The Kerala High Court granted bail to a resident of Gujarat accused of abetment of suicide in connection with a cyberbullying case observing that the right to bail cannot be denied merely due to the sentiments of the society.

The Bench considered the fact that the accused had been in judicial custody for the last 94 days and the investigation in the case was complete and recovery has been effected.

A Single Bench of Justice C.S. Dias observed, “The principle that bail is the rule and jail is an exception is the touch stone of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Once the charge sheet is filed, a strong case has to be made out for continuing a person in judicial custody. The right to bail cannot be denied merely due to the sentiments of the society.

Advocate S. Justus represented the petitioner, while Sr PP C S Hrithwik appeared for the respondent.

The accused was charged under Sections 384 and 306 of the IPC and Section 67A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (the Act). The prosecution alleged that the accused and three others were responsible for the suicide of the deceased who was the brother of the de-facto complainant.

The prosecution alleged that the accused had created an online application, which was downloaded by the deceased. Using the said application, the accused hacked the entire contents (data) from the phone of the deceased. They, thereafter, morphed the hacked photographs of the deceased and sent his naked pictures to his wife and other friends. It was due to the said act of the accused, the deceased allegedly committed suicide as per the prosecution.

The bail application was opposed for the following reasons: downloading data from the deceased's phone, morphing his pictures, and blackmailing him, leading to his suicide. The prosecution argued that if the bail was granted, there was a likelihood of the accused intimidating witnesses and tampering with evidence.

The High Court remarked, “On a perusal of the prosecution allegation, it can be gathered that prima-facie the overt act alleged against the petitioner is that the accused Nos.1 to 3 had used the petitioner's internet connection to download the data from the phone of the deceased.

I am of the definite view that the petitioner’s further detention is unnecessary. Hence, I am inclined to allow the bail application,” the Court held.

Consequently, the Court granted bail to the accused on a bond of Rs. 50,000, subject to stringent conditions.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the application.

Cause Title: Ali Ajith Bhai Kalvathar v. State of Kerala (Neutral Citation: 2024/KER/32899)


Petitioner: Advocates S. Justus and Sojan M.J.

Respondent: Sr PP C S Hrithwik

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