Decided on August 12,1957

STATE Respondents


- (1.) THIS is an application under Section 498, Criminal Procedure Code, for release of the petitioners on bail pending their trial for offence said to have committed under sections 302. 376, 109 and 201, Indian Penal Code. The applicants are (1) Rao harnarain Singh, an Advocate and an Additional Public Prosecutor at Gurgaon, (2)Ch. Mauji Ram Deputy Superintendent Jail, Gurgaon, (3) Balbir Singh and (4)Sanwat Singh. The salient facts of the case are that Kalu Ram accused, husband of mst. Surti, used to live in one of the rooms in the house of accused Rao Harnarain singh. Mst. Surti is said to be an attractive girl of 19 years. On the evening of 18th of April 1957 Rao Harnarain Singh was entertaining Ch. Mauji Ram, Deputy superintendent Jail, Gurgaon, on the eve of his transfer. Rao Harnarain Singh is said to have required Kalu Hum to send Mst. Surti for the carnal pleasures of himself and his guests. Kalu Ram, who had a very humble station in life, after initial protasts, was induced to provide his wife to satisfy the carnal lust of Rao harnarain Singh and his guests. It is said that the girl protested vehemently against this outrageous demand, but under pressure of her husband, she was induced to surrender her chastity. It is alleged that three accused persons Rao Harnarain Singb, Ch. Mauji Ram and Balbir singh ravished her during the night and she died almost immediately. It is also alleged that her shrieks were heard by some Advocates living in the neighbourhood. It is then stated that at the instance of Rao Harnarain Singh, Dr. Ram Parshad, Assistant Surgeon, was sent for in order to ascertain whether the girl had merely swooned or died. Another physician Dr. Gulati, was also summoned and both of thorn were of the view, that she was dead but they could not assign the cause of her death. In the early hours of the morning of 19th April 1957 she was cremated. The prosecution contention is that the cremation was unduly hurried, without the performance of the usual funeral rites and with a view to destroy proof of violence done to her. The prosecution then alleges that soon after the hurried cremation of the dead body of Mst. Surti Rao Harnarain Singh left Gurgaon on 19th of April 1957 and was not to be seen there for several days. Ch. Mauji Ram also left Gurgaon in the early hours of the morning of 19th of April 1957. It is also alleged that before her cremation, clothes worn by Mst. Surti at the time had been removed and they have been found by an expert to be smeared with stains of seminal fluid and human blood. Kalu Ram, the husband of Mst. Surti, made a confession giving full details as to the manner in which pressure was put on him for production of his wife for the satisfaction of the carnal pleasures of Rao harnarain Singh and his guests. This confession had been retracted after a lapse of a month and a half of its recording. The prosecution contends that Kalu Ram was made to resile from the confession under influence and coercion emanating from accused Rao Harnarain singh and Mauji Ram, The prosecution also submitted that Babu Ram, who served rao Harnarain Singh and his guests at the dinner, was a witness to the earlier part of the entertainment and saw Rao Harnarain Singh, Mauji Ram and Balbir Singh going inside a room with the girl and he also heard their talk when they came out after she had expired. Out of the applicants Balbir Singh was proclaimed as an absconder and was apprehended after his property had been attached under the provisions of Criminal procedure Code. Bail Application was rejected by the Committing Magistrate and the Additional Sessions Judge also declined to release the accused on bail. This Court has therefore been moved under Section 498, Criminal Procedure Code, praying that the petitioners be released on bail pending the decision of the case.
(2.) ON behalf of the accused it is stated that a report was made by the local station house Officer to the Superintendent of Police of Gurgaon on 26th of April, 1957 that no tfrime had been committed. It is then stated that about three weeks after the cremation of the girl a rumour went round in Gurgaon that Mst. Surti had died an unnatural death and this rumour was featured by a local newspaper. A formal report was then lodged by the Superintendent of Police on 11th of May, 1957. In that report he stated that on 26th of April. 1957 station House Officer Sadar gurgaon brought to his notice an incident wherein a woman was reported to have died on the night of 18th/19th of April 1957 and that her body was cremated in haste early in the morning without performance of customary obsequial rites. The report then stated that although no formal or informal complaint or report had been lodged with the police and since the matter was likely to attract public attention he ordered Shri Ram Partap Deputy Superintendent of Police to Institute immediate inquiries into the Incident. The report then mentioned that while the matter was still under inquiry with the deputy Superintendent of Police, the Superintendent of Police found a large number of different rumours in circulation as to the sinister and suspicious manner in which the girl met her death. The Superintendent of Police ordered that a case under Section 302, Indian Penal Code, should be registered and investigated by the Inspector of Police, C. I. A, Gurgaon, under his direct supervision, and that the inquiry entrusted to Shri Ram Partap, Deputy Superintendent of Police, should be discontinued forthwith and all the papers transferred to his file. On 13th of May 1957 the Deputy Superintendent of Police, C. I. D. started investigation. On 18th of May, 1957 Rao Harnarain Singh was taken into custody and Mauji Ram was arrested on 28th of May, 1957. Balbir Singh accused was arrested on 26th of June, 1957. In this case 30th of July 1957 was the date fixed for recording the evidence of prosecution witnesses and on that day a transfer application was moved on behalf of the accused in this Court which has not yet been disposed of except that the High Court declined to stay proceedings in the trial Court. I am informed that 12th of August 1957 is the next date of hearing in this case before the trial Court.
(3.) MR. Bhagat Singh Chawla has pressed for enlargement of the accused on bail on several grounds. He said that his clients deserved to be released on bail, as there did not appear any reasonable ground for holding that they had been gulity of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life. In the absence of Corpus delict he said it was not possible on the allegations in this case to hold any one of the accused to be guilty of murder, especially when there is no eye-witness to testify to the murder and no proof being available that the body of the girl which was cremated in the early hours shortly after the occurrence bore any marks of violence, suggestive of commission of offences of which they have been accused.;

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