Read Order: Ajay v. State of Haryana

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 09, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to the petitioner accused of poisoning the deceased-complainant with whom he was in a decade-long relationship after her divorce from her previous marriage, on the grounds that the relationship between both the parties was consensual, the investigation of the case was completed, the petitioner did not have criminal antecedents and the veracity of the allegations had to be evaluated by the Trial Court. 

The instant petition was filed under Section 439 Cr.P.C. praying for grant of regular bail to the petitioner in an FIR registered against him under Sections 323, 328 and 34 IPC (Sections 323 and 34 IPC stand deleted during investigation and Section 306 IPC was added), at Police Station Hisar Sadar. 

Essentially, in this case, Anju (deceased), a divorcee, was in a decade-long relationship with the present petitioner. However, in February 2021, after losing contact with him for a week, she went to his house where the petitioner was present with his mother. The petitioner’s mother was troubled by the presence of the deceased and she, along with her son, physically assaulted the deceased. 

It was the claim of the deceased in her complaint that the mother-son duo mixed something in water and made her drink. Thereafter, the petitioner left the home and the deceased followed him and boarded a bus which the petitioner took. Later on she started feeling uneasy and became unconscious, as a result of which she was admitted to a hospital. On the basis of the deposition of the deceased, the above-mentioned FIR was lodged. 

On the very next day in the hospital, the complainant died; the investigation began and during the course of this investigation, the offence under Section 302 IPC was deleted. Hence, the petitioner was being prosecuted for the offences under Sections 306, 323, 328 and 34 IPC and was eventually arrested. He approached the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Hisar for grant of bail. After hearing the parties, the Additional Sessions Judge, Hisar declined the bail. 

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the present case was nothing but an abuse of the process of the Court. He submitted that both the petitioner and the deceased were of the age of majority. It was also his case that admittedly, the petitioner and the deceased were in a consensual relationship and there was no coercion of any nature, whatsoever, from the side of petitioner with the deceased. He contended that there was a compromise between the petitioner and the deceased before the panchayat, where they agreed to not to have any relationship thereafter.

The Counsel also argued that no case under Section 306 read with Section 107 IPC is made out as the petitioner did not instigate the deceased to commit suicide. He further contended that as per the FSL report, on conducting post-mortem, aluminium phosphide was detected and that the poison detected (having pungent smell) was never administered forcefully. Lastly, he concluded his submissions by stating that the petitioner was not involved in any other criminal case; the investigation was already completed and after framing of the charges, evidence was being recorded by the trial Court. 

The State counsel, on the other hand, opposed the submissions of the counsel for the petitioner and submitted that the statement made by the deceased before her death was nothing but a dying declaration. He submitted that there were specific allegations against the petitioner and his mother having mixed something in water, which was administered to the deceased. He also informed the Court that the brother of the deceased appeared before the trial Court and filed an application under Section 319 Cr.P.C. for summoning the mother of the petitioner as well. 

After considering rival submissions, the Bench of Justice Rajesh Bhardwaj observed at the very outset, that as per the FSL report, the aluminium phosphide was detected in the post mortem. The relationship between the petitioner and the deceased, appeared to the Court to be prima facie consensual. The Court also noted that both the parties were of the age of majority and that the investigation in the case already was completed; charges were framed and the trial Court was now seized of the matter for recording the evidence. 

Also, the Court observed that there was nothing on record showing the petitioner’s involvement earlier in any of the criminal cases and that the veracity of these allegations would be evaluated by the trial Court only after the conclusion of the trial. However, while refraining itself from commenting on the merits of the case, the Court found that the counsel for the petitioner succeeded in making out the case for grant of regular bail to the petitioner. 

Accordingly, the present petition was allowed and the petitioner was ordered to be released on bail to the satisfaction of the concerned trial Court/Duty Magistrate.

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