SC raps HC for bail to techie’s mur­der ac­cused

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - Ashok Ba­griya let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEWDELHI: A court con­scious of the plu­ral com­po­si­tion of the coun­try while called upon to deal with rights of var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties, can­not make such ob­ser­va­tions which may ap­pear to be coloured with a bias for or against a com­mu­nity

SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court of In­dia has crit­i­cised a Bom­bay High Court or­der that seemed to sug­gest, while grant­ing bail to three ac­cused in a mur­der case, that they had been pro­voked “in the name of re­li­gion”.

On 8 Fe­bru­ary, the Supreme Court set aside the Bom­bay High Court or­der that re­leased on bail the three ac­cused in the mur­der of Pune-based techie Mohsin Shaikh in 2014.

The three ac­cused are part of right-wing or­gan­i­sa­tion Hindu Rash­tra Sena and had re­port­edly at­tended an in­flam­ma­tory meet­ing just be­fore they ac­costed and killed Shaikh. The meet­ing hap­pened in the back­ground of com­mu­nal clashes in Pune.

While the Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion to quash the Bom­bay High Court or­der was re­ported on 8 Fe­bru­ary it­self, it is only now that the apex court’s or­der has been up­loaded on its site -- and it shows the top court’s dis­plea­sure.

Tak­ing ex­cep­tion to the high court or­der, the Supreme Court bench of Jus­tice SA Bobde and Jus­tice L Nageswar Rao said that the high court judge should have re­frained from record­ing rea­sons that ap­pears to jus­tify the mur­der of the vic­tim in the name of re­li­gion.

The Supreme Court bench said, “We have no doubt that a Court fully con­scious of the plu­ral com­po­si­tion of the Coun­try while called upon to deal with rights of var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties, can­not make such ob­ser­va­tions which may ap­pear to be coloured with a bias for or against a com­mu­nity.”

The Supreme Court records in its or­der that it is at pains to un­der­stand “why it (high court) said that “the fault of the de­ceased were only that he be­longed to an­other re­li­gion” and fur­ther why the judge said “I con­sider this fac­tor in favour of the ap­pli­cants/ac­cused.”

“We find that the afore­said rea­son can, on a fair read­ing, be un­der­stood or mis­un­der­stood al­most as a mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stance or a kind of a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the mur­der and it is ob­vi­ous

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