BEING A woman is not a sufficient ground to be granted interim bail, a sessions court said in a recent order rejecting bail to a murder accused.
The court rejected the interim bail plea of 44-year-old Khushi Sahjwani, who is accused of murdering salon chain BBlunt’s employee, Kirti Vyas. Sahjwani and Siddhesh Tamhankar, colleagues of Vyas, are booked on charges of murder, kidnapping for murder, wrongful restraint and destruction of evidence among other sections of the Indian Penal Code. Vyas had gone missing on March 16, 2018 after leaving for work from her home on Grant Road.
Sahjwani, who has been lodged at Byculla women’s jail since 2018, had sought interim bail for 45 days stating among other grounds that she is a woman having responsibility for one child. She also submitted that there was only circumstantial evidence against her and the trial is not likely to commence in the near future given the pandemic. She had also sought relief on medical grounds.
“…The fact that there is no likelihood of commencement of trial in near future and also the fact that applicant is woman are not sufficient to grant interim bail to her because, the punishment prescribed for offence under Section 302 (murder) of IPC is either life imprisonment or death penalty and there are serious allegations in the chargesheet about destruction of evidence by applicant,” the court said.
Sahjwani’s contention was also that guidelines to decongest jails were recommended by a state appointed high-powered committee and her plea can be considered under it.
The police had claimed that Vyas was killed by the two as she had pulled up Tamhankar for mistakes in his work. Police claimed that while Vyas’ body was never found, CCTV footage showed her last seen with the two accused in Sahjwani’s car.
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