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HC Directs For Framing Charges In 2010 Rioting, Unlawful Assembly

SRINAGAR: High Court has directed the trial court to frame charges against the persons accused for committing offences of unlawful assembly, rioting, endangering human life etc in the year 2010 and asked them to approach the trial court for grant of bail in these offences within one-month, Daily Excelsior reported.

The instant petition was preferred by the prosecution against the order dated 27.07.2010 passed by the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Baramulla by virtue of which the 11 persons involved in the offences have been discharged for commission of offences under Sections 302, 307 RPC and Section 3 of the Public Properties (Prevention of Damages) Act and have been ordered to be charged for commission of offences under Sections 304-A, 323, 336, 341, 427, 148 and 149 RPC.

Justice Rajnesh Oswal while partly allowing the plea of prosecution directed the trial court to frame the charges against them for commission of offence under Sections 304- Part II, 323, 336, 341, 427, 148 and 149 RPC. “As this Court has ordered the framing of charge against the respondents-accused for commission of offence under Section 304-Part II RPC, deemed it proper to grant one month’s time to the respondents-accused to approach the trial court for seeking bail in the offence as the accused-respondents have been enlarged on bail for commission of offence under section 304-A RPC only along with other offences”, Court directed.

The trial court has discharged the accused persons for committing of murder on the ground that there are no chances of conviction of the accused under the provisions of Sections 302, 307 and Section 3 of Public Properties (Prevention of Damages) Act.

The prosecution case was that on 22.02.2010, FIR bearing No. 47 of 2010 was registered in Police Station, Baramulla for commission of offences under sections 148, 149, 302, 307, 336 and 341 RPC and Section 3 of Public Properties (Prevention of Damages) Act on the basis of a reliable information that at Stadium Colony Baramulla, a group of unruly stone pelters boarded the Sumo vehicle of unknown registration number, are raising objectionable slogans and are forcibly de-boarding the passengers from the vehicle coming from Rafiabad in order to enforce a hartal call and beating the passengers and have also caused damage to the vehicles.

Eight persons involved in the offences were arrested, however, three accused could not be apprehended and they were proceeded and dealt with separately and a charge sheet was filed before the competent court of law and thereafter the same was transmitted to Additional Sessions Judge Baramulla for trial.

Justice Oswal after hearing the parties and perusal of the record of the trial court said while considering the issue of framing of charge or discharge of the accused, the  trial court has to form an opinion on the basis of material placed on record by the Investigating Officer as to whether there is sufficient ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence or not and the material on record would constitute the statement of witnesses, injury report/post-mortem report along with other material relied upon by the prosecution.

The charge court added, can be framed against the accused even when there is a strong suspicion about the commission of offence by the accused and at the same time, the trial court is not expected to merely act as a Post Office and frame the charge just because challan for commission of a particular offence has been filed against the accused.

“The trial court further seems to have been swayed by the contradictory evidence of the two doctors as one has opined that the death in this case was due to crushing while the other has opined that the death was due to septicaemia. The trial court has also observed that 7 witnesses had given evidence during investigation regarding the identification of the accused persons. The prosecution has cited as many as 42 witnesses out of which almost more than 20 witnesses are the eyewitnesses”, reads the judgment.

Court concluded that from the evidence on record, there is no evidence with regard to the offence under Section 302 RPC but at the same time there is sufficient material on record in the form of statements of eye witnesses coupled with the medical report of Medical Officer Dangi Wacha Hospital that the minor child of 11 days died because of the act of the respondents of forcibly de-boarding the passengers from the vehicle in question.

The accused, court said, at this stage can be presumed to have a knowledge that by enforcing hartal in such a manner by forcible dragging the passengers out, their act may result into injury or death of any person and opined that the respondents are required to be charge sheeted for commission of offences under Sections 304-part II, 323, 336, 341, 427, 148 and 149 RPC. (Excelsior)

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