Prabhakar Tewari vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh on 24 January, 2020


Supreme Court of India

Prabhakar Tewari vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh on 24 January, 2020

Author: Deepak Gupta

Bench: Deepak Gupta, Aniruddha Bose

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                                                              Non­ Reportable
                              IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                             CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.153 OF 2020
          (arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.9207/2019)

          Prabhakar Tewari                                        …..Appellant
                                            Versus
          State of U.P. & Anr.                                 …..Respondents
                                               WITH
                                 Criminal Appeal No.154 OF 2020
                              (arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.)No.9209/2019)

                                         JUDGMENT

ANIRUDDHA BOSE, J.

Leave granted in both the appeals.

2. These appeals arise out of two orders passed by the High

Court on 11th September, 2019 granting bail to two accused

persons, Vikram Singh@ Vikki (in SLP(Crl.) No.9207/2019)

and Malkhan Singh (in SLP(Crl.) No.9209/2019) arraigned in
Signature Not Verified

a criminal case initiated on the basis of a First Information
Digitally signed by
INDU MARWAH
Date: 2020.01.24
17:58:01 IST
Reason:

Report dated 7th February 2009. The said report was made by
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Prabhakar Tewari, being the appellant (in both the appeals) in

Police Station Jagadishpur in the State of Uttar Pradesh.

3. The appellant is the son of the deceased victim,

Purushottam Dutt Tiwari. He was assaulted by gunshots on 7 th

February, 2019 at about 4.00 p.m. while returning to his

residence after attending the Court in connection with a case.

In the first appeal (i.e. SLP(Crl.)No.9207 of 2019), the

appellant assails the order granting bail to Vikram Singh @

Vikky by the High Court. In the statement of the appellant

recorded in the evening on the date of occurrence at about

8.40 p.m., five persons have been named as direct assailants.

Said Vikram Singh in the First Information Report has been

named as the person by whom the “incident has been

committed”. In his statement recorded on the next day i.e. 8 th

February, 2019, the appellant had named Vikram Singh as the

person who had conspired to commit the said crime. Vikram

Singh was taken into custody on 19th March 2019. The High
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Court, while granting bail to the accused Vikram Singh

recorded the submission of his learned counsel as also that of

the learned A.G.A., who had opposed the prayer for bail, in

the following terms:-

“Learned counsel for the applicant submits
that accused applicant has falsely been
implicated in the present case. It is further
submitted that statement of independent
witness Narendra Dev Upadhyay was
recorded after a span of 52 days and in his
statement, he has categorically stated he has
overheard the applicant planning for the
alleged incident thereby indicating criminal
conspiracy on the part of the applicant.
There is no incriminating evidence against
the applicant on record. It is also submitted
that no recovery has been shown against the
applicant. The accused applicant is
languishing in jail since 19.03.2019. It has
been pointed out that the applicant has
criminal history which has been duly
explained in the rejoinder affidavits. It is
further submitted that there is no possibility
of the applicant of fleeing away from
judicial custody or tampering with the
witnesses. In case the applicant is enlarged
on bail, he shall not misuse the liberty of
bail.

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Learned A.G.A. opposed the prayer for
bail but could not dispute the aforesaid
facts as argued by the learned counsel for
the applicant.”

4. Learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that the

accused Vikram Singh is involved in at least five other

criminal cases under the same Police Station, Jagdishpur. He

has also brought to our notice the witness statement of one

Narendra Dev Upadhyay. This statement was recorded on 29 th

March 2019. The part of his statement to which our attention

has been drawn by learned counsel for the appellant records

that the said witness saw Vikram Singh standing near National

Highway 56 Flyover on the date of occurrence of the incident

in Warisganj with 6 or 7 accomplices and all of them were

talking about plans of killing the victim.

Learned Counsel for the State of Uttar Pradesh supported

the appellant’s stand. Mr. C.A. Sundram, learned senior

counsel for the accused contested the present appeal. His main
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argument is that the statement of Narendra Dev Upadhyay, on

which reliance was placed by the prosecution and the

appellant was recorded after fifty days from the date of

occurrence of the incident. On the question of granting bail,

Mr. Sundram has argued, such a statement was unreliable. He

has also submitted that even as per the F.I.R. or the witness

statements recorded under Section 161 of the Code of

Criminal Procedure, 1973, his client was not named as having

participated in the act of assault or being present at the place

of occurrence while the assault took place.

5. We have considered the respective submissions. The

facts highlighted by the appellant are that the case involves

offence under Section 302 read with Sections 120-B/34, 147,

148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The accused has

several criminal cases pending against him and has been

named in the statement forming the basis of the FIR on the

date of occurrence itself. Two individuals, Rahul Tiwari and
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Narendra Dev Upadhyay, whose statements have been

recorded under Section 161 of the 1973 Code also refer to

involvement of the accused Vikram Singh.

6. In the case of Mahipal Vs. Rajesh Kumar @ Polia &

Anr. (Criminal Appeal No.1843 of 2019) decided on 5 th

December, 2019, a coordinate Bench of this Court has

discussed the scope of jurisdiction of the appellate Court in

setting aside an order of granting bail. The two key factors for

interfering with such an order are non-application of mind on

the part of the Court granting bail or the opinion of the Court

in granting bail is not borne out from a prima facie view of the

evidence on record. In the case of Maulana Mohammed

Amir Rashadi vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another

[(2012) 2 SCC 382], a two Judge Bench of this Court declined

to interfere with an order of the High Court granting bail to an

accused having considered the factual features of that case.
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7. On considering the submissions of the learned counsel

for the parties. Having regard to the circumstances of this

case, in our opinion, there has been no wrong or improper

exercise of discretion on the part of the High Court in granting

bail to the accused. The factors outlined in the case of

Mahipal (supra) for testing the legality of an order granting

bail are absent in the order impugned. The materials available

do not justify arriving at the conclusion that the order

impugned suffers from non-application of mind or the reason

for granting bail is not borne out from a prima-facie view of

the evidence on record. The offence alleged no doubt is grave

and serious and there are several criminal cases pending

against the accused. These factors by themselves cannot be

the basis for refusal of prayer for bail. The High Court has

exercised its discretion in granting bail to the accused Vikram

Singh upon considering relevant materials. No ex-facie error

in the order has been shown by the appellant which would
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establish exercise of such discretion to be improper. We

accordingly sustain the order of the High Court granting bail.

This appeal is dismissed.

Criminal Appeal No……../2020
(arising out of SLP(Crl) No.9209/2019)

1. This appeal also has its origin in the same FIR which

forms subject matter of SLP(Crl.) No.9207/2019. The

submissions on the basis of which the accused arraigned in the

same case was granted bail would appear from the following

passage of the order of the High Court:-

“Learned counsel for the applicant
submits that accused applicant has
falsely been implicated in the present
case. It is further submitted that the
alleged incident took place on
07.02.2019 and statement of
independent witness Narendra Dev
Upadhyay was recorded after a span of
52 days. It is also submitted that there is
no recovery from the applicant, which
may lead towards his involvement in
the commission of alleged crime. No
specific role has been assigned to the
applicant. The accused applicant is
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languishing in jail since 12.03.2019. It
is next submitted that the applicant is
neither a previous convict nor he has
any criminal history. It is further
submitted that there is no possibility of
the applicant of fleeting away from
judicial custody or tampering with the
witnesses. In case the applicant is
enlarged on bail, he shall not misuse the
liberty of bail.

Learned A.G.A. opposed the prayer for
bail but could not dispute the aforesaid
fact as argued by the learned counsel
for the applicant.”

2. The accused is Malkhan Singh in this appeal. He was

named in the FIR by the appellant Prabhakar Tewari as one of

the five persons who had intercepted the motorcycle on which

the deceased victim was riding, in front of Warisganj Railway

Station (Halt) on the highway. All the five accused persons,

including Malkhan Singh, as per the F.I.R. and majority of the

witness statements, had fired several rounds upon the

deceased victim. The statement of Rahul Tewari recorded on

15th March, 2019, Shubham Tewari recorded on 12 th April,
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2019 and Mahipam Mishra recorded on 20th April 2019 giving

description of the offending incident has been relied upon by

the appellant. It is also submitted that there are other criminal

cases pending against him. Learned counsel for the accused-

respondent no.2 has however pointed out the delay in

recording the witness statements. The accused has been in

custody for about seven months. In this case also, we find no

error or impropriety in exercise of discretion by the High

Court in granting bail to the accused Malkhan Singh. The

reason why we come to this conclusion is broadly the same as

in the previous appeal. This appeal is also dismissed and the

order of the High Court is affirmed.

………………………….J.

(Deepak Gupta)

………………………….J.

(Aniruddha Bose)

New Delhi,
Dated: 24th January, 2020.



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