Supreme Court suspends bail of accused of violence in Bulandshahr



On Monday, the Supreme Court suspended the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to one of the main defendants, Yogesh Raj, in the mass violence case in Bulandshahr, which claimed the life of the man. police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh. The court ordered Yogesh Raj to surrender within seven days.

After hearing all parties, given the seriousness of the offense, the judiciary suspended his bail and asked Yogesh Raj to surrender within 7 days.

We have heard from the learned counsel for the parties at some length. It seems that the charges were not framed. There is no question of even questioning independent witnesses … The case is quite serious where under the pretext of slaughtering a cow, a police officer was lynched. Prima facie, it is about taking justice into their own hands. We are therefore of the opinion that Yogesh Raj be requested to surrender within 7 days from today. To that extent, the contested orders granting him bail are stayed.

The added bench –

“We are asking for a report from the trial court on how long it takes them to lay charges and then to record the testimony of independent witnesses.”

A bench including Judges Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh was listening to petitions filed by Rajni Singh, the wife of the deceased police officer, Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh. The deceased officer went to the scene of the crime to maintain law and order and ultimately died at the hands of a violent mob, in protest against the slaughter of a cow. The petitioner challenged the order of the Allahabad High Court which granted bail to Yogesh Raj, one of the main defendants and a powerful local leader of Bajrang Dal. Along with the said motion, the Chamber also heard the motion filed by a co-accused whose bail was rejected by the High Court.

Senior Counsel Sanjay Hegde appearing on behalf of the applicant, Rajni Singh, informed the Court of the criminal history of Yogesh Raj, who had filed a sworn statement in the Supreme Court to certify that no bail conditions had been violated by him.

“In the first case, Yogesh Raj, who was the Mafia boss, filed an affidavit saying that your lordships should not cancel the bond, that he did not violate any of the conditions of the bond. I filed a reply pointing out that he was contesting elections when he threatened to assassinate someone who had not voted for him.

Referring to his reply, Mr. Hegde pointed out that an FIR was filed against Yogesh after he was released on bail for committing an offense punishable under Articles 147, 148, 308, 352, 504, 506 of the CPI. According to the FIR, along with his men, he tried to kill a family for not voting for them in the Panchayat elections.

Mr Hedge pointed out that although the lynching incident took place almost 3 years ago, the charges have yet to be laid in accordance with guidelines set by the Supreme Court in Tehseen Poonawalla v. Union of India.

“Since then, more than 3 years have passed since the incident, but charges have yet to be made due to his influence. I have also included the guidelines in Tehseen Poonawalla which cover incidents like this that require expeditious trials in dedicated courts. The pandemic may have come in between. “

Presenting his main argument, Mr. Hegde argued that the the right to personal liberty granted to all by the Constitution is neither unlimited nor unbridled. The law must of necessity be weighed and tested alongside the broader societal needs of peace and orderly conduct.

Registered lawyer, Mr. Rohit Amit Sthalekar, appearing for another defendant (Lokendra) who had not been released on bail by the Allahabad High Court, immediately argued that upon reading the indictment, it would be clear that the argument in favor of criminal history is not true for him. He further argued that Lokendra was a person with a disability and that he was only charged on the statement of two witnesses who alleged that there was video footage of him running with the crowd. It was pointed out that he was not named in the FIR and that there was no murder allegation against him. In addition, video footage of him running with the crowd had also not been filed.

“First and foremost, the criminal history allegations are not against me. Even in the indictment, it was categorically mentioned that I have no criminal history. The second important fact is that I am 40% paralyzed. I have polio from birth. Now my incrimination has come only on the basis of video footage allegedly stated in the statements of only two witnesses that I ran into the crowd. allegation is not that they killed the policeman, but that I was part of the crowd and one person, Prashant Nath, actually fired the pistol after snatching it from the policeman. There is no allegation of murder against me.Maaro, maaro“The FIR doesn’t name me, it’s based on CCTV footage. No video footage showing me has been filed. Possession of CCTV footage was not recovered from my possession.”

The bench said –

“This is a case of collective violence, following the alleged cow slaughter incident.”

Challenging the High Court’s decision not to grant bail, Mr Sthalekar informed the court that the only reason for denying bail were the statements of the two witnesses, which are categorically inconsistent.

“The only fact today is that my bond was rejected on the basis of the statement of two witnesses. These two witnesses, one is the complainant. The complainant categorically does not mention this incident in the FIR. The second policeman whose statement was recorded, in that statement he did not even see, not an eyewitness to the incident. In the second statement he says … There is a categorical inconsistency. There is new evidence that has been filed. These two people did not provide any of the video footage I was seen in. “

He added that all the other defendants in this case have been released on bail, despite being behind bars for three years.

“All the other defendants were released on bail and their bail order is not contested. Monsignor, there are four people who were said to have been part of the crowd, who assaulted the deceased policeman … Of these 4 people, only I’ve been in jail for three years. All other people have been released on bail. “

The judiciary informed Mr. Sthalekar that the applicant had filed a motion not only to have his client’s continued incarceration, but also to seek the quashing of the bail orders for the other accused.

“There are two other motions that have been brought before us for which bail has been granted. Now, indeed, that bond should be rescinded and the order issued in your case of continued incarceration stand, that is. is the effect. ”

Mr Sthalekar asserted that –

“The categorical claim has to be made by the state. They haven’t.”

Hegde pointed out that the state had filed a cross-affidavit stating that the bond should be canceled.

Mr Sthalekar argued that the charges had not been laid and that the trial had not yet started. In such circumstances, the rejection of the bond would indicate that his client would be in prison forever.

“The other important factor is that this is not a trial. There are 128 witnesses, the charges have not yet been laid. The trail has not yet started. By this logic, I will be in prison forever. I’ve already been in prison for 3 years. “

The Bench inquired –

In the counter affidavit, they say charges have been laid. We will ask the public prosecutor what steps they have taken to include these articles. “

Additional Advocate General Ajay Kumar Mishra appearing for UP State argued that –

“In the Lokendra case the indictment was filed… In the Rajni Singh case the accused was also mentioned in the FIR, run the FIR. In the Lokendra case he is still in prison and the charges of S.302 etc. were made in accordance with our counter affidavit. “

Rephrasing the request, the judiciary asked –

“What we are asking is that if you say that the bond should be canceled, why did you not post an SLP… You say that certain charges… were not included when the notice was taken. What have you done ?”

It was pointed out by Mr. Mishra that the Complainant filed the SLP within one month of the disputed orders. In light of the same, the state had only filed the counter affidavit in support of its case.

Criticizing the state’s inaction, the Court noted:

“It is very surprising that a plaintiff could follow the trail of the case by filing SLP against the bail grant and you, as the party who opposed the bail application, say that you want to take umbrage under the SLP filed by the complainant. Why haven’t you taken any action. For the first time, you say that S.34 was not added. ”

The judiciary noted that the charges made do not reflect Article 34, which would have serious consequences in a case of collective violence.

“It has to be there. Your specific case is that as a mob they came and attacked. Section 34 (IPC) has to be there.”

Mr Mishra informed the Court –

“As per our instructions, charges of S 302 have been brought against three people, in which Lokendra is already there. Our instructions are that Lokendra, Prashant, Rahul are still in jail and charges have been brought. There are about 44 accused persons… As far as the Rajni case is being considered in this case, Yogesh Raj is S. 302 and 34 was not put in the indictment. “

Mr Hegde informed the court that only the indictment has been submitted and that the charges have yet to be made by the court of first instance.

Lawyer, M. Pashupati Nath Razdan, Appearing on behalf of Yogesh Raj informed the judiciary that there was no specific allegation of lynching against him and that he was simply protesting against the slaughter of the cows.

“Regarding Respondent # 2, there is no specific allegation against me of the lynching of the deceased inspector. My whole role was that I was protesting only for the slaughter of the cows. neither is their case. “

The Chamber aptly pointed out that in the counter-affidavit, the state had indeed stated that this was a mob lynching case –

“That’s exactly what they say in the counter affidavit… That’s their position now.”

[Case Title: Rajni Singh v. State of U.P. SLP(Crl) No. 010456 – / 2019]

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