MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Tuesday granted bail on a bond of Rs 25,000 to K L Ray (60) who is accused of murdering his daughter-in-law. He was arrested in January 1, 2021. Justice Bharati Dangre granting bail saying, merely because the accused left for his native place the day after she went “missing” two weeks before her body was found, such conduct “by itself cannot implicate him for the offence of murder.”
The case, known as the Aksa Beach murder case, led to police filing the chargesheet against Ray and two co-accused for murder and criminal conspiracy, as well as the offence of destruction of evidence under section 201 of IPC. On December 24, 2020 a police officer on duty at MAlvani police station received information from a Naval official that a big gunny bag was found ashore behind INS Hamala and a human leg protruded from it, as did a foul smell.
The police on opening it, found a body wrapped in a red-bedsheet. It was a woman in a “highly decomposed” state.
Ray’s lawyer Harekrishna Mishra said the case is based on circumstantial evidence with no proof of his client’s involvement or motive in the alleged bogus story of “contract killing’’.
The HC order noted that “even witnesses residing in the neighbourhood do not refer to any quibble between her and her father in law”.
“Merely because one circumstance in the charge-sheet that when his daughter went missing, the applicant left for his native place by taking a fight, which circumstance the learned A.P.P. ( A A Takalkar) is harping upon, shall not relieve the prosecution of its burden to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt,” said Justice Dangre.
“The prosecution has failed to attribute any motive to the applicant for eliminating the deceased by any material compiled in the charge-sheet. The applicant will take the consequences of the accusations faced by him at the time of trial and his guilt will be established,’’ said the HC adding, “A chain of events should exclude every possibility, hypothesis of the applicant’s innocence.
Since the material compiled in the charge-sheet, prima facie, fall short…, the applicant deserves his release on bail.’’