Friday, February 3, 2023

Allahabad HC denies anticipatory bail to woman accused in dowry death case

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The Allahabad High Court has denied anticipatory bail to a woman whose sister-in-law died in dowry-related violence.

A single-judge bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by the sister-in-law of the deceased.

The application has been moved seeking anticipatory bail in case under Sections 498A, 304B IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, PS Cantt, District Bareilly, with the prayer that in the event of arrest, applicant may be released on bail.

It has been argued by the counsel for the applicant that the applicant is innocent and she has an apprehension that she may be arrested in the above-mentioned case, whereas there is no credible evidence against her. The applicant is the married sister-inlaw of the deceased and that she has been falsely implicated in this case. The marriage of the deceased with the brother of the applicant took place in 2016. The allegation that the applicant or her family members have harassed the deceased on account of dowry, are thoroughly false.

The counsel submitted that in fact the applicant was married 15-16 years back and she was residing in Puducherry and that no specific role has been assigned to her.

It was also submitted that at the time of the alleged incident, the applicant was in hospital. Referring to facts of the matter, it is submitted that the applicant has been falsely implicated in the case.

The counsel has placed reliance upon the case of Manish Yadav vs State of UP, decided on 14.07.2022 in Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application u/s 438 CrPC.

It has been stated that in case the applicant is granted anticipatory bail, she shall not misuse the liberty of bail and will cooperate during investigation and would obey all conditions of bail.

The AGA opposed the application for anticipatory bail and argued the applicant is continuously absconding since last 3-4 years and that process under Section 82 and 83 CrPC has already been executed against the applicant and that a case under Section 174 (A) IPC was also registered against her. Referring to the order of court below, it was pointed out that in fact an award of Rs 10,000 has been declared for the arrest of applicant and thus, the applicant is not entitled to anticipatory bail.

The Court observed that, in the case, it is apparent that the process under Section 82 and 83 CrPC has already been executed against the applicant. In case of Manish Yadav (supra) when the application for anticipatory bail was filed, there was no proclamation under Section 82 CrPC and that process was issued later on but in the case, it is quite apparent that process under Section 82 and 83 Crpc has already been executed against the applicant and even a case under Section 174(A) has been registered against her.

The Court noted that, in case of Lavesh vs State (NCT of Delhi) (2012)8 SCC 730, the Apex Court has held that where accused has been declared as an absconder and has not co-operated with the investigation, he should not be granted anticipatory bail. Recently in the case of Prem Shankar Prasad vs The State of Bihar decided on 21.10.2021, it has been held by the Apex Court that if anyone is declared as an absconder/ proclaimed offender in terms of Section 82 of CrPC, he is not entitled to the relief of anticipatory bail.

“In the case, in view of aforesaid facts, particularly, considering the fact that process under Section 82 and 83 CrPC has already been executed against the applicants, the applicant is not entitled for anticipatory bail,” the Court further observed while rejecting the anticipatory bail application.

“However, it is directed that in case the applicant surrenders before the Court below within two weeks from today and moves an application for bail, the same shall be considered and decided expeditiously in accordance with settled law,” the order reads.

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