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Cruelty or harassment before death- raises presumption of dowry death, the onus is on the accused: Delhi High Court

Section 304B was incorporated in the Penal Code, 1860 by the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1986 (Act 43 of 1986). The object of the amendment was to curb dowry death. Section 304B does not categorize death, it covers every kind of death that occurs otherwise than in normal circumstances.

The petitioner was granted regular bail, considering all the facts and circumstances and in light of the allegations made against him, however he shall not leave the NCR region without permission of the Trial Court and shall not contact any of the witnesses of the prosecution and directly or indirectly influence them, Delhi High Court presided over by J. JAYANT NATH held in the case PRAVEEN @ PARVEEN V. STATE [CRL. M. A. 14935/2020]

Facts of the case are that marriage between the petitioner and the deceased was solemnized on 12.12.2018. The death took place within six months from the date of marriage. On 01.07.2019 statement of Shri Arun Kumar Viz/Complainant was recorded who is the father of the deceased by the SDM Dwarka. The FIR in question was registered under Section 304B/498A/34 on 02.07.2020. A perusal of the FIR showed that the marriage between the petitioner and the deceased was solemnized on 12.12.2018. The barat had come from Pavti Village, District Panipat. The barat came without a horse, baggi, drum and there was a gathering of only about 50 persons in the barat. For the ring ceremony also only 11 persons had come. It was contended that no demand of dowry etc. was raised. However, it was brought into light that Rs.50,000/- was given after the marriage on the ground of financial constraint.

Nonetheless, it was urged by learned counsel for the petitioner that the marriage between the petitioner and the deceased was a love marriage. A very small barat had come and the marriage was celebrated without any pomp and show. Also, it was also stated that it was on account of temperamental differences and the fact that the parties have come from different backgrounds and that the deceased was unhappy and committed suicide.

However, the Allegations against the petitioner were denied. JUSTICE JAYANT NATH stated that It appears that the marriage was by consent of the couple and was a simple affair. The couple used to stay separately. No evidence has been found against the parents of the petitioner. The court further stated that, “The bail application is disposed off and the petitioner will furnish a bail bond for a sum of Rs.50,000/- with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of the Trial Court and also the petitioner shall provide his phone number and phone number of the surety which shall be kept on at all times to enable the Investigating Officer to contact them, if required.”

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