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The Punjab and Haryana High Court while hearing a bail application of an accused who had been arrested and detained for 6 months in a case where his name did not appear in the FIR, the bench remarked that in “blatant detention matters, the Sessions Court  be more sensitive to the accused who approach the District Judiciary for their freedom and who are unnecessarily forced to approach the High Court on account of lack of exercise of jurisdiction, even in valid cases, which is coming to the notice of this Court time and again.”

The bench presided by Justice GS Sandhawalia was hearing a bail petition filed by the accused Mandeep Singh who was accused of offences committed  under Sections 307, 120-B IPC & 25, 54, 59 and 27  of Arms Act.

According to  FIR, the complainant had not seen anyone opened fire at his house and only heard the sound of loud noise. Only in the morning he had seen there were bullet marks on the door of his house and three empty cartridges and one live cartridge was lying there. On the basis of suspicion three persons had been named in the FIR and the petitioner was not one of them. The petitioner was, accordingly, arrested only on account of disclosure statements recorded by the Investigating Officer and has been in custody since December 12, 2019,  for almost a period of 6 months.

Thereafter the Additional Sessions Judge,  noticed that trial has not commenced and the fact that the petitioner has not been specifically named in the FIR. She, however, came to the conclusion that veracity of the allegations levelled against the petitioner are to be examined only after conclusion of the trial. Further observations has been made that in the event of release of the petitioner, he may hamper the prosecution evidence and in such circumstances, the Court had declined to grant to bail.

The bench while granting bail to petitioner observed that “the reasons given by the Additional Sessions Judge are not justified in the facts and circumstances. The Court has failed to take into consideration that the petitioner has been detained as such on a disclosure statement which may not stand the scrutiny in the Court of law. Apparently prima facie the investigating officer has over stepped his jurisdiction in his keenness to solve the crime as such which was not appreciated by the Additional Sessions Judge.”

India Legal Bureau

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