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Sonu @ Sunil vs State Of U.P. on 3 April, 2024

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Allahabad High Court

Sonu @ Sunil vs State Of U.P. on 3 April, 2024

Author: Rajeev Misra

Bench: Rajeev Misra

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

?Neutral Citation No. – 2024:AHC:57070

Court No. – 77

Case :- CRIMINAL MISC. BAIL APPLICATION No. – 12701 of 2024

Applicant :- Sonu @ Sunil

Opposite Party :- State of U.P.

Counsel for Applicant :- Noor Muhammad,Sunil Kumar Yadav

Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.

Hon’ble Rajeev Misra,J.

1. Heard Mr. Sunil Kumar Yadav, the learned counsel for applicant and the learned A.G.A. for State

2. Perused the record.

3. This repeat application for bail has been filed by applicant-Sonu @ Sunil seeking his enlargement on bail in Case Crime No.170 of 2013 under Sections 498A, 201 I.P.C. and Sections 3/4 (2), D. P. Act. Police Station-Sardhana, District-Meerut during the pendency of trial i.e. Sessions Trial No.1020 of 2013 (State Vs. KIshan) under Section 304B I.P.C. and Sections 3/4 (2), D. P. Act. Police Station-Sardhana, District-Meerut now pending in the Court of Additional District Judge, Court No.1, Meerut.

4. The first bail application of applicant was rejected by this Court by a detailed order dated 31.10.2023 passed in Criminal Misc. Bail Application No. 47389 of 2022 (Sonu @ Sunil Vs. State of U.P.). For ready reference, the order dated 31.10.2023 is reproduced herein under:

“Heard Mr. Amit Rana, the learned counsel for applicant and the learned A.G.A. for State.

This application for bail has been filed by the applicant Sonu @ Sunil seeking his enlargement on bail in Case Crime No.170 of 2013, under Sections 498A, 304B, 201 I.P.C. and 3/4 D.P. Act, Police Station- Sardhana, District- Meeut, during the pendency of Sessions Trial No.1020 of 2013 (State Vs. Sonu @ Sunil) now pending in the Court of Special Judge POCSO Act/Additional Sessions Judge, Meerut.

Perused the record.

It transpires from record that the marriage of applicant Sonu @ Sunil was solemnized with Sunita (deceased) on 05.06.2011 in accordance with Hindu rites and customs. However, just after expiry of period of one year, 08 months and few days’ from the date of the marriage of applicant, an unfortunate incident occurred on 3.3.2013 in which the wife of the applicant died in mysterious circumstances. The dead body of the wife of the applicant namely, Sunita was recovered on 04.03.2013 from the filed of one Anil Kumar. Thereafter a publication was made in the newspaper. On the basis of the above, the parents of the deceased identified the dead body and the same was recovered by them on 05.3.2013.

As a result of above, an F.I.R. dated 05.3.2013 was lodged by the first informant namely, Praveen (brother of the deceased) and was registered as Case Crime No.170 of 2013, under Sections 304B, 498A I.P.C. and Section 3/4 Dowry Prohibition Act. In the aforesaid F.I.R., seven persons namely, Sonu @ Sunil, Munge Ram, Satish, Pradeep, Doli, Sangeeta, Munga Ram and Poonam have been nominated as named accused.

As per the prosecution story as unfolded in the F.I.R. it is alleged that named accused have caused the murder of the deceased on account of non fulfillment of the demand of additional dowry.

It is apposite to mention that dead body of the deceased was recovered on 04.03.2013. The inquest of the body of the deceased was conducted on the same date i.e. on 04.3.2013. In the opinion of Panch witnesses, the nature of death of deceased was characterized as homicidal. Subsequently, post-mortem of the body of deceased was conducted on 06.03.2013. The Autopsy Surgeon found following ante-mortem injuries on the body of the deceased:-

“(a) Contusion – 5 cm x 2 cm in front of neck below thyroid

(b) Small Abrasons – 4 in numbers”

In the opinion of Autopsy Surgeon, the cause of death of the deceased was asphyxia as a result of throttling.

Investigating Officer, on the basis of material collected by him during the course of investigation opined that complicity of 6 of the named accused is established in the crime in question. He accordingly, submitted the charge-sheet dated 22.05.2013 whereby six of the named accused including applicant i.e. Sonu @ Sunil have been charge-sheeted whereas two of the named accused have been exculpated.

Learned counsel for the applicant contends that even though applicant is the husband of deceased but he is innocent. Other charge-sheeted accused have already been enlarged on bail. Since the criminalty alleged against all the charge-sheeted accused is common, therefore, applicant is also liable to be enlarged on bail. According to learned counsel for the applicant, present case is a case of circumstantial evidence. However, parameters laid down by the Apex Court for establishing a case based on circumstantial evidence in Sharad Birdhi Chandra Sharada Vs. State of Maharastra AIR 1984 Supreme Court 1622 are not satisfied in the present case. It is further submitted that applicant is in jail since 10.03.2013. As such applicant has undergone 09 years and 06 months of incarceration. It is further submitted by learned counsel for applicant that though charge-sheet was submitted on 22.05.2013, the trial has yet not concluded. Referring to the judgment of the Supreme Court in A. R. Antulay Vs. R. S. Nayak (1992) 1 SCC 225 he submits that right to speedy trial is a fundamental right of the accused. Since the trial has been delayed but not on account of the applicant, therefore, applicant is liable to be enlarged on bail.

Per contra, the learned A.G.A. has opposed this application for bail. He submits that applicant is the husband of the deceased. It is the prosecution case that deceased was residing at her parental home. She returned to her marital home on 3.3.2013 in the company of eight persons including the present applicant. There is nothing on record to show that any prompt action was taken by applicant to find out the whereabouts of the deceased after she went missing. Learned A.G.A. further submits that the evidence which has been collected by the Investigating Officer during the course of trial has deliberately not been brought on record. There is nothing on record to explain the conduct of the applicant regarding the crime in question, even when applicant is the husband of deceased. Placing reliance upon Section 113B of the Indian Evidence Act, learned A.G.A. contends that there is a presumption in law against applicant to the effect that death of the deceased is a dowry death. However, up to this stage applicant has failed to dislodge the aforesaid presumption. In view of above, applicant does not deserve any indulgence by this Court. Irrespective of the period of incarceration undergone by applicant, the applicant is not liable to be enlarged on bail in view of the gravity of the crime in question.

When confronted with above, learned counsel for the applicant could not overcome the same.

Having heard the learned counsel for applicant, the learned A.G.A. for State and upon perusal of record coupled with the fact that applicant is the husband of the deceased, the death of the deceased having occurred within seven years of marriage and in mysterious circumstances, the applicant having failed to establish his innocence and his failure to dislodge the presumption against the applicant in terms of Section 113B of the Evidence Act but without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, this court does not find any good ground to enlarge the applicant on bail.

Accordingly, this application for bail fails and is liable to be rejected.

It is accordingly, rejected.

Order Date :- 31.10.2022″

5. Learned counsel for applicant contends that applicant is in jail since 10.03.2013. As such he has undergone more than 11 years of incarceration. The trial of applicant has already commenced. However, upto this stage only 11 prosecution witnesses of fact have appeared before court below. As per the charge sheet as many as 23 prosecution witnesses have been nominated therein. On the above premise, he contends that there is no possibility of the trial being concluded in near future. He therefore contends that applicant is liable to be enlarged on bail.

6. Even otherwise applicant is a man of clean antecedents having no criminal history to his credit except the present one. The police report in terms of Section 173 (2) Cr.P.C. has already been submitted. However, upto this stage no such incriminating circumstance has emerged necessiting the custodial arrest of applicant. As such, applicant is liable to be enlarged on bail.

7. Per contra, the learned A.G.A. has vehemently opposed the prayer for bail. He submits that applicant is the husband of the deceased. As per the opinion of the Autopsy Surgeon the cause of death of deceased is asphyxia as a result of ante mortem throttling. In the light of above, the learned A.G.A. submits that wife of the applicant was deliberately put to death by the applicant itself. Applicant is the husband of deceased and also an inmate of the house in which the incident occurred. The burden is therefore upon the applicant to explain the manner of occurrence as well as his innocence in terms of Sections 106 and 113B of Evidence Act. However, applicant has miserably failed to discharge the said burden upto this stage. It is thus urged by the learned A.G.A. that no new, good or sufficient ground exists to enlarge the applicant on bail.

8. Having heard the learned counsel for applicant, the learned A.G.A. for State, the learned counsel representing first informant and upon consideration of material on record, evidence, gravity and nature of offence, accusations made as well as complicity of applicant, coupled with the fact that objection raised by the learned A.G.A. in opposition of this repeat application for bail could not be dislodged by the learned counsel for applicant, therefore irrespective of the submissions raised by the learned counsel for applicant in support of present repeat application for bail but without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, this court does not find any new, good or sufficient ground to enlarge the applicant on bail.

9. As a result, present repeat application for bail fails and is liable to be rejected.

10. It is accordingly rejected.

Order Date :- 3.4.2024

YK

 

 

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