While granting pre-arrest bail to a man, the Bombay High Court stated that just because a person is charged with murder, his interrogation in custody is not mandatory.
Santosh Mane was granted pre-arrest bail, observing, "Merely because the offence involved is under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC, it is not imperative for his custodial interrogation."
The court also noted that "the man's legitimate apprehension of arrest was enough to seek pre-arrest bail." Also, the alleged offence occurred some three years ago, when he allegedly had a "limited role" and hence "deserves protection from arrest," it added.
On May 20, 2019, a case was registered with the Ghatkopar Police Station by Manoj Dubey, the brother of the deceased, Sanjay. Dubey alleged that in 2017, the accused, Santosh Mane, along with four of his associates, had attacked him with hockey sticks and swords, mistaking him to be Sanjay. Dubey’s brother had allegedly told him that there was a prevailing enmity between him and the accused people, including Mane, and that they could eliminate him at anytime. He even alleged that the police were not acting against Mane in the previous cases.
Mane had sought pre-arrest bail from the HC, contending that the investigation was over and the chargesheet was filed in the case against the co-accused and a limited role of conspiracy was attributed to him, said his counsel, Rajiv Chavan.
And while the police had alleged that Sanjay was assaulted at Mane's behest, the supplementary charge-sheet doesn't show his "exact role."
"It is not the case of the prosecution that he was present on the spot." Moreover, the CDR compiled in the charge-sheet only established communication between Imran (alleged co-conspirator) and the other accused, added the court.
The honourable Justice Dangre opined that "the material in the chargesheet falls short of establishing a connection" between the accused (Mane) and the death of a man who was assaulted by the three accused.
The court has directed, in the case of arrest, that Mane be released on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000.