Friday, December 8, 2023

Bikru encounter case: Allahabad High Court denies bail to Rekha Agnihotri, maid of slain gangster Vikas Dubey

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The Allahabad High Court has denied bail to Rekha Agnihotri, maid of slain gangster Vikas Dubey, in the Bikru encounter case last year.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Samit Gopal passed this order on Monday, while hearing a Criminal Miscellaneous Bail Application filed by Rekha Agnihotri, accused of aiding and instigating her husband and other accused persons during the ambush and killing of eight policemen in Bhiku village of Kanpur on July 3, 2020.

The Court said, “After having heard the Counsels for the parties and perusing the records, it is evident that eight police personnel lost their lives, while they were on their duty to raid the house for arrest of accused persons and six police personnel received grievous gunshot injuries in the incident. One private person being the driver of a Police personnel, also received injuries. The dare devil manner in which the incident took place leaves much to be said. The incident cannot be committed with just a handful of people. It was a pre-planned incident, wherein all the aspects appeared to have been designed and persons were entrusted their jobs, which had been performed by them independently and even collectively.

“The involvement of the applicant is there in the matter. Her participation is also there, for which there are eye witnesses stating about it. Looking at the facts and circumstances of the case, nature of evidence and gravity of offence, I do not find it a fit case to release the applicant on bail,” added the Bench and rejected the bail application.

The bail application under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure has been filed by the applicant Rekha Angihotri, seeking enlargement on bail during trial arising out of Case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 302, 307, 504, 506, 353, 332, 333, 396, 412, 120B, 34 I.P.C., Section 7 Criminal Law Amendment Act and, 3/4 Explosive Substance Act, registered at Police Station Chaubepur, District- Kanpur Nagar.

The Counsel for the applicant argued that the applicant is not named in the FIR, which has been registered naming 21 accused persons and referring to 60-70 other persons as accused, who were also armed.

The statement of first informant Vinay Kumar Tiwari, Station House Officer of Police Station Chaubeypur, District Kanpur Dehat, is the same as has been stated in the FIR.

It is argued that subsequently, Sub-Inspector Kunwar Pal Singh of Police Station Chaubeypur, District Kanpur Dehat, was interrogated and his statement under Section 161 CrPC was recorded wherein for the first time, he named the applicant in the matter and stated that on the roof of the house of Vikas Dubey and on the roof of nearby houses, some ladies were shouting loudly that police personnel have come and they will not be able to go back and were exhorting the accused to kill the police personnel and were saying that no one should be left.

He then inquired about the ladies and came to know that the ladies who were shouting included Kshama, wife of Sanjay Dubey alias Sanju, Khushi, wife of Amar Dubey and Rekha Agnihotri, wife of Daya Shanker alias Kallu.

It is further argued that there is no recovery of any incriminating material, either from the possession or pointing out of the applicant.

The applicant has not been assigned any overt act whatsoever. She has been assigned only an ornamental role of exhortation.

The Counsel for the applicant said that the applicant is a lady and entitled to the benefit of Section 437 Code of Criminal Procedure. The applicant has no criminal history as stated in the affidavit in support of bail application and has been in jail since July 5, 2020.

AGA Rajesh Mishra vehemently opposed the prayer for bail and argued that the first informant of the case, Vinay Kumar Tiwari, the then Station House Officer of Police Station Chaubeypur, District Kanpur Dehat, is also an accused in the matter now. He has also played an important and vital role in the matter. The bail application of first informant Vinay Kumar Tiwari was connected with the bail application of co-accused K.K. Sharma, which has been rejected by the September 21, 2021 order passed by a co-ordinate Bench of the Court.

On the intervening night of July 2 and 3, 2020, eight police personnel were killed and six police personnel had received gunshot injuries in an ambush, when they had gone to arrest Vikas Dubey at Bhiku village in Kanpur. A driver of the then Station House Officer of the local Police Station also sustained injuries.

The statement of Constable Abhishek Kumar has been placed, in which while giving an eye witness account of the incident, he stated that the ladies were giving location of the Police personnel to the accused.

Constable Rajeev Kumar also gave his statement as an eye witness, saying that he saw the applicant above the roof of the house of Vikas Dubey, instigating the accused along with other ladies and giving the location of the Police personnel.

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