Supreme Court dismisses Kerala appeal against bail granted to two people accused of murder

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal filed by the State of Kerala against bail granted to a murder accused duo while affirming the bail conditions imposed by the high court

The bench, led by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Surya kant and Hima Kohli, said, “In the interest of the parties, we reinstate the earlier conditions imposed by the high court.” Previously on 19.08.2020, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the accused persons. 

The Miyapadavu teacher murder case

Venkittaramana Karanth (VK) and Niranjan Kumar were accused of having committed offences punishable under Sections 323, 342, 302, 120B r/w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code. 

Roopasree, a married woman aged 43 years, went missing on 16.1.2020. Her body was found washed up on the beach. Investigation revealed that VK and Roopasree were working as teachers at the Sree Vidya Vardhaka Higher Secondary School, Miyapadavu. VK and Roopasree allegedly became very close and used to be in constant touch. The prosecution alleged that the VK got an impression that the deceased was having affinity towards another man. It is alleged that Niranjan Kumar, who was a close associate of VK, hatched a conspiracy to murder Roopasree and invited her to the residential home of the VK. In furtherance of their common intention to murder the lady, on 16.1.2020, at about 2.45 pm, the lady was brought into the house of the VK in a motor car. It is further alleged that the VK tried to drown her by forcefully immersing her head into a bucket of water.

The High Court was of the view that the records that the investigation has been completed and the final report has been laid. It is by now settled that the object of bail is to secure the appearance of the accused at his trial by reasonable amount of bail. The object of bail is neither punitive nor preventative. 

The High Court in its order had observed that, “There is no doubt that the allegations against the respondent are grave. But the fact remains that the case rests exclusively on circumstantial evidence.”

Therefore the High Court granted bail and imposed certain bail condition on the accused persons, Those bail conditions were:- 

 (a) The petitioners shall not enter the limits of Kasargod district till the trial is over. If for any extraordinary reason the petitioners require to enter the limits, previous permission has to be obtained from the jurisdictional Court. 

(b)They shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him/her from disclosing such facts to the court or to any police officer or tamper with the evidence. 

(c) They shall not commit any offence while on bail. 

(d) They shall not leave the State of Kerala without the permission of Court having jurisdiction 

(e) They shall surrender their passports before the court below or if they do not have one, shall file an affidavit to that effect within five days of his release. Application for release of the passport, if any, shall be considered by the Trial court at the appropriate stage.
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