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The Court declined pre-arrest bail as there was a strong probability of foul play in the death of the deceased.: High court of Patna

The petitioner was arrested under Section 304B IPC, “Dowry death”, section 201, “Causing disappearance of evidence of the offense, or giving false information to screen offender” and section 120B, “Punishment of criminal conspiracy”, section 34IPC, “Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention”. This is in connection with Kotwa PS Case No. 342 of 2019 dated 26.11.2019.

This judgment was given in the high court of Judicature at Patna by honorable Mr. Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on the 29th  of July 2021 in the case of Asha Dev and others versus the state of Bihar criminal miscellaneous, No.35510 of 2020 Mr. Pravin Kumar Represented as the advocate for the petitioner and Mr. Rajendra Prasad represented as the additional Public Prosecutor, the proceedings of the court were held via video conference. The following are the facts of the case, the petitioners being family members of the husband of the deceased they were accused of being a party to the killing of the informant’s sister.

The counsel for the petitioner held that the relatives of the husband of the deceased were residing separately, which was later transpired to be false and the husband and the deceased had a love marriage and according to the FIR, the husband of the deceased called up the informant to inform him about his sister’s death and here the family was not hiding anything. The family members also visited during the cremation process but later on the informant lodged a case regarding the same. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the deceased before marriage was suffering from epilepsy and was a chronic patient.

The Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that since section 304B states that when death happens within seven years of the marriage the relatives of the husband can be made liable under section 304B since in our case the death happened within three years, it is clearly a dowry death, the prosecutor objected the case made by the counsel for the in-laws of the deceased, and held that according to the witness the in-laws stayed with the deceased and the cremation was done without informing the deceased’s family. Only a very vague statement was made regarding the death of the young girl but no explanation was made regarding the same, another indication to why the in-laws were displeased was because it was a long marriage and regarding the illness, there is no strong evidence to claim she died from the illness and the in-laws failed to provide her medical aid and the in-laws failed to register an unnatural death in this case. Therefore, the petitioners must be held liable for causing dowry death.

After considering the facts and circumstances of the case the court held that “The sheer conduct of the petitioners, who are in-laws of the deceased and living in the same house, coupled with the fact that the marriage was a love marriage, indicates that the petitioners were not satisfied with the same, and, thus, there is a strong probability that there was some foul play in the death of the deceased as it occurred within three years of marriage and that the deceased was a young girl. Further, it was submitted, that nothing has come during the investigation to even indicate that any effort was made by the petitioners to get any kind of medical aid to the victim which cannot also be lost sight of.”

The court concluded that “The Court is not inclined to grant pre-arrest bail to the petitioners. Accordingly, the petition stands dismissed. Interim protection granted to the petitioners under order dated 29.06.2021, stands vacated.”

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