HomeIndia2010 Dnyaneshwari Express accident: Calcutta High Court grants bail to 6 accused

2010 Dnyaneshwari Express accident: Calcutta High Court grants bail to 6 accused

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday granted bail to six accused in the 2010 Dnyaneshwari Express derailment case in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

The Mumbai-bound train had derailed near Jhargram and then rammed into a goods train, killing 148 passengers. Officials said the derailment, which happened around 1 a.m. on May 28, 2010, was the result of alleged sabotage by the Maoists. The incident happened soon after the four-day bandh called by the CPI (Maoist).

Granting bail to the six accused, Justices Partha Sarathi Chatterjee and Tapabrata Chakraborty observed that “whatever the nature of the offence”, even in cases filed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the accused Prolonged trial of “would be in violation of” Article 21 of the Constitution. The accused have been in jail for almost a decade.

The investigation into the incident was handed over to the CBI in June 2010 following demands made by the then Railway Minister. Mamata Banerjee, At that time there was a Left government in West Bengal.

The CBI had named 23 accused in the case in its chargesheet filed on November 29, 2010.

The six accused who have been granted bail include Mantu Mahato, Laxman Mahato, Sanjay Mahato, Tapan Mahato, Bablu Rana and Daymay Mahato.

Responding to the arguments of the prosecution, the Calcutta High Court observed that even in cases involving offenses under the UAPA and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, “an undertrial prisoner may be granted bail, which may be given at least one-half of the prescribed minimum sentence.” has suffered, and when there has been a delay which is largely attributable to the prosecution… The due process enshrined in Article 21 creates the right to a speedy trial in favor of the accused and the prolonged delay as presumptive evidence of prejudice. can be taken as”.

The court also observed that the provisions of Section 436-A of CrPC cannot come in the way of grant of bail, where there was delay in the conclusion of trial due to no fault on the part of the accused.

Submissions made by the CBI showed that an average of 17 witnesses were examined per year since the start of the trial in 2013. Out of 245 witnesses in the case, only 177 witnesses have been examined so far.

“In view of this, we are of the opinion that there is no possibility of conclusion of the trial in the near future,” the court said.

The CBI had argued against granting bail.

Criminal lawyer Kaushik Gupta, who represented the accused along with Debashis Roy, said, “The Calcutta High Court has granted bail to these six petitioners under section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The court relied on Article 21 and the right to upheld the liberty of the accused persons by weighing them from the alleged offences.”

“The question is whether the investigative agencies have consistently taken away the liberty of individuals through executive action without judicial determination of the crime. In many such cases, when the accused are ultimately acquitted, they may end up with 10-years of their lives. 12 years are already lost. Under strict action Article 21 is violated by executive through investigative agencies, and then the case is not taken forward. In this case, CBI filed its charge sheet in 2010 In the trial, which is going on, there are some witnesses, who have no end in sight to determine the crime,” Gupta pointed out. Indian Express,

The accused have argued that they have been “wrongly accused and implicated” in the case.

“Your petitioners say that First Information Report was registered against unidentified miscreants and hence it appears that the petitioners have been implicated on the basis of material allegedly collected during the investigation, which is nothing but a scapegoat by the investigating agency here to the petitioners. There are fabricated things. told by the accused.

“Your petitioners submit that though 239 witnesses have been examined, none of these witnesses has been able to throw any direct light on the role played by the petitioners in the alleged commission of that offence,” the plea said. , adding that, “… each of the petitioners is already in custody for 9 years and above, in such a way that it can only be described as punitive imprisonment of the petitioners without any reasoning…’ ‘.

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