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Kerala HC refuses pre-arrest bail to vlogger in wife suicide case

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The Kerala High Court has rejected anticipatory bail to well-known vlogger Mahanas Moidu.

A single-judge bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas passed this order while hearing a bail application filed by Mahanas Moidu.

This is an application for anticipatory bail filed under section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The petitioner apprehends arrest in Crime of Kakoor Police Station alleging offences under Sections 498A and 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The petitioner’s wife had committed suicide on 01.03.2022. The prosecution alleges that the petitioner had subjected his wife to cruelty prior to her death and also abetted the commission of suicide and thus committed the offences alleged.

Rajee P. Mathews, the counsel for the petitioner, contended that the allegations against the petitioner were baseless and that he had been falsely arrayed as an accused.

According to the counsel, the petitioner and the deceased had a very loving marital life and that unfortunately for reasons unknown to the petitioner, she committed suicide. It was further pointed out that there was never any occasion of cruelty or abetment for the commission of suicide, and therefore, the custodial interrogation of the petitioner is not essential.

The Counsel submitted that, in fact, the petitioner has doubts about the involvement of two persons by name Jamshed and Badushah, whose conduct gives rise to suspicion and that there was no other identifiable reason for his wife to commit suicide. It was also submitted that the petitioner is ready to abide by any condition that may be imposed by the Court.

Public Prosecutor K.A. Naushad opposed the application for bail and contended that the investigation conducted so far has revealed instances which point towards abetment of the commission of suicide and cruel treatment by the petitioner and, therefore, custodial interrogation is essential.

Advocate Rameez Nooh appeared for the mother of the deceased and contended that her daughter was subjected to matrimonial cruelty due to which she committed suicide. It was argued that the deceased was well-known among the youth and there was no reason for her to commit suicide other than the cruelty inflicted by her husband.

The Court noted that the petitioner and his deceased wife were both well-known vloggers. They were residing in the United Arab Emirates. However, on 01-03-2022, the petitioner’s wife committed suicide inside their bedroom. She was in her early twenties. Their marriage allegedly took place on 11-02-2015. The petitioner is alleged to have abetted the commission of suicide. The petitioner denies any sort of cruelty or abetment of suicide. However, he doubts the involvement of certain other persons as the cause of the commission of suicide.

“On the ill-fated day, the petitioner and his deceased wife were inside the bedroom, and the deceased is alleged to have hanged herself immediately after the petitioner walked out of the room. The circumstances that would have led the deceased to hang herself is a matter which could be within the knowledge of the petitioner. The circumstances surrounding the death of the petitioner’s wife could be elicited only by custodial interrogation.

Considering the statement of witnesses, as seen from the case diary, and on an appreciation of the circumstances surrounding the case, I am of the view that this is not a fit case where pre-arrest bail could be granted. The custodial interrogation of the petitioner is essential for eliciting the truth surrounding the death of the petitioner’s wife.

In the above view of the matter, I am not inclined to allow the bail application,” the Court observed while dismissing the bail application.

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