The Karnataka High Court observed that an accused is not entitled to bail merely because the co-accused was granted bail.

The Court observed thus while it rejected a bail petition of a man accused of murder and other offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).

The court observed that, within the context of the plea for parity, it is essential to independently assess each offence and corresponding actions instead of indiscriminately adhering to bail orders for co-accused.

The plea of parity that is projected is not binding, as individual offences and individual overt acts are to be assessed and not to simply follow orders of other accused who are enlarged on bail and on parity grant the same. The parity at best is persuasive”, the Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna observed.

Advocate Lethif B appeared for the Petitioner and Government Pleader K.P. Yashodha appeared for the State.

The Petitioner/ Second Accused approached the High Court by way of a Petition seeking bail in a case registered under the IPC, including Sections 143, 144, 148, 341, 342, 323, 324, 364, 307, 302, and 506 read with Section 149. The Petitioner’s previous bail applications were rejected. The Petitioner, having been granted the liberty by the court to readdress the issue under changed circumstances, filed a new criminal petition seeking bail.

The Court noted that the Third Accused was granted bail due to an urgent need for surgery on the left knee and spine, as supported by a medical report. The Court, in that case, also took into consideration that the mother of the Third Accused was suffering from cancer. Another accused was released on bail through a previous order, which occurred before the rejection of bail for the Petitioner. Thus, this earlier release does not constitute a changed circumstance for the Petitioner.

The Court observed that the Petitioner was accused of severe charges, including being the first to use a chopper to cut the hands of the deceased, assaulting the deceased with a stick, and later dismembering the hands.

However, the Court emphasized that the plea of parity is not binding, as each offence and overt act must be individually assessed. The court refers to the doctrine of parity, as explained by the Apex Court in the case of Neeru Yadav v State Of Uttar Pradesh [(2016) 15 SCC 422], where the Court noted that parity is at best persuasive and should not be blindly followed.

The Court observed that the mere fact that other accused individuals have been granted bail does not automatically entitle the Petitioner to the same relief. “Therefore, merely because other accused are enlarged on bail, the petitioner would not get a right to get himself enlarged on bail. The submission that the petitioner/accused No.2 and accused No.5 are similarly placed is unacceptable as individual overt act by the petitioner has a chilling effect on any petition considered for enlargement on bail. A persuasive parity would not mean that the petitioner would also be enlarged on bail”, the Bench noted.

The Court observed that persuasive parity does not guarantee the Petitioner's release on bail. Additionally, the Petitioner's claim regarding his father's medical condition is deemed as an attempt to secure bail and is deemed unacceptable by the court.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Petition.

Cause Title: Almas Pasha v The State Of Karnataka

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