Myakala Dharmarajam vs The State Of Telangana on 7 January, 2020


Supreme Court of India

Myakala Dharmarajam vs The State Of Telangana on 7 January, 2020

Author: L. Nageswara Rao

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta

                                                      Non-Reportable


       IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
      CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

     Criminal Appeal Nos. 1974- 1975 of 2019
       (@ SLP (Crl.) Nos.8882-8883 of 2019)

MYAKALA DHARMARAJAM & ORS. ETC.
                                               .... Appellants
                             Versus

THE STATE OF TELANGANA & ANR.
                                                         ….
                                              Respondent (s)
                      JUDGMENT

L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.

1. Respondent No.2 in the above Appeals lodged a

complaint which was registered under Sections 148, 120 B,

302 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

(IPC) at Karimnagar Rural Police Station vide FIR No.155

dated 19.04.2019. It was alleged in the complaint that the

husband of Respondent No.2, Bojja Thirupathi was the

Chairman of the Fishermen Co-operative Society of

Chamanapalli village, Karimnagar District. Members of the

Society alone were permitted to carry out fishing activities

in the tanks in Rajasamudram and Appanapalli villages.

The membership of the Appellants in the Fishermen Co-

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operative Society was cancelled due to which they were

not permitted to carry out fishing activities. Three years

before the complaint the husband of Respondent No.2 was

attacked by the Appellants at the village Panchayat office

and a criminal case was registered against the Appellants,

which was pending. On 19.04.2019, the husband of

Respondent No.2 went to Chamanapalli village to inspect

the tank. At about 5.00 pm, the Appellants attacked the

husband of Respondent No.2 with stones and he

succumbed to the injuries.

2. The Appellants moved applications for bail before the

Principal Sessions Judge, Karimnagar who summoned the

case diary, statements of the witnesses and other

connected records. The Principal Sessions Judge released

the Appellants on bail by imposing conditions that the

Appellants shall appear before the Karimnagar Rural Police

Station on every alternative day between 10.00 am to

05.00 pm and shall not leave the territorial jurisdiction of

the First Additional Judicial Magistrate, First Class,

Karimnagar. Another condition was imposed that the

Appellants shall not influence or tamper with the evidence.

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3. Respondent No.2 filed a petition for cancellation of

bail under Section 439(2) Cr. P.C. before the High Court for

the State of Telangana. On 10.07.2019, a charge sheet

was filed against the Appellants. According to the charge

sheet, all the accused gathered and planned to kill Bojja

Thirupathi on 19.04.2019. They formed into two groups.

The first group, consisting of A5, A7 to A11 and A15,

attacked the deceased and remaining persons were

standing guard near the tank. Even according to the

charge sheet, there is no overt act alleged against any of

the accused, except A6 who is alleged to have

strangulated the deceased with a towel.

4. We are informed at the bar that the case has been

committed for trial. The High Court allowed the

applications filed for cancellation of bail on the ground that

the Principal Sessions Judge did not consider the material

available on record before granting bail to the Appellants.

The High Court further held that the criminal antecedents

of the Appellants were not taken into account by the trial

Court. That apart, the High Court accepted the

submissions on behalf of Respondent No.2 that the

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Appellants indulged in threatening the witnesses after

being released on bail.

5. The Appellants contended that no specific overt act

was attributed to any of the accused, except for omnibus

allegations made against them. It is argued that the

complaint that was made by Respondent No.2 is on the

basis of vague allegations regarding tampering with the

evidence. The Appellants urged that the order passed by

the High Court is liable to be set aside as there were no

compelling reasons for interfering with the order of the

Sessions Court by which they were released on bail.

6. The factors to be considered while granting bail have

been held by this Court to be the gravity of the crime, the

character of the evidence, position and status of the

accused with reference to the victim and witnesses, the

likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice and repeating

the offence, the possibility of his tampering with the

evidence and witnesses, and obstructing the course of

justice etc. Each criminal case presents its own peculiar

factual scenario and, therefore, certain grounds peculiar to

a particular case may have to be taken into account by the

Court. The court has to only opine as to whether there is

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prima facie case against the accused. For the purpose of

bail, the Court must not undertake meticulous examination

of the evidence collected by the police and comment on

the same.1

7. In Raghubir Singh v. State of Bihar2 this Court

held that bail can be cancelled where (i) the accused

misuses his liberty by indulging in similar criminal activity,

(ii) interferes with the course of investigation, (iii) attempts

to tamper with evidence or witnesses, (iv) threatens

witnesses or indulges in similar activities which would

hamper smooth investigation, (v) there is likelihood of his

fleeing to another country, (vi) attempts to make himself

scarce by going underground or becoming unavailable to

the investigating agency, (vii) attempts to place himself

beyond the reach of his surety, etc. The above grounds

are illustrative and not exhaustive. It must also be

remembered that rejection of bail stands on one footing

but cancellation of bail is a harsh order because it

interferes with the liberty of the individual and hence it

must not be lightly resorted to.

1 Kanwar Singh Meena vs State of Rajasthan & Anr. (2012) 12 SCC 180
2 (1986) 4 SCC 481

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8. It is trite law that cancellation of bail can be done in

cases where the order granting bail suffers from serious

infirmities resulting in miscarriage of justice. If the court

granting bail ignores relevant material indicating prima

facie involvement of the accused or takes into account

irrelevant material, which has no relevance to the question

of grant of bail to the accused, the High Court or the

Sessions Court would be justified in cancelling the bail3.

9. Having perused the law laid down by this Court on

the scope of the power to be exercised in the matter of

cancellation of bails, it is necessary to examine whether

the order passed by the Sessions Court granting bail is

perverse and suffers from infirmities which has resulted in

the miscarriage of justice. No doubt, the Sessions Court

did not discuss the material on record in detail, but there is

an indication from the orders by which bail was granted

that the entire material was perused before grant of bail.

It is not the case of either the complainant-Respondent

No.2 or the State that irrelevant considerations have been

taken into account by the Sessions Court while granting

bail to the Appellants. The order of the Sessions Court by

which the bail was granted to the Appellants cannot be

3 Kanwar Singh Meena vs State of Rajasthan & Anr. (supra).

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termed as perverse as the Sessions Court was conscious of

the fact that the investigation was completed and there

was no likelihood of the Appellant tampering with the

evidence.

10. The petition filed for cancellation of bail is both on

the grounds of illegality of the order passed by the

Sessions Court and the conduct of the Appellants

subsequent to their release after bail was granted. The

complaint filed by one Bojja Ravinder to the Commissioner

of Police, Karimnagar is placed on record by Respondent

No.2. It is stated in the complaint that the Appellants were

roaming freely in the village and threatening witnesses.

We have perused the complaint and found that the

allegations made therein are vague. There is no mention

about which accused out of the 15 indulged in acts of

holding out threats to the witnesses or made an attempt to

tamper with the evidence.

11. After considering the submissions made on behalf of

the parties and examining the material on record, we are

of the opinion that the High Court was not right in

cancelling the bail of the Appellants. The orders passed by

the Sessions Judge granting bail cannot be termed as

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perverse. The complaint alleging that the Appellants were

influencing witnesses is vague and is without any details

regarding the involvement of the Appellants in threatening

the witnesses. Therefore, the Appeals are allowed and the

judgment of the High Court is set aside.

………………………………J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]

..…………………………….J.

[HEMANT GUPTA]
New Delhi,
January 07, 2020.

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