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HC rejects bail application of accused in Ichamati incident

Shillong, June 27: The High Court of Meghalaya has rejected the bail application of eleven accused in the assault incident at Ichamati which led to the death of a KSU activist in February last year.

During the hearing of the case on June 25, the court examined the plea of the counsel for the petitioners to release them on bail on the changed circumstances.

However, the court did not find any changed circumstances cited by the counsel.

The counsel also said that there are about 70 accused persons in the case and most of them have been enlarged on bail, except the accused persons.

The counsel submitted that the accused persons were arrested in  May 2020 and are still in judicial custody at the Tura district jail for more than one year which is a violation of their personal liberty  while  the charge sheet has already been filed.

He also said admittedly a riot had taken place on February 28, 2020 at Ichamati and the accused persons have never participated in the riot, but had gone to the place of occurrence on being curious, however they were arrested by the police in connection with the incident.

The court reiterated that for seeking the benefit of change of circumstances for the purpose of grant of bail after earlier bail applications have been rejected, the accused persons have to bring to the notice of the court that the fact situation has changed, or that the law in this regard has also changed, or where the earlier finding has become obsolete. “In all three instances, except for the fact that the ground of delay was taken by the accused persons, change of fact situation or law or that the earlier order has become obsolete has not been made out in this instant case”, the court said.

The court said it being fully conscious of the concept of personal liberty which is a constitutional guarantee to every Indian citizen under Article 21 is also aware that the same can be curtailed in accordance with due procedure established by law.

“Under the facts and circumstances of this case, this court is constraint to reject the application of the petitioners at this juncture. It goes without saying that in the event, there is a change of circumstances, the accused persons are entitled to approach this court or the trial court with similar prayer”, the court said.

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