The Bombay High Court has rejected the pre-arrest bail application filed under Section 438 of CrPC by two advocates from Sholapur allegedly involved in a Dowry Death Case.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing the application filed by two advocates after an FIR was registered against them for offences punishable under Sections 304B (dowry death), 498A (domestic violence), 306 (abetment of suicide), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (provoking breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) r/w section 34 of the Indian Penal Code at Akluj Police Station, Sholapur Rural.
The complaint was filed by the deceased girl’s father.
According to the prosecution, the deceased married Amol in 2014. During the two years after their marriage, the deceased was subjected to physical abuse and assault by her husband and her in-laws.
The two applicant lawyers, who were related to Amol, allegedly told the deceased to get Rs. 5 lakh for them in order to buy a car, prosecution said.
It was submitted by the prosecution that the deceased had informed her father of the torture and harassment she had faced. In July 2016, she was admitted to a hospital at Bhigwan. The complainant father went to see her.
She informed him that her “husband, father-in-law, the applicants/accused and her mother-in-law were suspicious about her character and assaulted her with kicks and fist blows and banged her head on the wall” and, therefore, she was admitted to the hospital.
It is also the case of the prosecution that one of the applicant lawyers, who was Amol’s cousin, demanded sexual favours from his sister-in-law (deceased), which she refused.
After this, the deceased was forced to register a false rape case against another family member with whom the two accused applicants had personal enmity.
The very next day, the deceased’s mother found assault marks on her daughter’s body. During this time, it was found that the deceased was pregnant. Thereafter, legal notices were sent by the accused applicants and Amol filed for divorce in November 2016.
Two months later, on February 12, 2017, Amol’s wife committed suicide by hanging herself.
Senior counsel AP Mundargi appeared for the accused applicant lawyers.
He argued that his clients were innocent and that there was no evidence to show that they abetted the deceased’s suicide.
He also argued that since the deceased had already registered a complaint against the accused applicants under the same charges in October 2016, another complaint cannot be filed on the same charges.
Also, the deceased had left her husband’s house in October 2016, thus, for four months before the suicide she had been staying in her father’s house, Mundargi argued.
Mundargi also stated that since the deceased and Amol were not living together, there was “no occasion to have direct contact with the deceased” and that when the divorce petition was filed, she was pregnant, which may have been a reason for the suicide.
Observing how the notice sent by the accused applicants in their capacity as lawyers was full of personal allegations against the deceased, Justice Bhatkar noted that the two advocates had prima facie acted in dual capacity.
The court said: “The postmortem notes disclose that a dead fetus of 20 to 22 weeks was found in the body of the [deceased]. All these aspects have a cumulative impact which drove her to commit suicide. Thus, the time of four months was not a cooling period but was a period of sinking during which she completely felt humiliated and lost self-respect and committed suicide. Thus, prima facie, I am of the view that there is evidence against the applicants/accused and hence, the bail application is rejected.”
Read the order here.