Read Order: Rotash Singh vs. State of NCT of Delhi & Anr. 

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, March 2, 2022: While hearing a case of enlargement of an accused on bail who was booked for the offence of dowry death, the Delhi High Court opined that though the trial has not proceeded expeditiously and there are no allegations against the accused (second respondent – husband of the deceased) of tampering with the evidence, however the Trial Court ought not have lost sight of the enshrined principles of bail including the gravity and seriousness of offence. 

The Single Judge Manoj Kumar Ohri therefore observed that the order for bail was passed on erroneous and extraneous reasons ignoring the well settled principles of bail and the Trial Court Judge has failed to appreciate the gravity and seriousness of the offence. 

Going by the background of the case, initially an FIR came to be registered in 2018 u/s 498A/304-B/34 of IPC where-after on receipt of medical opinions of the deceased, Section 302 IPC was added. Later, the Trial Court framed charge u/s 302 IPC and in the alternative u/s 304B/498A IPC r/w/s 34 IPC. Thereafter, the second respondent (husband of the deceased) was granted regular bail. 

Challenging the same, the counsel for the Petitioner urged that the Trial Court neither took into account the gravity of the offence, even though there were enough allegations u/s 304B IPC on record as the incident in the present case has occurred within four months of the marriage between the parties. The counsel also drew attention of the Court to the WhatsApp messages stated to have been exchanged between the deceased and her sister, which have been verified and form part of the record. It was further alleged that the deceased had visited her parental home on bhai dhuj, on which occasion, she conveyed the demand of Rs.6,00,000/- and also expressed her fear that in case of non-fulfillment of the demand, the family members including her husband would kill her. 

On the other hand, the counsel for respondent submitted that he came to be arrested in 2018 and only after suffering custody for more than two years, he was released on bail vide the order dated December 5, 2020. 

After considering the submissions, Justice Ohri quoted the decision in the case of Mahipal v. Rajesh Kumar alias Polia and Another, (2020) 2 SCC 118,  wherein the Supreme Court has highlighted the difference between principles that shall be borne in mind while determining the correctness of an order granting bail vis-à-vis the principles that shall apply to cases where cancellation is sought of bail already granted. 

A bare reading of the record would show that the marriage between respondent No. 2 and the deceased was solemnized on 25.06.2018 whereafter on 19.11.2018 the deceased committed suicide. It has come in the post-mortem report that the deceased was one and half months pregnant”, added the Single Judge. 

Justice Ohri found from the reading of the FIR that the same came to be registered on the complaint of the petitioner (father of the deceased), wherein it was alleged that besides the demands raised by other family members, second respondent had demanded a Baleno car and despite meeting the demands, the in-laws continued to harass the deceased.

Accordingly, the High Court directed the second respondent to surrender before the concerned jail authorities forthwith. 

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