The Supreme Court on Monday set aside a bail order granted by the Rajasthan High Court to a man accused of murdering his brother-in-law in an alleged case of caste killing in 2017, Live Law reported.
The deceased, Amit Nair from Kerala, was shot dead by the brother of his pregnant wife from Rajasthan, as she married outside her caste, according to Bar and Bench.
In December, the Rajasthan High Court had granted bail to the accused, Mukesh Chaudhary, who is facing trial under Sections 302 (murder), 452 (assault or wrongful restraint) and 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy cancelled the bail order on Monday based on a plea filed by the woman challenging the High Court verdict.
The Supreme Court ordered Choudhary to surrender and directed the trial court hearing the matter to complete proceedings within a year.
In her plea to the Supreme Court, the petitioner Mamta Nair, said that the incident took place in 2017 when her parents and two other men barged into her home and shot Amit Nair. Mamta Nair was six months pregnant at that time.
The incident took place six years after Mamta and Amit got married in 2011. However, they did not inform Mamta’s parents about the wedding. After she told her parents in 2015, they refused to accept the relationship and made her renounce all rights to her family’s property.
The couple then remarried in 2015 according to rituals followed in Kerala, Bar and Bench reported. The same year, she filed a police complaint alleging that her family was threatening her. She withdrew the complaint after her family said they would not interfere any further.
However, on May 17, 2017, her parents and two others went to the Nairs’ home and put pressure on her to return. When Mamta refused, a man allegedly hired by her parents shot Amit, killing him. In her plea, Mamta submitted that the killing was a plot conspired by her parents, her brother and hired men. The parents were also arrested.
After Choudhary received bail in December, he tried to intimidate Mamta, the woman said in her petition. She approached the Supreme Court as she was worried for her safety and that of her three-year child.
Appearing for the petitioner, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising said it was “a blatant case of honour killing” of husband of a woman who married against her family’s wishes in an inter caste marriage, Live Law reported.
Pointing out that the Mamta’s mother has also been granted bail by the Rajasthan High Court, Jaising expressed concern that the case will collapse.
“The problem is all these accused will come out before trial,” Ramana observed in response to Jaising’s argument. “Today mother got it, tomorrow father will come out.” Advocate HD Thanvi, appearing for the state of Rajasthan, also submitted that the bail should be cancelled.
The Supreme Court then decided to set aside the Rajasthan High Court judgement.