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Supreme Court to hear bail plea by life convict on May 18

The Apex Court vide its previous order dated Jan 5, 2021, had granted interim bail taken into consideration the health condition of the appellant.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on an appeal filed by a convict sentenced to life imprisonment almost 20 years back, challenging the judgment of the high court which had upheld life imprisonment and directed him to surrender along with other co-convicts in the year 2019. 

The appellant had surrendered and challenged the Judgment of High Court in the Apex Court. The Apex Court vide its previous order dated Jan 5, 2021, had granted interim bail taken into consideration the health condition of the appellant. The Top Court time to time had extended the interim bail order as per the medical report of the appellant. 

His plea was taken up and heard by vacation bench of Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari. The court has asked the state to why the medical records of Shyam Lal has not been verified. The Court has directed the State to file report of medical condition of the petitioner in compliance of its previous order dated 08/03/2021, by Monday 17/05/2021, and list the matter for hearing on 18.05.2021. 

The interim bail of Shyam Lal was extended by 2 months on the expiry of his interim bail passed by the Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R.Subhash Reddy on 8.03.2021, which also directed the state to verify medical condition of petitioner about 2 weeks prior to expiry of such period so that the court can take a view that bail to be continue or not.

On 05/01/2021, a three-judge bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Justice Hrishikesh Roy enlarged Shyam Lal Singh on interim bail for period of 8 weeks on grounds of medical condition, in support of medical documents as verified by jail authorities as well.

The appeal before the Court was filed by Mahinder Singh and Shyam lal who have challenged the judgment dated 18.09.2019 of Delhi High court wherein the order on conviction and sentence passed by trial court, was sustained by the High court. The trial court ordered that all such sentences will run concurrently vide orders dated 11.10.2001 and 31.10.2001.

Shyam Lal along with other co-accused was convicted for offence u/s 323/34 IPC & 452/302/34 IPC and awarded life imprisonment u/s 302/34 IPC, one year sentence under section 452/34 IPC, and fine under section 323/34 IPC. Few other were acquitted by the trial Court. 

Facts, as noted by trial court are reproduced below –

The complainant party belongs to one of the caste. The accused party belongs to the other caste (Julaha).. Rati Ram (the deceased in this case) and one Abhay Ram filed a civil suit on 4.12.87 against some of the accused. The prosecution case is that this vacant plot of land was the bone of contention between the two castes.” The appellants namely Chanchal, Mahender, Shyamlal and Gurcharan, armed with lathis, were seen by Sri Kishan going towards the house of Rati Ram and who also heard them saying Rati Ram was Sri Kishan’s uncle. Sri Kishan tried to stop them but the appellants assaulted him with lathis and went towards the house of Rati Ram.

Number of Prosecution witnesses was 33 in total. There was only one independent witness, who turned hostile later on. Kishan(PW1) , Brahm Swaroop(PW-9) and Phool Kaur(PW-11) are related and interested witnesses , while Geeta(PW-12) and Sevananda(PW-4) are planted witnesses.

The MLCs(Medico Legal Report) of injured witnesses suggest injuries are simple in nature which has been caused by blunt weapon.

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The 2 judges bench comprised of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri and Justice Siddharth Mridul of High court of Delhi observed that this was not a case where offence committed under section 302 , should be converted to 304 part 2 IPC and also gave finding while upholding judgment of trial court is that The Appellants first caused injury to Sri Kishan when he tried to stop them while they were going to the house of the deceased. The appellants were armed with lathis which indicate that they had come to the spot with a pre-meditated mind. Then they had gone to the house of the deceased where they caused injuries to his son and wife. As the deceased tried to escape, they chased him and then assaulted him with lathis. From the records, it stands proved that the appellants had the intention to cause death of Rati Ram and with a premeditated plan assaulted him resulting in his death. The case, therefore, clearly falls in clause Thirdly of Section 300 IPC.

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