The Andhra Pradesh High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a family accused of demanding dowry from the complainant- daughter in law, and attempting to murder her by strangulation.
Justice Subba Reddy Satti observed that though their were disputes between the husband (petitioner no. 1) and wife (complainant), the entire family had been roped into the controversy.
The family was booked for offences punishable under sections 307 and 498-A, read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter, 'IPC') and sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (hereinafter, 'DP Act').
The prosecution submitted that the first petitioner, along with his parents, brothers and sisters harassed the complainant for dowry. The complainant alleged that the accused persons beat her and after she fell down, they tried to strangulate her with a scarf. After the incident, she discussed the matter with her uncle and filed a complaint in March 2022.
The counsel for the petitioners retained that they were falsely implicated in the case. He insisted that as per the averments in the complaint, at the most, section 498-A read with section 34 of IPC and sections 3 and 4 of the DP Act may be attracted against the petitioners, but not section 307 of IPC. It was also submitted that the complainant had not submitted herself to any medical examination and no wound certificate had been produced to prove the injuries she sustained. They argued that all the family members of the first petitioner were being roped in.
The Special Assistant Public Prosecutor opposed the bail application. He submitted that the investigation was still going on and that the petitioners' attempt to kill the complainant attracted section 307 of IPC, making the accused persons unentitled for pre-arrest bail.
The Court stated that nothing was produced by the prosecution with regard to the injuries sustained by the complainant. The Court was of the opinion that considering the facts and circumstances of the case, and in view of the disputes between the first petitioner and the complainant, all the family members of the first petitioner were being roped in. The court found it a sufficient reason to grant pre-arrest bail to petitioners.
Each of them has been directed to furnish self bond for Rs.20,000/- with two sureties for a like sum. They are also directed to cooperate with the investigation and to not tamper the evidence or influence the witnesses.
Case Title: Syed Bilal & Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AP) 84