HC denies anticipatory bail to Hartal Fighters

The Kerala High Court on 24 August, 2011 in Ajinees Vs. State of Kerala; 2011 (4) KLJ 92 : 2011 (4) KLT 39 : ILR 2011 (4) Ker. 96 : 2011 (3) KHC 898 held that “the freedom of movement of a citizen cannot be denied by a group of persons, whatever may be their political ideology and whatever may be the reason for the hartal.

# Hartal Fight

The Hon’ble MR. Justice K.T. Sankaran observed that “the offence was committed not on account of quarrel between two persons or groups of persons, but only on the ground that the political party to which the assailants belong had declared hartal on the day.”

While dismissing the anticipatory bail application the Court further held that the defacto complainant is not bound by the decision of any political party. As a citizen, he is free to move, to travel and to do whatever that is lawful to him. That right cannot be denied by any political party.

“I am not inclined to exercise any discretion in favour of the accused in the present case. Persons who are not interested in honouring the constitutional rights of fellow citizens, are not entitled to aspire for any discretionary relief under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If anticipatory bail is granted to the petitioners, it would adversely affect the proper and smooth investigation of the case,”

the Court said.

This is an application for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Petitioner is accused in Crime of Kannur Town Police Station. The offences alleged against the petitioner are under Sections 143, 147, 148, 341, 324 and 308 read with 149 of the Indian Penal Code.

# Prosecution Case

The defacto complainant, who is a BBM student, while travelling in a car with his brother, father and others to the new bus stand Thavakkara, Kannur, they stopped the car near a mosque waiting for his friend. At that time, about 10 persons came on bikes and shouted at the defacto complainant as to whether he did not know that it was a hartal day and they questioned him as to how he could take a vehicle on that day.

The accused persons caught hold of the defacto complainant and he was beaten by them. When attacked with an iron rod on his head, the defacto complainant evaded and he sustained injuries on his left eye brow. The defacto complainant was admitted in the hospital. When the defacto complainant was caught hold of and attacked by the accused, all others in the car ran away. When the assailants left the place, they came back and took the defacto complainant to hospital.

The allegation levelled against the petitioner and other accused are very grave in nature. The accused may have a theory that if a political party declares hartal on a particular day, no person is entitled to take vehicles on road. Based on that view, the offence was committed and the defacto complainant was beaten black and blue.

Advocate T.V. Jayakumar Namboodiri appeared for the petitioner and Public Prosecutor V. Tekchand for State of Kerala.