High Court cannot appreciate the evidence collected by the prosecution against the accused while deciding a bail application, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court recently clarified (Amrit Pal Singh v Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir).
A single judge of Justice Puneet Gupta, therefore, rejected the bail application of one Amrit Pal Singh accused of committing a murder.
“The court has been called upon to assess and appreciate the different angles of the prosecution case set up against the accused as is evident from the arguments that have been raised on behalf of the accused. The court cannot appreciate the evidence that has been collected by the prosecution against the accused while deciding the bail application,” the order said.
The applicant accused Amrit Pal Singh was charged with commission of offence under Sections 302/380/454 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) registered with Police Station, Janipur, Jammu for an occurrence alleged to have taken place on March 5, 2020 at Paloura, Jammu.
The argument of the counsel for the accused was that there was no eyewitness to the occurrence and the case was based solely upon circumstantial evidence.
Recovery of certain articles on the alleged disclosure statement made by the accused, the theft alleged to have been committed by the accused, medical report stating death of the victim because of asphyxia sustained in manual strangulation and the time recorded in the postmortem report regarding of death of the victim do not connect the accused with the commission of offence, it was contended.
It was further submitted that the injury received by the victim as per medical report is not grievous in nature which shows that at the most some scuffle can be said to have taken place between the victim and the accused and nothing more,
Additional Advocate General, Aseem Sawhney representing the respondents opposed the plea on the ground that the crime was a gruesome act and that the investigation has established the commission of offences against the applicant-accused.
He further argued that the points raised on behalf of the petitioner cannot be finally considered and commented upon in the bail application as the same are matter of trial.
“The court is not required to thrash the evidence that has been gathered during the course of investigation by the police as it is for the trial court to appreciate the same. The accused is involved in a heinous offence and cannot claim the bail as a matter of right. The application requires outright dismissal at this stage”, he submitted.
The Court said that the arguments raised by the counsel for the accused were based on the factual as well as legal aspects and the Court has been called upon to assess the prosecution case based on evidence.
This, the Court said, cannot be done in a bail application.
The Court is not to record any sort of finding on the arguments raised by the counsel for the applicant-accused which are based on the factual as well as legal aspects of the case, the order said.
The Court made it clear that it will not assume the jurisdiction of the trial court on the aspect of the charges that may or may not be framed against the accused in the challan filed against him.
“It is suffice to mention here that after going through the challan it cannot be said that the present case is of no evidence against the accused only for the reason that there is no eye witness of the occurrence as per the challan nor can it be finally said that the circumstantial evidence through which the prosecution intends to prove its case against the accused can have no bearing whatsoever on the culpability of the accused,” the Court said dismissing the plea.