A court here has rejected the bail plea of a co-accused in the killing of a youth in Markundal village of Hajin town in north Kashmir's Bandipora district in June 2013.
The Principal District and Sessions Judge Bandipora, S K Bhagat rejected bail plea of the petitioner/accused, Manzoor Ahmad Sheikh on the grounds that the reason mentioned by the petitioner/accused for grant of bail do not fall within the ambit of section 497 CrPC in which bail can be granted to the petitioner.
"Petitioner seeks bail purely on the ground of serious illness of his wife namely Chandni. While preferring application for bail petitioner/accused has annexed a few prescriptions of some doctors. From the perusal of which it does not reveal that his wife is so seriously ill which warrants the company of the petitioner/accused who happens to be her husband even otherwise there is no provision in Criminal Procedure Code where the bail can be granted in non-bailable offences," the judge stated while delivering the order.
He stated that the maximum punishment prescribed for the offence committed by the petitioner/accused is death or life imprisonment, however under section 497 of the CrPC a provision stand mentioned that court may direct that any person under the age of sixteen or any woman or any sick or infirm person accused of such an offence be released on bail.
"However, the case of the petitioner does not fall within the ambit of section 497 CrPC as alleged. It is not the accused who has fallen sick of infirm but it is the wife of the petitioner/accused. More so there are all chances of the accused to flee from the course of justice as the challan filed has attained its finality and judgement is expected very soon. Therefore, in order to escape from the clutches of law no ground has been carved out for his release which is acceptable at this stage. The learned counsel has failed to convince this court, therefore, petition for bail is hereby rejected," the judge stated.
Sheikh had moved the bail application through Advocate Abdul Rashid Khan vice Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar on the ground that wife of the petitioner is ailing wherein doctors have advised for immediate surgery. "There is nobody except the applicant/accused to shoulder the responsibility of his spouse. The presence of the applicant at the time of surgery has now become necessary, hence, the applicant may kindly be admitted to bail," reads the application filed by the petitioner/accused through his counsel.
Public Prosecutor, Advocate Shafeeq Ahmad Bhat, while objecting grant of bail to the accused pleaded that the application field by the accused is misconceived on law as well as facts, hence merits rejection and also there is strong evidence on record to prove the charge framed against the accused.
"The accused is facing trial for an offence which is serious and heinous in nature amounting to capital punishment as such there is clear bar under CrPC to grant bail to the accused. There is every chance that if the accused is released on bail he will flee from justice, hence bail may kindly be rejected," reads the objection filed by Public Prosecutor against the petitioner/accused.
The Public Prosecutor in his objection has also said that police have not filed subsequent charge sheet against Army's 13 RR unit stationed at Manasbal despite a writ petition filed before Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
Pertinent to mention that subsequent charge sheet is yet to be filed against the army by the SDPO Sumbal, despite the writ petition filed by father of the deceased in Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
Sheikh, who was initially believed to be the lone eyewitness of the killing of Irfan Ahmad Ganaie, was booked by police in the case FIR No. 115/2013, P/S Sumbal under sections 302, 109 and 102-B RPC, as a co-accused after family members of the slain youth claimed that he was working with the Army.
Father of the slain youth, Ghulam Nabi Ganai told Greater Kashmir that police are lenient towards army as three years have passed since his son was killed on June 30, 2013 in cold-blood and police are yet to file a charge sheet against them.
When contacted, SDPO Sumbal Rashid Akbar said that he is in a meeting, will call back later and hung up the phone.