The High Court of Karnataka has dismissed a petition filed by an accused in the journalist Gauri Lankesh murder case seeking ‘default bail' by challenging a lower court order.
Hrishikesh Devdikar of Maharashtra was arrested in January 2020 and sent to judicial custody in connection with the case. Later, he filed an application for ‘statutory/default bail' under Section 167(2) of Criminal Procedure Code in the Special court.
However, his application was not considered by the court. Hence, he approached the High Court against this.
The accused's contention was that since it was a murder case, a charge sheet had to be filed within 90 days of his arrest. But no charge sheet was filed against him even on April 4, 2020, so he should automatically get bail as per Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPC.
The government advocate argued that Devdikar was on the run and a charge sheet had already been filed in his absence.
On October 21,2022, Justice Suraj Govindaraj rejected the plea stating that the charge sheet in the case was already filed before this accused was arrested. Therefore, he cannot seek the benefit of Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPc.
“An accused would not be entitled to the benefit under Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPC, in the event of charges sheet having already been filed before his arrest,” the judge said.
“I am of the considered opinion that in the present case, charge sheet having been laid against the petitioner even prior to the arrest of the petitioner, the petitioner having been arraigned as an accused and charged with certain offence, I am of the considered opinion that the benefit of Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPc would not arise,” he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)