HC grants bail to man whose lover shot herself dead in suicide pact

HC grants bail to man whose lover shot herself dead in suicide pact

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a man facing prosecution in a murder case noting that the possibility of a suicide pact with the woman who he was in a consensual romantic relationship with cannot be discounted.

The high court found merit in the submission of the man's counsel that there was a suicide pact between him and the woman and after his family got him married to someone else, she committed suicide. When the accused tried to take his life, the country-made pistol got jammed and did not fire, the counsel said.

'Though probative and the evidentiary value of the testimonies and other evidence will be seen by the trial court at an appropriate stage, however, at this juncture while considering the petitioner's application for bail, the possibility of the petitioner and the deceased being involved in a consensual romantic relationship and the deceased partaking in a suicide pact with petitioner and shooting herself, cannot be discounted,' Justice Vikas Mahajan said.

The court granted bail to the man directing him not to leave Delhi-NCR and not to influence any person acquainted with the case.

The court said the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and other evidence, which have been referred to for limited purpose of deciding the bail application, clearly tilts the balance in favour of granting bail to him.

It noted that the forensic report showed that although the country-made pistol was found to be in normal working order, the cartridge recovered from the man did not fire despite many attempts.

The high court said prima facie there was substance in the submission of the man's counsel that the transcript of an audio recording showed that the petitioner and the victim had entered into a suicide pact and the woman had expressed her love for him and stated that she cannot live without him.

'The deceased had also expressed her desire to not continue her life without the company of the petitioner, similarly, the petitioner also expressed his fondness for the deceased. This contradicts the prosecution's version that when the deceased refused to leave the petitioner, he killed her,' it said.

According to the prosecution, in May 2016, the police received an information from the accused that he was going to commit suicide and that the woman who was with him had shot herself.

The police later found the accused on the driver's seat in a car and the victim dead in the passenger's seat.

The investigation revealed that the victim and accused were in a relationship for several years. The woman was married and had children and the accused was also married to another person. The prosecution alleged that he killed her after she refused to leave him.

The high court rejected the prosecution's theory that the victim and her husband had advanced some money to the accused which he was not returning. It relied on a conversation in which the accused and his mother were said to have agreed to return the money.

The court also noted that out of 64, only 24 witnesses had been examined in the last seven years by the trial court and said that no useful purpose will be served by keeping the accused behind bars.

'It would indeed be a travesty of justice to keep the petitioner in jail for an indefinite period for an offence which may ultimately be found not to have been committed by him, especially when there is material on record which has the prospect of probabilising the defence of the petitioner,' the court said. PTI SKV SKV VN VN

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