It is the prosecution case that the Appellant No.1 Amol Vahile was the head of an organised crime syndicate. His father had contested municipal council elections in the year 2007 against one Avinash Tekawade (the deceased in the present case). In the said election, an independent candidate namely Maruti Bhapkar was elected. The Appellant No.1 was of the belief that because of the division of votes between his father and Avinash Tekawade, a third person had won the election. The Appellant No.1 was also aggrieved by a notice issued by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Corporation in respect of demolition of cattle shed. He was harbouring the suspicion that the notice was issued at the instance of Avinash Tekawade. Thus, he was holding strong grudge against Avinash Tekawade. It is further prosecution case that the Appellant No.1 wanted to develop supremacy over Avinash Tekawade in his local area and therefore, he entered into a conspiracy with other accused to commit murder of URS 3 of 12 4 APEAL 376-17 Judgment.odt Avinash Tekawade.

In furtherance of this conspiracy, on 03/09/2015 at about 1.45 p.m., the Appellant No.1 Amol Wahile, the Appellant No.2 Kishor Bhigwankar and the Appellant No.3 Balaji Shinde committed murder of Avinash Tekawade near his house. The FIR was lodged by Avinash's wife Sujata on 03/09/2015 at Pimpri Police Station vide C. R. No.500 of 2015 under Sections 302 read with 34 of the IPC and under Sections 3(25) of the Arms Act and Section 37(1) read with Section 135 of the Bombay Police Act. The FIR was lodged against two unknown persons. These two unknown persons had used a revolver and a knife. The deceased was assaulted with knife.


Whether delay in deciding bail applications violates the matter of personal liberty as per Article 21 of the Indian constitution?


In the instant case, the accused, being in custody for over seven years, had preferred a bail application before the Bombay High Court, however, the Bombay High Court without hearing the application on merit has asked the applicant to approach the trial court to seek bail. Challenging the decision of the High Court, the accused preferred the criminal appeal before the Supreme Court, where in a previous order dated 29.01.2024, the Supreme Court expressed concern over the non-exercise of jurisdiction vested in the High Court to decide the bail application on merits. The Supreme Court restored the case with the High Court while setting aside the impugned order. The Supreme Court further observed that the non-deciding of bail application expeditiously deprives the accused of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

“Needless to state that Article 21 of the Constitution of India is the soul of the Constitution as the liberty of a citizen is of paramount importance. Not deciding the matter pertaining to liberty of a citizen expeditiously and shunting away the matter on one or the other ground would deprive the party of their precious right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”

The Supreme Court directed its Registrar (Judicial) to communicate this order to the Registrar (Judicial) of the High Court, who shall place the same before the Chief Justice of High Court of Bombay.