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Supreme Court cancels bail after finding out about settlement deed between murder accused and son of deceased

Bail of a murder accused was cancelled by the Supreme Court after finding that the Gujarat High Court did so because there was a settlement deed between him and the son of the deceased.

A bench comprising of Justice Hima Kohli and a Justice Rajesh Bindal also noted that the High Court found that were no adverse antecedents against the accused, while the Additional Public Prosecutor also made a submission that the State was unable to bring on record any special circumstances against him.

The bench said that strangely enough, one of the considerations that has weighed with the Single Judge includes the fact that the respondent No. 2 (accused) has filed a settlement arrived at with the original complainant (son of the deceased) and the affidavit of the original complainant confirmed the said settlement, that too in respect of an offence under Section 302 of the IPC.

The Apex said that it was after the repeated directions by court that the Gujarat government filed an affidavit showing pendency of three criminal cases against the accused.

The court was told that if the respondent No.2 remained on bail, there was chance of his tampering with the evidence in the instant case and irrespective of the chargesheet having been filed, he can still indulge in such an activity.

The counsel for the respondent No.2 opposed the appeal, contending the subsequent FIR registered against his client was in the course of his duty as a Security Officer attached to his employer who has some running dispute with his brother, in which he too got embroiled. This can hardly be a ground to explain registration of another FIR against the respondent No.2 when he was on bail in the FIR, subject matter of the present petition.

It also noted that the accused had remained in custody for barely six months before he was released on bail in respect of a serious offence under Section 302 of the IPC.

The bench said that the antecedents also indicate propensity towards committing crime. Accordingly, the impugned order dated 18th February, 2022, is quashed and set aside and respondent No.2 is directed to forthwith before the trial Court.

As per the FIR, on the late hours of 17th September, 2021, when as per the complainant, both the accused were seated together at the farm of the victim, namely, Parvinbhai and they got into a heated argument.

In the course of the said argument, on the exhortation of the respondent No.2 (accused No.2), accused No. 1 took out a revolver and fired at the victim. The allegation is that the respondent No.2 hit the deceased victim with a sword. Thereafter, they fled away from the spot in a black coloured Mercedes car.

It is the case of the prosecution that the accused returned to the scene of the crime and when confronted by the appellant, Bharwad Santoshbhai Sondabhai, slapped him and dragged him in their moving car due to which he suffered injuries on the head and the waist. Both the appellant and Pravinbhai were rushed to the hospital where Pravinbhai succumbed to his injuries.

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