentioned in the FIR and he was nominated as an accused merely on the basis of disclosure statements as alleged to have been suffered by his co-accused.

The High Court had said,

“A perusal of the disclosure statements allegedly suffered by all the three afore-named co-accused of the petitioner, reveals that they have specifically disclosed therein that the petitioner had fired shot at Hem Singh. To add to it, it has also been mentioned in Para 8 of the Status- report that in the CCTV footage, the petitioner was shown to be present, along-with his co-accused, at Oyo Hotel in Ballabhgarh and according to the Call Detail Record (CDR), the presence of the petitioner as well as of his co-accused at the spot was explicit and this record had been submitted along with the challan. In these circumstances, it is quite clear that the petitioner has not been nominated as an accused in the present case merely on the basis of the said disclosure statements of his above-named co-accused.”

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Further, the Court had also denied his submissions that all three-named injured in the present case have turned hostile and the co-accused of the appellant named Akash and Varun have been granted the relief of regular bail by the Court below and on parity he deserves the relief.

The high court had said,

“The depositions, as made by the afore-named injured while appearing in the witness-box as PW1 to PW3, are of no avail to the petitioner because the same were recorded during the course of the trial against some of his co-accused whereas the investigation is still pending qua him and therefore, the challan has not yet been presented against him. Moreover, the afore-named co-accused of the petitioner have been granted the relief of regular bail by the trial court whereas in this petition, the petitioner is seeking the relief of anticipatory bail.”

Therefore, the high court had denied to grant him anticipatory bail.

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According to the FIR, complainant Hem Singh had gone to his shop in the vegetable market at Ballabgarh. Accused Lokesh, Chaman, Harinder, Sachin and Chander and 2-3 unknown boys, who were armed with country-made pistols and knives, came there and fired shots at him and at Chandan and Pardeep and thereby, caused injuries to them.