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STATE OF KERALA, THROUGH THE DEPUTY versus SAJU @ MRUGAM SAJU, 29 YEARS

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STATE OF KERALA, THROUGH THE DEPUTY v. SAJU @ MRUGAM SAJU, 29 YEARS - Crl MC No. 493 of 2007 [2007] RD-KL 5892 (21 March 2007)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

Crl MC No. 493 of 2007()

1. STATE OF KERALA, THROUGH THE DEPUTY
... Petitioner

Vs

1. SAJU @ MRUGAM SAJU, 29 YEARS,
... Respondent

For Petitioner :PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

For Respondent :SRI.B.RAMAN PILLAI

The Hon'ble MR. Justice R.BASANT

Dated :21/03/2007

O R D E R

R.BASANT, J.

Crl.M.C.No.493 of 2007

Dated this the 21st day of March 2007

O R D E R

The respondent is the third accused in a crime in which altogether there are 13 accused. Accused 1 to 10 have already been apprehended. The alleged incident took place on 20/07/2005. The allegations reveal depravity of mind of the worst order. Accused 6 and 7 are alleged to be wealthy persons carrying on a finance establishment. The respondent and the fourth accused are alleged to be very loyal employees of accused 6 and 7. It is alleged that the deceased one Ramesh was earlier working for accused 6 and 7. But later, he left Accused 6 and 7 in search of griever pastures. This obviously irritated accused 6 and 7 who could not allegedly tolerate the growth of the finance establishment of deceased which competed with theirs. In short, the allegation is that accused 3,4,6 and 7 conspired to bring about the elimination of deceased Ramesh. They allegedly procured accused 1 and 2 to execute their design. Under the guise of a traffic accident, the said Ramesh was killed on 20/07/2005 by accused 1 & 2. Initially, it was assumed to be a Crl.M.C.No.493/07 2 simple traffic accident. But later, it was revealed that it was a crime perpetrated after prior concert and conspiracy. The petitioner was arrested on 05/08/2005. His earlier applications for bail were rejected. Accused 6 and 7 who were arrested long later on 17/11/2006 and 13/09/2005, have now been released on bail. Accused 1 and 2 have also been released on bail. Accused No.4 who faces more or less similar allegations like the respondent has also been released on bail, as per order dated 01/12/2006, by another bench of this court. The Special Leave Petition for leave to appeal against the said decision has now been dismissed by the Supreme Court admittedly.

2. In these circumstances, after the release of Accused Nos.1, 2 and 4 on bail, the respondent filed an application for bail before the learned Sessions Judge and by the impugned order dated 21/02/2007, the respondent was enlarged on bail subject to conditions by the learned Sessions Judge. The learned Sessions Judge appears to have particularly taken note of the fact that accused No.4 who, more or less faces identical allegations, had already been released on bail and that the respondent has been continuing in custody from 05/08/2005. Crl.M.C.No.493/07 3 The investigation is complete. Chargesheet has already been filed against the respondent though after the arrest of the 6th accused, further investigation under Section 173(8) is being conducted.

3. This petition has been filed by the State Government, aggrieved by the grant of bail to the third accused. The learned Additional Director General of Prosecutions argues that the learned Sessions Judge had not adverted to the relevant aspects in the proper perspective in granting bail to the respondent. The nature and gravity of the crime must have been borne in mind by the learned Sessions Judge. The organised manner in which the crime was perpetrated could not have been omitted to be noted. The period of time the respondent had spent behind the bars pending investigation could not have been reckoned as a crucial and vital factor. In any view of the matter, invoking the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C, the gross failure/miscarriage of justice, that has resulted must be remedied. The scar that such a grave crime leaves behind in the mind of the enlightened polity may not be lost sight of, urges the learned Additional Director General of Prosecutions. Crl.M.C.No.493/07 4

4. The application is opposed by the learned counsel for the respondent. I have been taken through the order granting bail to the fourth accused as also to the order granting bail to the sixth and seventh accused. The learned counsel for the respondent submits that it will be traversity of justice, if the respondent alone were denied the benefits of the order granting bail in his favour passed by the learned Sessions Judge any longer. The order was passed on 21/02/2007 and on the strength of the interim order passed by this court, the respondent has been compelled to languish in prison, submits the learned counsel for the respondent.

5. I have considered all the relevant inputs. The question certainly is not whether this court would have granted bail or not, if this court were called upon to consider the question at the first instance. The classic difference between the approach of the court considering the grant of bail and considering the question of cancellation of bail must be borne in mind. In this case, of course, cancellation of bail is not sought on the basis of any events which have intervened after the grant of bail. Virtually, in this Criminal Miscellaneous Case, challenge is Crl.M.C.No.493/07 5 raised against the grant of bail. Principles which would apply when a court considers the challenge against grant of bail and a prayer for cancellation of bail would certainly be different. But I cannot lose sight of the fact that the challenge is raised in an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C where the crucial consideration - a mantra to be followed by this court, is only whether there has been failure/miscarriage of justice. So reckoned, I take note of the fact that all the co-accused including the ones who perpetrated the crime and whose brains designed the crime have already been enlarged on bail. I take note of the fact that substantially similar allegations are raised against accused 3 and 4 though not exactly identical. I do take note of the period of time that the accused has spent behind the bars also. I take note of the submissions of the learned Additional Director General of Prosecutions that though challenge against the grant of bail of the fourth accused has now been rejected by the Supreme Court, challenge is raised against the grant of bail of accused 1 and 2 before the Supreme Court and steps have been taken to challenge the grant of bail so far as accused 6 and 7 are concerned. Crl.M.C.No.493/07 6

6. Jail and not bail would be the normal rule. But this rule must also accept and admit exceptions to the rule. Would not this have been an eminently fit case where a deviation from the normal rule must have been followed atleast in respect of the brains which implemented and executed the crime ? This is certainly a question which vexes and worries me. But the fact remains that I cannot be oblivious to the nature of the jurisdiction that I am called upon to invoke and also the fact that all the other accused 1,2,4,6 and 7 have all been granted bail by now by this Court.

7. Even then I am satisfied that stricter conditions must be imposed on the respondent in whose favour bail has been granted. This is certainly necessary to ensure and insist that the stream of justice is not polluted and the witnesses are not intimidated and terrorised. I am, in these circumstances satisfied that while I am not persuaded to interfere with the order granting bail, appropriate, modified conditions must be imposed on the respondent who has been enlarged on bail under the impugned order. Crl.M.C.No.493/07 7

8. In these circumstances, this Criminal Miscellaneous Case is dismissed but it is made clear that the respondent shall abide by the following conditions in supersession of conditions 1 and 2 imposed as per the impugned order. The further conditions are:

i) The petitioner shall not leave the jurisdiction of the J.F.C.M, Alappuzha until further orders. ii) The petitioner shall report before the investigating officer on all Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m and 10 a.m until further orders. iii) The petitioner shall inform the investigating officer within three days of his release, the address of his place of residence within such jurisdiction and shall keep the investigating officer informed of any subsequent change in address. Hand over copy of this order to the learned counsel for the petitioner.

(R.BASANT, JUDGE)

jsr // True Copy// PA to Judge Crl.M.C.No.493/07 8 Crl.M.C.No.493/07 9

R.BASANT, J

C.R.R.P.No.

ORDER

21ST DAY OF JULY 2006


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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