The Bombay High Court recently set aside the bail order issued by a lower court to the main accused in a murder case and said while courts were very slow in cancelling bail thereby depriving people of liberty, a bail order could be set aside in cases where it was found perverse or arbitrary. “It is not that in the case of murder, bail cannot be granted. The manner in which the offence is committed, pre-assault and post-assault conduct of the accused, criminal antecedents, motive are the weighing factors while using the discretion in bail. Moreover, the period which the accused has undergone in the prison and filing of chargesheet are also important factors. In the present case, bail was granted within two and a half months before filing of the chargesheet. Grant of bail is discretionary, however, this discretion ought not to have been used in favour of the main accused Mayur Andhale. The order wherein material evidence is not considered is perverse and arbitrary,” said Justice Mridula Bhatkar.
She, however, maintained the bail order with regard to another accused in the case.
The state government and the wife of deceased Dadasaheb Choudar had moved the HC seeking cancellation of the bail order by a Baramati sessions judge.
As many as five accused had been prosecuted in the case and all were given bail in the murder case that took place in 2013 at Katphal village in Baramati. Choudar had reportedly insulted Andhale in the presence of villagers a few days prior to the incident. On the day of crime, the accused had allegedly taken Choudar somewhere in an Innova car and strangulated him with the help of the co-accused in the moving car. The body was later thrown out of the vehicle and was found by the road. The complaint in the case had been lodged by a constable.
The counsel for the accused had submitted that they had been out on bail but had not violated any condition of the bail. The public prosecutor, meanwhile, argued that the sessions judge did not take into consideration the material evidence, which was part of the chargesheet. It was further submitted that the order was illegal and perverse and, therefore, should be set aside.
“It is a well planned murder with previous motive…The trial judge in his order did not discuss the evidence of eyewitness at all,” said the court.