In this case of dowry harassment, The Jammu Court, responding to the proviso under section 437 of Cr. P.C said, “In the case in hand which is quite serious in its gravity and complicity of accused-applicant is quite explicit, does not entitle her for grant of anticipatory bail.”
By: Anish Khondo, 5th Year law Student at Christ (Deemed to be) University, Bangalore.
The case was tried in the Additional Sessions Court at Jammu where the judge Tahir Khurshid Raina raised concerns on how dowry death crime is on the rise and despite all efforts, there is no decline in its rising graph. The court also made an order to the society to be aware of illegal dowry and its impact that the whole family gets adversely affected The judge also raised concern for “awakening the moral conscious of the society towards such horrible happenings in our families.” Keeping on this, the judge also mentioned about “the Counseling Centers will be entrusted with the responsibility of pre and post-marital parleys between the families to ensure harmoniously.” And how this is going to bring ease, peace, and harmony in matrimonial disputes.
In this case, the deceased was a 32-year-old woman who had committed suicide due to continuous cruelty and torture by her in-laws for the demand of dowry. Her husband, brother-in-law, and mother-in-law were held accountable for the cruelty and torture caused to the deceased which made her take her life. The husband and the brother-in-law were put behind bars whereas the applicant-accused who is the mother-in-law is struggling to be saved from Jail and asking order for anticipatory bail from the court.
The applicant-accused i.e. the ‘mother-in-law’ submitted that “She is not involved in any unlawful activity, much less kind of imputation made against her in the said FIR. She is suffering from multi ailments, quite aged woman and presently under treatment in a Military hospital.” On account of this, the investigating officer on investigating the case further concluded that she was under some treatment in a Military hospital in Jammu but she was discharged on 23.10.2020.
The investigating officer also stated that “there is no such material on record which suggests that her ailment is so fatal that she be granted anticipatory bail on this ground in such a serious offense wherein she has been projected as the main troubleshooter for the deceased to commit suicide.”
The learned Counsel for the applicant then referred to Section 437 Cr. P.C stating that a woman and infirm can be granted bail in non-bailable offenses.
In response to this, the judge referred to directive provision as held by its own Hon’ble Jammu High Court stating that the application of case depends upon facts and circumstances of each different case and in this case, the gravity is very serious and complicity of accused-applicant is quite explicit.
Hence the court is unable to grant anticipatory bail. Lastly, the Additional Sessions Court held that “Fact remains that Anticipatory bail is meant only for those bonafide persons who are unnecessarily roped in an offense on account of some vengeance, etc. and not for those who are explicitly involved in serious offenses like dowry death and seek anticipatory bail. In view of it, what stand discussed in the foregoing paras, this application is accordingly rejected.”