A rape and murder accused has been rearrested after the Kerala High Court recalled the bail. The accused Safar Shah is charged with abduction, rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl from Ernakulam in January this year, and he was granted bail last week.
But a Kerala HC bench of Justice PV Kunhikrishnan, after hearing arguments on a plea challenging the bail, directed the police to immediately arrest the accused person. Safar Shah, a 32-year-old native of Panangad in Ernakulam district, has been accused of rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl in Kochi. The incident had jolted the state in January this year.
Shah, who had been stalking the girl, had abducted her while she was on the way home from school. Later that night, the girl’s body was found in a tea plantation at Valparai in Tamil Nadu. Safar was arrested by a joint team of Tamil Nadu and Kerala police.
The man was arrested under Indian Penal Code sections 364 (Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 366A (Procuration of minor girl), 376 (Punishment for rape), 370 (Human trafficking) and 302 (Punishment for murder), in addition to charges of sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The move comes after the High Court learnt that the man had secured bail by misleading the court and the prosecution, too, failed to point out the facts of the case. The petition said that the accused got bail after the defence counsel misled the court that the chargesheet was not submitted before a court in the case within 90 days.
According to the police, the accused had misled the court to secure bail. The defence lawyer’s argument was that Safar Shah should be granted unconditional bail since the charge sheet was not filed even 90 days after the arrest. The prosecution submitted that the police were not able to file the charge sheet. And, the investigation officer had to face criticism of the court for the failure in such a serious case.
Shah was arrested on January 8, 2020 and the 90 days since his arrested ended on April 8. The police filed the charge sheet in the trial court on April 1 itself and the court had accepted the charge sheet but the defence lawyer as well as the prosecution hid this fact during the trial in the court.