High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Jagir Kaur v. State of Punjab - CRM-3657-m-2006  RD-P&H 3266 (18 May 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT FOR THE STATES OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
Crl. Misc. No.3657-M of 2006
Date of decision: May 19, 2006.
State of Punjab
Present: Shri Dalbir Singh Pheruman, Advocate for the petitioner.
Shri B.S. Sewak, Dy. Advocate General, Punjab for the respondent.
Surya Kant, J. (Oral)
In this petition, the petitioner seeks her release on regular bail in FIR No.306 dated 17.11.2004, under section 302/34 IPC, registered at Police Station Jandiala, District Amritsar.
The above stated FIR has been registered on the statement of Prabhjot Kaur, w/o Gurmail Singh, who alleged that on 16.11.2004 at about 7 p.m., Mangal Singh @ Manga, s/o Darshan Singh, and his father Darshan Singh, as well as one Jaswant Singh, s/o Karam Singh, came to the complainant's house and asked her husband to accompany them for about 10 minutes with regard to some settlement regarding a sale deed. The complainant's husband, however, did not turn up though they kept on waiting for the whole night, and when the complainant allegedly went to the house of Mangal Singh along with her brother and father to know the whereabouts of her husband, she found that the house of Mangal Singh was Crl. Misc. No.3657-M of 2006 - 2 -
locked. She got suspicious and she along with her companions started searching for her husband. When they reached near the well, they found the dead body of her husband Gurmail Singh lying near the heap of parali (dry residues of rice plants). There were multiple injuries on the neck, left ear, head, right forehead, right leg of the deceased with sharp edged weapons.
There is no dispute that in the FIR, the petitioner herein, who is wife of Darshan Singh, was not named and no rule whatsoever was attributed to her. However, it appears that a statement under section 161 Cr.P.C. of one Sucha Singh, s/o Sukha Singh, was recorded on 25.11.2004 who allegedly stated on 22.11.2004 when he was present in his house, the petitioner along with her husband (Darshan Singh) and their son (Mangal Singh) as well as one more young person came in a Maruti car to his house and disclosed regarding the commission of murder of Gurmail Singh. In his aforesaid statement, Sucha Singh claimed that Jagir Kaur petitioner herein, also said that she could not think properly at that time and instead of stopping her husband/son and others, she allegedly helped them and thereafter out of fear, she had locked the house.
It is also not disputed that notwithstanding the above stated statement under section 161 Cr.P.C. by Sucha Singh, the petitioner was not found involved and no challan was presented against her. Her husband Darshan Singh and their son Mangal Singh, however, were challaned and yet another accused, namely, Jaswant Singh was shown in column No.2.
Thereafter, the public prosecutor moved an application under section 319 Cr.P.C. for summoning of said Jaswant Singh as well as the petitioner. The aforesaid application was moved after the statement of Prabhjot Kaur (complainant) and Sucha Singh, referred to above, were recorded on May Crl. Misc. No.3657-M of 2006 - 3 -
19, 2005. The learned trial court allowed the application under section 319 Cr.P.C. and summoned the petitioner to face trial.
Apprehending her arrest, the petitioner approached this Court through Crl. Misc. No.46098-M of 2005 for the grant of pre-arrest bail, in which, as an interim measure, bail was granted to her vide an order dated August 30, 2005. The petitioner was thereafter directed to surrender before the trial court, which she did and was taken in judicial custody on 9.12.2005.
In support of the prayer made in this petition, Learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that:- (i) the petitioner is in custody from the last about six monts; (ii) charges have already been framed; (iii) the prosecution intends to examine as many as 25 witnesses out of whom only seven have been examined so far; (iv) the conclusion of trial will, thus, take considerablylong period; (v) the entire family of the petitioner, including her husband and son are behind the bars; (vi) the petitioner was not named in the FIR by the complainant, namely, the wife of the deceased; (vii) she has been implicated on the basis of an alleged extra-judicial confession made before Sucha Singh, which is inadmissible in evidence; (viii) main prosecution witnesses have already been examine, hence, there is no likelihood of the petitioner's tampering with the prosecution evidence; and (ix) the prosecution case against the petitioner is not likely to sustain.
Learned State Counsel, though, has opposed the prayer made in this petition, however, he is not in a position to show as to how the petitioner's further retention in judicial custody would serve the cause of administration of criminal justice.
After hearing Learned Counsel for the parties, having regard to Crl. Misc. No.3657-M of 2006 - 4 -
the nature of evidence against the petitioner, the total period spent by her in custody, the stage of the trial and the fact that the conclusion of trial will take a reasonably long period, but without expressing any views on the merits of the contentions noticed above, lest it should prejudice either of the parties, this petition is allowed and the petitioner is directed to be released on bail to the satisfaction of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Amritsar.
May 19, 2006. [ Surya Kant ]
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