Kerala High Court: Leniency Cannot Be Shown When Offences Of State Are Accused Of Heinous Crimes

The Kerala High Court in the case Pradeep and Others V State of Kerala and Others observed and has refused the bail to two army personnel wherein the court held that when the accused is an officer of the State and the leniency is not the sanction of law, instead of the rigidity being the rule of law.
The Single judge bench headed by Justice A.Badharudeen in the case while hearing an anticipatory bail application wherein the offences registered against the petitioners were bailable, but subsequently the non-bailable offence of Section 307 (Attempt to Murder) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
It has also been requested by the petitioner that since two of the accused persons were army personnel.
The Court while disagreeing with the said contention stated that when heinous offences are alleged to be committed by the responsible officers of the State, viz. Police Officers, Excise Officers, Para military forces, Military persons and persons empowered with observance and implementation of law (list is not being exhaustive), the same is an aggravating factor of which the note is to be taken in deviation from the general principles and the same would not be applied to common man and in such cases, leniency is not the sanction of law, instead rigidity being the rule of law.
The counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted before the court that at the time of registering the FIR only bailable offences were alleged and hence the accused persons were released on bail. Therefore, the offence under under Section 307 of IPC was alleged, the right has been granted petitioner to approach the court under Section 438 of CrPC for anticipatory bail.
Further, the bail was opposed by the Public Prosecutor on the ground that Section 307 was later added based on witness statements and medical records of the hospital that showed that the victim had sustained serious injuries. Thus, the rights have been given to police to arrest, interrogate and recover weapons from the petitioners as the newly incorporated alleged offence is non bailable.
It has also been observed by the court while going through the medical records and the statements of the doctor a prima facie case for Section 307 has been made out. The court denied for granting anticipatory bail to the petitioner, thus, it has been remarked by the court that the “arrest, custodial interrogation and recovery of the weapons at the instance of the petitioner are absolutely necessary to achieve effective and fair investigation and eventful prosecution.
Accordingly, the court stated that the petitioners were free to approach the relevant the jurisdictional court for bail as per the ratio in Pradeep Ram’s case.

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