The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on the bail application of a Rajasthan honour killing accused and deferred its pronouncement till July 12, Monday.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice A.S. Boppana, and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, heard the plea filed by the petitioner who is a 29-year-old woman. She has challenged the Rajasthan High Court order granting bail to her brother Mukesh Chowdhary, who was involved in the murder of her husband Amit in an honour killing on May 17, 2017. Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, assisted by Advocate-on-Record Nupur Kumar, appeared for the petitioner and opposed the bail granted to Chowdhary.
Jaising submitted, “There is a danger of emotional blackmail in such close relationships which the woman (petitioner) has resisted for long.” Jaising said, “This is a blatant case of honour killing of the husband of a woman who married against her family’s wishes. It was an inter-caste marriage, she’s from Rajasthan, the man was from Kerala. And the accused (family members) were making attempts to dissuade her from marrying the man long before she thought of marrying him. The mother and father entered her house with a sharpshooter, who shot at the husband point-blank. It was only the neighbours who protected this girl. Otherwise, the plan was to kidnap her.”
Jaising informed the court that the accused’s bail was rejected on two occasions. She also submitted, “Now the mother has also been given bail. Before we know the case will collapse.”
“What has been alleged is a criminal conspiracy between the parents and son to kill the son-in-law and earlier bail was canceled by the Supreme Court saying that it’s not an ordinary case, it’s a case of honour killing. This is a very important social issue,” Jaising said.
Thereafter, CJI Ramana asked Senior Advocate B.K. Shukla, who was appearing for the accused, “What are these orders? Why can’t they wait? The anxiety of your client, before the trial he wants to come out of jail, that’s not correct. Previously, we had canceled. They should have waited for the trial to be completed.”
The bench then ordered that it will pronounce its order on Monday i.e. July 12. The petitioner and her murdered husband were married in 2011 and did not inform the petitioner’s parents until 2015 as their marriage was out of caste and the petitioner’s parents were not ready to bear the news. Consequently, there were continuous threats from the petitioner’s family to kill the petitioner and her husband, Amit.
“On May 17, 2017, the father- Jeevan Ram Chowdhary, Mother-Bhagwani Devi, Ramdevaram (accused who shot the husband of the petitioner) and Vinod Kumar Gaura (accused who was waiting in the get-away car Honda Amaze) came to the residence of the petitioner in the car. The father and mother along with Ramdevaram entered the house of the petitioner and enquired about her husband Amit. Thereafter, they started pressuring the petitioner to come with them to her maternal house,” the plea said.
“On her refusal, Ramdevaram pulled out a country-made pistol and shot the husband of the petitioner in the face at point-blank range resulting in his death. After shooting the petitioner’s husband, Ramdevaram went and stood outside the door to keep a guard. In the meanwhile, the petitioner’s father and mother tried to drag the petitioner by her hair out of the house. During this scuffle, the petitioner and her niece (Vaishvi) started shouting and calling for help. In this commotion, one neighbour named Sona Devi and Vikas Yadav came to rescue and intervened. All four accused persons realizing that they can be caught by the neighbours escaped from the crime scene. All the four accused persons were seen by the petitioner’s neighbor Sona Devi and her son Vikas Yadav while they ran away from the crime scene in their car Honda Amaze. Meanwhile, the petitioner’s husband succumbed to fatal gunshots and was declared dead at the hospital.”
After two days of the incident, Mukesh Chowdhary was arrested by police under the charges of Section 302, 452, 120B of the Indian Penal Code. The Honda Amaze car, which was used by the accused persons, was also recovered from Mukesh Chowdhary from his rented house.