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MP High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Man Over “Trivial” Charges Of Cruelty

The Madhya Pradesh High Court granted anticipatory bail to a man accused of cruelty and harassment for dowry by his wife, stating that if the applicant goes to jail, the marriage would almost surely come to an end “as thereafter there would be hardly any chances of compromise”.

By Dimple Kaushalya

The applicant filed an application under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. for grant of anticipatory bail as he was apprehending his arrest in connection with an FIR under Sections 294, 498-A and 34 of the IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

In this case, the applicant is the husband, whose wife stays separately and has filed the FIR on 19.6.2020.

The allegations in the said FIR were that the applicant was abusive towards the complainant, demanded a gold chain of five tolas, and asked for the land owned by her father. She also alleged that the victim locked her up for long durations, denied her medical help, and forced her to perform unnatural sex. 

The counsel for the applicant submitted that the FIR is according to a complaint that he made regarding his in-laws taking his wife away and not allowing her to cohabit with him. The said complaint was lodged on 8.6.2020 i.e. on a date preceding the registration of the FIR. It was further argued that he has preferred an application under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights only after the registration of the FIR as he could not do it before, on account of the lockdown due to COVID-19.

The counsel for the complainant objected to the grant of anticipatory bail in view of the allegations leveled against the applicant in the FIR which, according to him, are grave and serious.

Perusing the above facts, the Single Bench of Justice Atul Sreedharan found that the allegations are “very trivial” and “can happen in any matrimonial home”. 

Further, the Bench stated that “marriages would always experience some friction or the other”, and noted that there no signs of injury on the body of the complainant as per the MLC. Hence, the Court expressed the opinion that if the applicant goes to jail, the marriage would almost surely come to an end as thereafter there would be hardly any chances of compromise.

“However, as the allegations reveal that they are trivial in nature, a window of compromise or settlement is always kept open”, stated by the bench while granting pre-arrest bail.

Advocate Mr. Surendra Patel appeared for the applicant, Mr. Utkarsh Agrawal, as the Panel Lawyer for the respondent-State, Mr. Paritosh Trivedi, for the objector.

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