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Allahabad High Court grants bail to man accused of killing wife for not making food

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The Allahabad High Court has granted bail to man, who was accused of killing his wife for not making food for him.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by one Ganesh.

This is the second bail application on behalf of the applicant. The first bail application was rejected by a co¬ordinate Bench of the Court order dated January 30, 2019.

By means of the application, the applicant is seeking enlargement on bail during the trial in Case under Sections 498-A, 302, 326, 323, 504, 506 IPC, Police Station Jhangha, District Gorakhpur.

The facts of the case are that the impugned FIR has been lodged by the informant/complainant, who is the father of the deceased, alleging that he solemnized marriage of her daughter with the applicant Ganesh s/o Harishchandra, resident of Kona, Police Station Jhangha, District Gorakhpur and in the said marriage, sufficient dowry was given but her son¬in¬law (applicant) and his  family members were not happy with the dowry given in the said marriage.  

It is further alleged that when the daughter of informant went to the house of the applicant, she was tortured and harassed by the applicant and his family members and she was also beaten by the accused persons.

It is further alleged that the applicant pressurized her daughter to bring Rs 2 lakhs from her parents and when the said demand was not fulfilled, the applicant and other co-accused persons abused and threatened to kill his daughter by burning.

It is further alleged that the applicant was having an illicit relationship with the wife of his brother.  

Ultimately, on 25.07.2013 in the evening, the informant received a telephone call from sasural of his daughter that his daughter has been burned by pouring kerosene oil by her husband and his family members and she is admitted in Sadar Hospital, Gorakhpur. The informant/complainant immediately rushed to the hospital where he  saw that his daughter had been burned and she was struggling for her life. The informant/complainant asked his daughter about the incident, then she told that she has been burned by her husband, devrani Ranjana Devi, dever Kanhaiya, mother¬in¬law and father¬in¬law by pouring kerosene oil upon her. The victim  was admitted in District Hospital, Gorakhpur where she died on 01.08.2013 at about 5.15 am. As per postmortem report, the cause of death is due to septic shock.

The contention as raised at the Bar by counsel for the applicant is that the applicant-accused is quite innocent and has been falsely implicated in the case. The applicant has never committed any offence as alleged in the impugned FIR. The applicant is the husband of the deceased. The whole case is based on the statement of the victim/deceased, who narrated the entire incident to the Investigating Officer as well as Magistrate.

Counsel for the applicant has not disputed the dying declaration of the deceased and his sole argument is that even if it is assumed that the applicant has committed the offence as alleged in the impugned FIR as well as dying declaration, no offence under Section 302 IPC is made out against the applicant. The deceased in her statement has clearly stated that on the date of alleged incident i.e on 25.07.2013 in noon, she could not prepare the food due to non availability of vegetables for which her husband lost his temper and started beating and poured kerosene oil upon her and burned. Maximum this case can travel up to the limits of offence under Section 304 Part II IPC because the deceased died after 8 days of the alleged incident due to septic shock and maximum punishment for the offence under Section 304 Part II of IPC is 10 years. Further contention is that the applicant is languishing in jail since 04.08.2013 having no previous criminal history and he has already served more than 9 and ½ years in jail, hence, the applicant may be enlarged on bail. It has been assured on behalf of the applicant that he is ready to cooperate with the process of law and shall faithfully make himself available before the court whenever required. 

Per contra, R.P Mishra, Additional Government Advocate for the State has vehemently opposed the prayer for bail by submitting that being the custodian of his wife has misused his position and set his wife to   flame, which ultimately resulted into her death. The applicant is the perpetrator of the alleged crime in question. Before death, the deceased has given a dying declaration specifying that the applicant caused burn injuries. The offence is heinous in nature, hence, the applicant is not entitled for any relief and the bail application is liable to be rejected.

The Court observed that,

Perusal of dying declaration of the deceased clearly shows that on the date of alleged incident i.e on 25.07.2013 in noon, when the   deceased could not prepare the food due to non availability of vegetable for which her husband lost his temper and started beating and poured kerosene oil upon her and burned. It means that there was no premeditation for the applicant to commit such an offence as alleged against him.

It is also an admitted fact that the deceased was admitted in hospital and she remained under treatment in hospital for 8 days and thereafter she died after 8 days of the incident in question. During the course of treatment developed septicemia, which was the main cause of death of the deceased. It is, therefore, established that during the aforesaid period of 8 days, the injuries aggravated and worsened, as a result, she died due to septic shock.

Perusal of record showed that the victim was admitted in District Hospital, Gorakhpur on 25.7.2013 at about 6.30 pm and during treatment after 8 days of the alleged incident, she died on 01.08.2013 at about 5.15 am. It means that the deceased remained alive for about eight days. Perusal of the post-mortem report of the deceased reveals that the deceased has received superficial to deep septic burn from face to umbilicus, whole back of both upper limb and the cause of death has been mentioned as septic shock.

The Court noted that,

In Maniben vs State of Gujarat, the incident took place on   29.11.1984. The deceased died on 7.12.1984. Cause of death was the burn injuries. The deceased was admitted in the hospital with about 60 percent burn injuries and during the course of treatment developed septicaemia, which was the main cause of death of the deceased. Trial-court convicted the accused under Section 304 Part-II IPC and sentenced for five years’ imprisonment, but in appeal, High Court convicted the appellants under Section 302 IPC. The Apex Court has held that during the aforesaid period of eight days, the injuries aggravated and worsened to the extent that it led to ripening of the injuries and the deceased died due to poisonous effect of the injuries. Accordingly, judgment and order convicting the accused under Section 304 Part-II IPC by the trial court was maintained and the judgment of the High Court was set aside.

“Considering the overall facts and circumstances, the nature of allegations, the gravity of offence, the severity of the punishment, the evidence appearing against the accused, submission of the counsel for the parties, considering the principle laid down by the Courts in the above referred case laws, I am of the view that it is a fit case for grant of bail”, the Court further observed while allowing the bail application. 

The Court ordered that,

Let the applicant¬Ganesh involved in the aforesaid case be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond and two heavy sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned subject to following conditions :

(i) The applicant shall file an undertaking to the effect that he shall not seek any adjournment on the date fixed for evidence when the witnesses are present in Court. In case of default of this condition, it shall be open for the Trial Court to treat it as abuse of liberty of bail and pass orders in accordance with law.

(ii) The applicant shall remain present before the Trial Court on each date fixed, either personally or through his counsel. In case of his absence, without sufficient cause, the Trial Court may proceed against him under Section 229¬A IPC.

(iii) In case, the applicant misuses the liberty of bail during trial and in order to secure his presence proclamation under Section 82 CrPC, may be issued and  if applicant fails to appear before the Court on   the date fixed in such proclamation, then, the Trial Court shall initiate proceedings against him, in accordance with law, under Section 174¬A IPC.

(iv) The applicant shall remain present, in person, before the Trial Court on dates fixed for (1) opening of the case, (2) framing of   charge and (3) recording of statement under Section 313 CrPC. If in the opinion of the Trial Court absence of the applicant is deliberate or without sufficient cause, then it shall be open for the Trial Court to treat such default as abuse of liberty of bail and proceed against him in accordance with law.

(v) The Trial Court may make all possible efforts/endeavours and try to conclude the trial within a period of one year after the release of the applicant.

In case of breach of any of the above conditions, it shall be a ground for cancellation of bail.

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