The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim relief from arrest to a man serving in the Indian Army as Major against whom Complaint was filed by his wife under sections 498-A, 377, 354, 506 of Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. (Amit Pathak Vs The State of Madhya Pradesh)
A two-judge bench headed by Justices Vineet Saran & Dinesh Maheshwari has issued notice to the State of Madhya Pradesh on an appeal filed by an Indian Army Major challenging the order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Gwalior which had rejected his anticipatory bail application filed under Section 438CrPC.
The Apex Court has directed him to implead the complainant as party respondent in his matter and amend the cause title accordingly.
Thereafter the Court has List the matter in the 2nd Week of July, 2021. “In the meantime, the petitioner shall not be arrested in connection with FIR No. 38 of 2021 registered with Women Police Station, Padav, Gwalior,” directed the Apex Court.
Amit Pathak was charged under various offences such as 498-A,377, 354, 506 of IPC r/w 4 Of Dowry Prohibition Act,1961 . Ld. Senior Counsel , Anjana Prakash argued that offence of section 498-A, 377 of IPC has just been added to circumvent Arnesh kumar Judgment(Arnesh Kumar v State of Bihar) 2014 8 SCC 273. Also, there shall be cogent reason to put such persons behind prison.
The counsel of Amit pathak raised contentions that Petitioner, who is serving in Indian Army as Major is apprehending his arrest on the basis of registration of offence referred above. It is further submitted false case has been registered against him at the instance of his wife with whom he share domestic disputes and incompatibility. Complainant/ wife has tried to convert the case of domestic dispute / harassment on the pretext of alleged dowry demand into grievous offence by involving allegations for commission of offence under Sections 354 and 377 of IPC but no such event ever took place.
Amit Pathak placed WhatsApp chats and certain photographs to bring forth the real facts which prove that their personal disputes got settled down after some time and were living happily together, but she filed a false case against the petitioner on some pretext.
Amit Pathak filed his first pre arrest bail application U/s 438 CrPc before High court of Madhya Pradesh and vide order 08.04.2021 , it was rejected outrightly, stating the reason that “Allegation for offence under Section 377 of IPC referred in complaint / FIR / statement under Sections 161 and 164 and from allegations, it appear that alleged act has been committed repeatedly to outrage and undermine the modesty and dignity of a woman. Beside that, allegations of preparation of video clips also levelled by the complainant / wife. Although FIR may appear to be bit delayed prima facie (only for bail purpose) and medical report nowhere suggests any injuries but at this stage, investigation may contemplate custodial interrogation.”
FOR REFERENCE – ARNESH KUMAR V. STATE OF BIHAR 2014 8 SCC 273
Arnesh Kumar v. the State of Bihar is a landmark judgment, which was pronounced by the Apex Court as it imposed further checks and balances on the powers of the police before an arrest under section 498-A of Cr.P.C can be done which deals with dowry cases.