Joseph Johnson N. Maithkuri Versus Subrahmanya & Another - Supreme Court Case

Joseph Johnson N. Maithkuri Versus Subrahmanya & Another - Supreme Court Case

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  1439 OF 2022
Joseph Johnson N. Maithkuri       …Appellant(s)
Versus
Subrahmanya & Another        …Respondent(s)
WITH
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1440 OF 2022
Joseph Johnson N. Maithkuri …Appellant(s)
Versus
Rajesh & Another …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment(s) and order(s) dated 10.06.2021 & 08.11.2021
passed by the High Court of Karnataka at Dharwad Bench
in Criminal Petition Nos. 101007/2021 & 101621/2021
respectively, by which the High Court has allowed the said
criminal petitions preferred by the accused Subrahmanya
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and Rajesh (respondent No. 1 in the respective appeals)
and has directed to release the accused ­ Subrahmanya
and Rajesh on bail in connection with Case Crime No.
157/2019 of Dharwad Rural Police Station for the offences
punishable   under   Sections   120(B),   302,   201   read   with
Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27(3) of
the Arms Act, 1959, the original complainant has preferred
the present appeals. 
2. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant –
complainant   has   vehemently   submitted   that   while
directing the accused ­ respondent No. 1 in the respective
appeals to be released on bail, the High Court has not at
all considered the gravity of the offences. It is submitted
that the High Court has not at all considered the fact that
in the present case that there are two eye­witnesses and
respondent No. 1 – accused has been identified. 
2.1 It is submitted by learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the appellant that in case of co­accused, namely, Umesh
Nagappa URF Sangappa, this Court vide judgment and
order dated 06.01.2022 in Criminal Appeal No. 39/2022
has set aside the similar order passed by the High Court
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releasing   the   said   co­accused   on   bail   and   has
consequently cancelled the bail order. 
2.2 Learned   counsel   appearing   on   behalf   of   the   State   has
supported the appellant. 
3. We have heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
appellant as well as the State. Though served, none has
appeared on behalf of the accused ­ respondent No. 1 in
the respective appeals. We have perused the impugned
judgment(s)   and   order(s)   passed   by   the   High   Court
releasing the accused on bail.  Even liberty is reserved to
the State to move for cancellation of bail in the event of
this Court cancelling the bail of accused No. 4 ­ Umesh
Nagappa URF Sangappa.
4. At the outset, it is required to be noted that in the case of
co­accused, namely, Umesh Nagappa URF Sangappa, who
was also released on bail by the High Court, this Court
vide judgment and order in Criminal Appeal No. 39/2022
has set aside the order passed by the High Court and has
consequently cancelled the bail order in favour of the coaccused. The grounds on which the said co­accused was
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released on bail and the grounds on which the present
respondent No. 1 – Subrahmanya is released on bail are
same. In paragraph 7, the High Court has observed as
under: ­
“7. As per the charge­sheet, CWs. 18 and 19 are
eye­witnesses to the incident. CW­19 who is running
tea shop near the spot has identified accused Nos. 1,2
and   4   in   Test   Identification   Parade   held   on
31.10.2019. The police took accused Nos. 1,2 and 4 on
29.09.2019   to   different   places   like   Dandeli,   Haliyal
and Dharwad and taken their photographs. Therefore,
the   photographs   of   accused   Nos.   1,2   and   4   were
available with the police and there are every chances
of the police showing them to the witnesses namely
CW­19. CW­18 is another eyewitness, who is the driver
of the vehicle of the deceased, who has also identified
accused   Nos.   1,2   and   4   in   the   Test   Identification
Parade   and   there   are   also   chances   of   the   police
showing   the   photographs   of   the   accused   to   CW­18
prior to Test Identification Parade. Even if the presence
of   the   petitioner/accused   No.5   is   taken   into
consideration,   there   is   no   overt   act   alleged   against
him. He was sitting on bike and the overt act alleged is
against accused No.1, who fired from the pistol to the
deceased and went away on the motorcycle along with
the   accused   Nos.   2   and   4.   Therefore,   there   is   no
specific   overt   act   alleged   against   the
petitioner/accused No.4”
That   thereafter   this   Court   has   set   aside   the   order
passed by the High Court by observing in paragraphs 6 to
8 as under: 
“6. By observing the above, virtually the High
Court   has   acquitted   the   accused.   The   observations
made by the High Court in para 7 are on surmises and
conjectures   and   the   High   Court   has   observed   that
there might have been the chances of the witnesses
showing them the accused before the T.I. Parade. The
4
fact remains that the accused have been identified in a
T.I. Parade by CWs. 18 & 19, who are eyewitnesses to
the incident. 
7. The High Court has not at all considered the
gravity of the offence while releasing the respondent
No.1­accused   on   bail.   Therefore,   the   judgment   and
order   passed   by   the   High   Court   releasing   the
Respondent   No.1   on   bail   is   unsustainable   and
deserves to be quashed and set aside.  
8.   In   view   of   the   above   and   for   the   reasons
stated   above,   the   present   Appeal   succeeds.   The
impugned order passed by the High Court in releasing
the   accused   on   bail   in   connection   with   Crime   No.
157/2019 of Dharwad Rural Police Station is hereby
quashed and set aside. The Respondent No.1 now to
surrender before the competent authority/appropriate
jail authority within a period of one week from today.
5. In   view   of   the   above   and   for   the   reasons   stated   in
judgment and order dated 06.01.2022 passed in Criminal
Appeal   No.   39/2022,   the   impugned   judgment(s)   and
order(s) passed by the High Court releasing the accused –
Subrahmanya and Rajesh, respondent No. 1 herein in the
respective appeals on bail also deserve to be quashed and
set aside. At this stage, it is required to be noted that while
releasing the accused Rajesh on bail the High Court in the
impugned judgment and order has observed that in case
this Court cancels the bail granted in favour of accused
no. 4 – Umesh Nagappa URF Sangappa it would be open
for   the   State   to   move   an   appropriate   application   for
5
cancellation of the bail.  Therefore, once the bail in favour
of Umesh Nagappa URF Sangappa has been cancelled by
this Court, the bail in the present case also requires to be
cancelled.
6. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the
present Appeals succeed. The impugned judgments and
orders passed by the High Court releasing the accused
Subrahmanya   and   Rajesh,   respondent   No.   1   in   the
respective appeals on bail in connection with Case Crime
No.  157/2019   of  Dharwad   Rural   Police  Station   for  the
offences punishable under Sections 120(B), 302, 201 read
with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27(3)
of the Arms Act, 1959 are hereby quashed and set aside.
Accused Subrahmanya and Rajesh are now  directed to
surrender before the competent authority/appropriate jail
authority within a period of two weeks from today. If the
accused Subrahmanya & Rajesh do not surrender within a
period   of   two   weeks   from   today,   the   concerned   police
authority is directed to arrest the accused Subrahmanya
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and   Rajesh   and   the   learned   Trial   Court   to   issue   nonbailable warrant against them.  
7. However, it is observed that the learned Trial Court to
decide and dispose of the trial in accordance with law and
on its own merits on the basis of the evidence led before it
and   without,   in   any   way,   influenced   by   any   of   the
observations made by the High Court in the impugned
judgment(s) and order(s) which otherwise are set aside by
the present order. 
With this, the present Appeals are allowed.  
………………………………….J.
[M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
SEPTEMBER 09, 2022 [KRISHNA MURARI]
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