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Restitution of conjugal rights cannot be condition for anticipatory bail under Section 498A: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has refused to impose the condition that the accused husband, after getting anticipatory bail under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), should take his wife to his house and maintain and honour her.

The orders were recently passed by the Division Bench of Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Satish Chandra Sharma

As per the case, the accused husband (appellant) had applied for anticipatory bail before the High Court of Jharkhand, Ranchi Bench. While allowing the application, the High Court imposed a peculiar condition, directing the husband to take his wife to his home and maintain her with dignity and honour.

The High Court directed the petitioner to surrender in the Court within six weeks, noting that in the event of his arrest or surrendering, he will be enlarged on bail on satisfying the trial court that the petitioner has taken the opposite party no.2 to his house at Bandra locality of Ranchi and keeping and maintaining her with full dignity and honour as his lawful wife.

The husband again moved the High Court, praying for modification of the above order. He contended that he had hired a house and was ready to maintain his wife. Per contra, the wife contended that she was willing to resume her marital life provided that her husband joined her in their own house. The High Court dismissed his plea on the grounds that the appellant was resolute in not resuming his life with his wife at his own house.

The appellant accused then moved the Apex Court, which held that such a condition could not be imposed while granting anticipatory bail.

The top court of the country observed that neither such condition should have been imposed by the High Court while granting an anticipatory bail, nor such could be a ground for rejection of the petition filed by the appellant.

(Case Title: Kunal Choudhary vs The State of Jharkhand)

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