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Praveen v/s State of Karnataka


Company & Directors' Information:- PRAVEEN INDIA LTD . [Active] CIN = L21029WB1983PLC036326

Company & Directors' Information:- PRAVEEN & COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1999PTC098397

    Criminal Petition No. 201490 of 2019

    Decided On, 08 January 2020

    At, High Court of Karnataka

    By, THE HONOURABLE DR. JUSTICE H.B. PRABHAKARA SASTRY

    For the Petitioner: Sanjay A. Patil, Advocate. For the Respondent: P.S. Patil, HCGP.



Judgment Text


1. The petitioner has sought for regular bail under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure in Crime No. 23/2019 of Women Police Station, Bidar, District Bidar registered for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 304B read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code (hereinafter for brevity referred to as ‘IPC’) and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act arising out of C.C. No. 1968/2019 pending on the file of I-Additicnal Civil Judge and JMFC, Bidar.

2. The present petitioner is admittedly the husband of the deceased Narmada who is said to have been given in marriage to the present petitioner in the year 2014. According to the complainant, at the time of the marriage 60 grams of gold and a cash of Rs. 1,51,000 was given to the present petitioner as dowry. Though the petitioner was not in Government service as on the date of his marriage with deceased Narmada, subsequently, when he got a Government appointment on compassionate ground, the complainant alleges that, he started demanding additional sum of Rs. 7,00,000 stating that he has become a Government employee. It is in that situation, the present petitioner joined by his other family members, were said to have subjecting the deceased to constant cruelty. The complainant has further stated that on the demand of the petitioner, some more financial assistance to an extent of Rs. 20,000 was also made to them to enable them to have a separate residence. Despite the same, the petitioner being the husband of the deceased, continued to demand an additional sum and placed a demand for Rs. 7,00,000 on the pretext that he would secure a job to his wife in a private establishment. When the complainant is said to have rejected the said demand, the petitioner is said to have intensified his alleged cruelty against the deceased. It is in that circumstance, on 20.7.2019 the deceased is said to have committed suicide by hanging herself in her house.

3. After registering the complaint for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 306 read with Section 34 of IPC, the police have conducted investigation and have filed charge sheet against the present petitioner and three more accused for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 304B read with Section 34 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

4. Learned Counsel for the petitioner, in his argument, submitted that even after going through the complaint, nowhere it mentions that the alleged demand for Rs. 7,00,000 was in the form of dowry. There are no materials to show that soon prior to her death, the deceased was subjected to cruelty, particularly in connection with demand for dowry. As such, the ingredient of Section 304B of IPC is not made out. He further submits that investigation has already been completed and the petitioner, who is a Government servant, is languishing in jail. He submits that the petitioner would be abide by the conditions imposed by this Court for enlarging him on bail.

5. Per contra, learned High Court Government Pleader who has filed his statement of objections submitted that the complaint gives a clear account of cruelty meted to the deceased after her marriage with the present petitioner. Incidentally, even on the date of the alleged incident also the deceased was subjected to cruelty as could be seen from the charge sheet papers. In such a situation, the petitioner does not deserve to be enlarged on bail.

6. The complainant is the mother of the deceased, who in her complaint itself has given a detailed account about the performance of marriage of her daughter deceased Narmada with the present petitioner in the year 2014. She has stated that at the time of marriage, valuables in the form of dowry including 60 grams of gold and a cash of Rs. 1,51,000 was given to the accused by them. However, some of the ornaments were sold or pledged by the family of the accused and the entire cash of Rs. 1,51,000 was spent by them. It is thereafter they are said to have started demanding an additional sum of Rs. 7,00,000. But it cannot be ignored that the complainant in her complaint has stated that the said alleged demand of Rs. 7,00,000, said to have been made by the petitioner, was on the pretext that the said sum is required to secure a job to the deceased in a private establishment. When his alleged demand was turned down by the complainant, the deceased is said to have proceeded to commit suicide due to the alleged further cruelty for which she is said to have been subjected to.

7. In such a scenario, when the alleged further demand of the deceased for Rs. 7,00,000 is apparently, and at this stage, shown to be the cause for the deceased committing suicide, though within seven years of her marriage with the petitioner, but the question still remains as to whether said demand amounts to a demand for additional dowry and the another question also remains as to whether the deceased was subjected to cruelty in connection with dowry soon prior to her death. The answer to the same can be obtained only in a full-fledged trial. For the time being, suffice it to say when such a vital question remains open for the trial and considering the fact that the investigation has already been completed and charge sheet has been filed, continuation of the petitioner in judicial custody, who is said to be a Government servant, is not warranted. However, the apprehension of the prosecution that the accused may flee from justice can be checked by imposing reasonable conditions. Accordingly, I proceed to pass the following:

ORDER

The petition is allowed. The petitioner is enlarged on bail in C.C. No. 1968/2019 pending on the file of I-Addl. Civil Judge and JMFC, Bidar arising out of Crime No. 23/2019 of respondent-police station registered for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 304(B) read with Section 34 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. However subj

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ect to the conditions: (i) That accused/petitioner shall execute a personal bond for a sum of Rs. 1,00,000 and furnish two local solvent sureties for the like sum to the satisfaction of the enlarging Court. (ii) The petitioner to give in writing about the change in his address, if any, to the Investigating Officer as and when such change occurs and obtain acknowledgement in that regard. (iii) The accused/petitioner shall appear before the Court on all the dates of hearing. (iv) The accused/petitioner shall not hamper or tamper the prosecution witnesses and documents in any manner. Petition allowed.
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