The court does not inspire confidence with regard to their innocence and rejects pre-arrest bail to the petitioners arrested under Sections 304-B/34 IPC: High court of Patna

The petitioners were arrested under Section 304-B, “Dowry death”, section 34IPC, “Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention”. This is in connection with Banka (Barahat) PS Case No. 683 of 2019 dated 23.09.2019.

This judgment was given in the high court of Judicature at Patna by honorable Mr. Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on the 5th of August 2021 in the case of Bhawani Devi others versus the state of Bihar criminal miscellaneous No.1440 of 2021, Mr. Md. Najmul Represented as the advocate for the petitioner and Ms. Pushpa Sinha represented the state of Bihar as the additional Public Prosecutor, the proceedings of the court were held via video conference.

The following are the facts of the case, petitioner no.1 is the mother-in-law and petitioner no.2 and 3 are the brothers of the husband of the deceased. The petitioners have been accused of being party to the killing of the deceased as her body was recovered from a pond.

The counsel for the petitioners held that the petitioners lived separately from the couple and have no connection with any foul play that has taken place. The couple was married years prior to the incident and they have two minor children and therefore no one in the right mind would indulge in such a crime. It was also held that there has been no past abuse from the husband and no complaint as well regarding the same before any authority. According to the FIR, there was a demand for dowry, and the deceased was tortured before her death but there is no evidence to prove the same. As the pound was in the temple located at the village, the deceased might have slipped and drowned in the pond and therefore there was no foul play by the petitioners, the husband has been held in custody and the petitioners have no other criminal antecedent.

The Additional Public Prosecutor held that according to the circumstances it clearly indicates the role played by the petitioners in the crime. It was transpired that the family members all living in the same house and if the deceased had not returned home, it was the duty of the family to look for her or approach the police for the same which they failed to do. The informant who was residing in a different place heard the news and came to the place at 11:00 AM and found the body in the pond. This shows that the petitioners committed the crime because it is natural to look for a missing family member. Therefore, the family of the husband of the deceased has much more explaining to do regarding the fact she was living in the matrimonial home.

The high court concluded that “Having considered the facts and circumstances of the case and submissions of learned counsel for the parties, the Court finds substance in the contention of learned APP. The conduct of the petitioners, as has been submitted by learned APP, does not inspire confidence with regard to their innocence. For reasons aforesaid, the Court is not inclined to grant pre-arrest bail to the petitioners.  Accordingly, the petition stands dismissed

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