By LE Desk

New Delhi, June 10, 2021: The Supreme Court has granted interim six-week bail to a man accused of dowry demands and causing his wife’s death to allow him to take care of his three-year-old sick daughter. The court noted the man’s father-in-law also wanted the accused out for the sake of the child.

“Considering the fact that the three-year-old daughter of the petitioner is suffering from Acute Bacillary Dysentery–C, anaemia and she needs optimum care and supervision, we deem it fit at this stage to release the petitioner on …interim bail for a period of six weeks,” said a bench of justices Indira Banerjee and MR Shah on Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported.

The man’s wife was in August last year found hanging in their house in Agra. Her family claimed she was murdered for dowry. The man’s family maintained the woman died by suicide after two miscarriages. The couple had adopted the girl.

The father-in-law filed a dowry death and harassment case against the man. The Agra police concluded the woman died by suicide after being allegedly tortured for dowry.

The husband was arrested on August 7 last year while the Allahabad high court granted anticipatory bail to his parents, sister, and brother. His father-in-law challenged the bail in the Supreme Court.

In December last year, the Supreme Court said the suicide note of the woman was leaked to the media within two days of her death and that it compromised with the fairness of the investigation. It cancelled the pre-arrest bail given to her in-laws and handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation. “…the conduct of the investigation thus far diminishes this Court’s faith in directing a further investigation by the same authorities (Agra police),” it said.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the accused, asked for an interim bail to ensure the well-being of his daughter. Rohatgi said the man was in jail since August and this incarceration has taken a toll on his daughter.

The bench asked why he should be let out when the grandparents could take care of the child. Rohatgi responded that he has checked with Sanjay Kharde, the lawyer for the child’s grandfather, and that the latter supported the plea for bail for the sake of the child.

Kharde echoed Rohatgi. “She has always stayed with her father and mother after her adoption. She does not eat properly, nor does she sleep well. The child has a depressive state of mind. She keeps asking about her father and mother. We are supporting this plea only in the interest of the child,” said Kharde.

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