SC suspends sentence and grants bail to murder convict after 11 years


The Supreme Court has granted bail and suspended the sentence of a murder convict, Dinesh alias Paul Daniel Khajekar, who had been serving a life term imposed by the trial court and had spent more than 11 years in incarceration.
A bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal ordered that Dinesh Khajekar shall be released on bail while awaiting the final resolution of his appeal before the Bombay High Court.
Dinesh was apprehended on October 29, 2011, at the age of 20, in connection with the death of an individual during a confrontation involving him and others. Presently, at 32 years old, his appeal has been pending in the High Court for six years, as stated by his legal representative. Following the Bombay High Court’s refusal to suspend his sentence in its order dated February 7, Dinesh approached the Supreme Court. The apex court noted, “In fact, the High Court ought to have granted relief under Section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to the appellant.” Section 389 of CrPC empowers the court to temporarily suspend the sentence of the accused pending the appeal hearing and grant bail accordingly. The Supreme Court directed that Khajekar must appear before the trial court to fulfill the bail requirements and specified that he should be granted bail subject to appropriate terms and conditions. Advocate Sana Raees Khan, representing Dinesh, contended that the appellant, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial court for the alleged offense, had already served 11 years behind bars, with his appeal pending in the High Court for six years. Khan argued that there were three key eyewitnesses to the case, and no independent witness had been examined, despite the purported incident occurring in a public setting.