NEW DELHI: Sensitive to the society’s cry for justice, the Supreme Court on Wednesday took strong exception to an Allahabad High Court order granting bail to a person accused of kidnapping and murder of a two-year-old girl in Aligarh and suo motu initiated proceedings for cancellation of the bail. A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli were taken aback when Mehandi Hasan, a co-accused in the case, cited the bail granted to main accused Zahid in the case and sought parity while arguing that he has already been in jail or last more than two years. The CJI told the accused, “how the High Court could grant bail to the main accused in such a heinous crime? We will issue notice to him and ask why his bail should not be cancelled.” It was even more surprising to the bench that the Uttar Pradesh government had not challenged the HC order granting bail to the main accused in a case involving a heinous offence. A two year-old girl was kidnapped and murdered allegedly by Zahid in conspiracy with two others. Body of the toddler was found in a garbage dump located next to Zahid’s house. Police investigations revealed that Zahid in conspiracy with others had kidnapped the girl and murdered her as the girl’s father was repeatedly asking Zahid to return the money he had taken on loan. The petitioner before the Sc, who is co-accused along with Zahid in the case, was arrested after a witness told the police that he had heard Zahid, petitioner and their family members having a conversation to teach the girl’s father a lesson for bothering them for repayment of loan amount. The murdered little girl’s brother, who was seven-year-old, told the police that he saw Zahid enticing his sister with a cookie and taking her away. The incident was reported to Aligarh police on May 30, 2019 by the girl’s father Bhanvari Lal. The HC first granted bail to Sabusta, a co-accused in the case, on October 23, 2019. Zahid was granted bail by the HC on February 18 this year followed by bail to another co-accused Aslam on June 30, 2021 on the ground that the case was entirely based on circumstantial evidence. The CJI-led bench pointed out to Mehndi Hasan’s lawyer as to how the HC could come to a conclusion that that the case was based only on circumstantial evidence when the victim’s brother had categorically accused Zahid of enticing his sister with a cookie and then taking her away, thus clearly specifying the role of the accused. The bench then suo motu issued notice for cancellation of bail granted to Zahid by the HC.

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