Read Order: Komaljeet Kaur v. State of Punjab 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, June 7, 2022: While dealing with a case wherein attention of the Court was brought to the fact that on account of patchy inquiry in case of burn injuries suffered by a married woman, an FIR was registered under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against the Superintendent of Police, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has refused to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner-accused. 

Considering the above-stated fact, the Bench of Justice Pankaj Jain held, “Keeping in view the circumstances in the present case and the fact that the Investigating Authority that too at the level of Superintendent of Police, is facing proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in this very case for having botched up the inquiry/investigation, I find that this is not a fit case where the petitioner can be granted relief of pre-arrest.”

Apprehending her arrest in an FIR registered under Sections 307, 326-A, 148, 149 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Sections 302 and 120-B IPC added later on and Sections 307 and 326-A IPC deleted by Police) at Police Station Khanauri, District Sangrur, the petitioner sought pre-arrest bail (anticipatory bail). 

Essentially, in this case, the victim sustained burn injuries and on being brought to the hospital in such state, she suffered her first Statement before Police wherein she did not  accuse any person qua the incident, and rather stated the same to be an outcome of leakage of a cylinder.

However, on the very next day i.e. on 27th of February, 2022, she suffered another Statement again before the Police Authorities wherein she implicated her in-laws including the petitioner of having caused burn injuries to her. Thereafter, she suffered Statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. which was in consonance with the Statement suffered by her on 27th of February, 2022.

Against this factual position, the case of the petitioner was that she, at the time of incident, was in fact more than 150 Kms away from the place of occurrence and that the said fact came out in inquiry conducted by the Police on the basis of the CCTV footage as well as location of the mobile of the petitioner. 

On the contrary, the State Counsel assisted by Counsel appearing for the father of complainant, submitted that in fact it was a case wherein the victim herself deposed about the occurrence and that too in her Statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. recorded prior to her death. 

The Counsel appearing for the victim also brought to the notice of the Court that on account of patchy inquiry, an FIR was registered under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against the concerned Superintendent of Police, on 9th of May, 2022.

Having heard the Counsel for the parties, the Court observed that plea of the petitioner w.r.t. non-presence on the place of occurrence was the matter of evidence to be looked into by the Trial Court. 

Also, Justice Jain added that any attempt on behalf of the accused to tamper with the investigation would necessarily non-suit the accused from grant of concession of pre-arrest bail. 

Thus, keeping in view the circumstances in the present case and the fact that the Investigating Authority that too at the level of Superintendent of Police, was facing proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in this very case for having botched up the inquiry/investigation, the Court recorded the finding that it was not a fit case where the petitioner could be granted relief of pre-arrest bail. 

 Accordingly, the instant petition was dismissed.  

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