Read Order: Lal Chand @ Lally & another v. State of Punjab 

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 12, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to four members of a family in an abetment to suicide case, observing that the material witnesses are either close relatives of the victim or police officials and there does not seem to be any possibility of their being won over by the accused.

In March this year, Kehar Chand, a taxi driver from Punjab’s Phagwara town, killed himself and his two children — son aged about 9 years and daughter aged about 11 years — following a dispute with his wife who had gone to her parental house.

According to the complaint by Kehar Chand’s family, there was a comprise between husband and wife earlier this year and she had agreed to come back and live with him. But when he went to her parents’ house to bring her back, she refused to accompany him and he was insulted.

The complainant alleged that after his wife threatened to take him to court, Kehar Chand could not tolerate the “harassment”. He killed himself and his children on March 5, 2021 by administering poison to both his children and then consuming poison himself.

Based on this complaint, the police booked four members of the wife’s family for abetment to suicide and arrested them thereafter.

In the bail plea before the High Court, the counsel for the woman’s parents contended that she refused to accompany the victim voluntarily and had filed a petition under Section 125 Cr.P.C. claiming maintenance. Thereafter, upon coming to know about the filing of the case, the victim allegedly ended his life and also killed his two children.

The woman’s family further argued that in the given facts, it would be debatable if the statutory remedy adopted by her can be construed as an abetment and as the investigation of the case is complete, therefore, further custody of the petitioners, who are parents and brothers of the wife, may not be necessary and they sought bail.

Deciding the matter, a bench of Justice Manoj Bajaj said that considering the facts of the case, “this court is of the opinion that further custody of the petitioners, who are presently confined in judicial custody after their arrest on 18.03.2021 and 05.03.2021 respectively, may not be necessary as the trial is likely to consume considerable time to complete. The material witnesses are either close relatives of the victim or the police officials and there does not seem to be any possibility of their being won over”.

Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the HC ordered that the petitioners be released on regular bail.

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