Supreme Court of India.

Bail granted to “honour” killing accused cancelled by SC

THE Supreme Court Monday cancelled bail to an accused in an honour killing case in which he allegedly conspired to kill his brother-in-law.

Mamata Nair, the petitioner, approached the top court seeking to cancel the bail granted to her brother by the Rajasthan High Court.

Pronouncing the order, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said the high court order was unsustainable and hence quashed. The accused was directed to surrender. The matter was heard by a three-judge bench that also had Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy.

The bench also directed to complete the trial within a period of one year.

The high court in December 2020 allowed the bail application filed by the petitioner’s brother, Mukesh Chaudhary through a “cryptic” order. It was his fourth bail application. In 2018 also, the accused was granted bail by the high court which the Supreme Court had cancelled on an appeal filed by the mother of the deceased.

The so-called honour killing took place on March 17, 2017 when the father of the petitioner, Jeevanram, mother, Bhagwani Devi, one Ramdevaram (man who fired the shot) and one Vinod Kumar Gaura (the man in the get-away car) entered the petitioner’s house and shot the deceased at point-blank range.

Opposing bail, senior advocate Indira Jaising, for the victim, told the court that “There is a danger of emotional blackmail in such close relationships which the woman (petitioner) has resisted for long.”

“This is a blatant case of honour killing of the husband of a woman who married against her family’s wishes. It was an inter-caste marriage, she’s from Rajasthan, the man was from Kerala. And the accused (family members) were making attempts to dissuade her from marrying the man long before she thought of marrying him. The mother and father entered her house with a sharpshooter, who shot at the husband point-blank. It was only the neighbours who protected this girl. Otherwise, the plan was to kidnap her.”

Jaising added that if bail to the accused was not canceled, all other accused in the case would also walk free on bail during the pendency of the trial

The Rajasthan government also opposed the bail granted to the accused.

The petitioner, Mamata Nair, was represented by senior advocate Indira Jaising, assisted by advocate-on-record Nupur Kumar and advocates Aanchal Singh while the accused was represented by senior advocate VK Singh.

Click here to read the order