Case Title: Khongbantabam Hitler Singh Vs The Officer-in-Charge, Imphal Police Station.
Acting Chief Justice M.V Muralidaran of Manipur High Court granted bail to the accused in the 2017 Uripok twin murder case in Imphal West which cost the life of a mother and a pregnant daughter.
The accused, Khongbantabam Hitler,was arrested in connection with the death of the above-said at Uripok Bachaspati Leikai. Since, then the accused was in judicial custody for more than five years as an under-trial prisoner. Thereafter, charge was framed against the accused under Section 302, 316 and 449 of the Indian Penal Code.
The accused had filed bail applications at least in four different instances during his judicial custody before the trial court, however, all the four bail applications were rejected.
According to the bail application filed before the high court, the accused has been suffering mental agony and health issues inside the jail, there is no possibility of conducting the trial in the near future and detaining the accused to an indefinite period would hit the fundamental rights enshrined in the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The counsel for the applicant submitted that the main reason of suspicion of the police is that the petitioner once had love affairs with the victim before her marriage and her mother was against the relationship of the petitioner with her daughter and that the petitioner had been looking for opportunity of eliminating his lover and her mother.
Acknowledging that the commencement of the alleged offence is disputed by the accused and the merit of the crime cannot be gone into as it would be considered only after the trial, the court has granted the bail application subject to furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with two local sureties.
However, the court also laid eight conditions to be followed by the accused such as not leaving the residence without the permission of the trial court, to appear before the trial court once a week, surrendering of his passport (if acquired), not allowing to visit, contact or threaten any prosecution witnesses among others.
The court observed: “To put it shortly, a humane attitude is required to be adopted by a Judge while dealing with the ball application. Even if the offence is a serious offence, requires a humane treatment by the Court, humane treatment to all including an accused is requirement of law.
The cardinal principles of law for granting bail will not be affected when enlarging the petitioner on bail, inasmuch as the investigation has already been completed. As stated supra, the case is pending for examination of further prosecution witnesses. Therefore, the question of influencing to the witnesses or hamper and tamper of the prosecution case by the petitioner after his release does not arise.”
Meanwhile, the high court also directed the additional sessions judge of FTC (crime against women), Manipur, to expedite the trial and disposal of the murder case as early as possible, preferably within three months’ time.
Story Update By: Ms. Sai Sushmitha, Correspondent at Lawgic.
Edited By: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content-Head at Lawgic