Petitioner no. 1 has performed inter-caste marriage therefore the parties were well aware of the status of each other at the time of marriage: High Court of Patna

The petitioner no.1 was arrested under Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code, “Punishment for criminal breach of trust”, Section 420, “Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property”, Section 380, “Theft in dwelling house, whoever commits theft in any building, tent or vessel, which building, tent or vessel is used as a human dwelling, or used for the custody of property, shall be punished with imprisonment and fine,” Section 120B, “ Punishment of criminal conspiracy”, Section 34 IPC, “Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.” The petition is in connection with Bettiah Muffasil (Banuchhapar) [PS Case No. 561 of 2019] dated 05.10.2019.

In the High Court of Judicature at Patna, this judgement was given by Honorable Mr Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on the 20th  of September  2021 in the case of Nikita Kumari and others Versus the State of Bihar, [Criminal Miscellaneous No. 34225 of 2020] Mr Bimlesh Kumar Pandey represented as the advocate for the petitioner, Mr Jagdhar Prasad represented the State of Bihar as the additional Public Prosecutor, and Mr Yogesh Chandra Verma,  represented as the advocate for the informant, the proceedings of the court were held via video conference.

The case relates to the facts wherein the petitioner who is the wife of the informant was accused of concealing the fact of her already being married and she took a huge sum of money from the informant and failed to return the same. Further her brothers abused and assaulted the informant and the petitioner along with her relatives had taken away jewellery worth Rs. 50 lakhs, Rs. 1 lakh cash.

The counsel representing the petitioner stated that the entire FIR is based on false accusations, the informant played a vital role in separating the petitioner no.1 from her first husband and the informant was helping her with her divorce therefore the petitioner’s first marriage was no secret. The petitioner legally has been separated from her first husband and the informant assured her of marriage. The petitioner had got by way of alimony, about Rs. 7 lakhs from her previous husband and after her second marriage she took the money to her matrimonial home and the informant was fully aware of the same. Further, the counsel held that there was a constant demand for dowry from the informant and his relatives.

Petitioner no.1 has not been declared as a proclaimed offender therefore bail cannot be rejected. The petitioner has also lodged a complaint against the informant. The counsel further relies upon the following cases for the purpose of consideration of the prayer for anticipatory bail, Hon’ble Supreme Court in State of MP v. Pradeep Sharma, [(2014) 2 SCC 171]; Jharkhand High Court in Mahendra Kumar Ruiya vs. The State of Jharkhand etc. the counsel held that as the petitioner is a lady and also has an infant son to look after, the informant is caused such chaos to humiliate the petitioner no.1 and her family members because the marriage was an inter-caste love marriage.

The additional public prosecutor held that the petitioner has been accused of cheating and the counsel for the informant held that it is not controverted that there is no order to prove that the petitioner is a proclaimed offender, however, the petitioner does not deserve anticipatory bail as she concealed the fact that she was already married.

The Honourable Court concluded that “the petitioner no. 1 cannot be said to have evaded the process of law or concealed herself. Petitioner no. 1 was available for any interrogation or otherwise which may have been required. Petitioner no. 1 has not been declared a proclaimed offender. Thus, the Court does not find that there is any legal bar for consideration of the present case on merits. Petitioner no. 1 has performed inter-caste Court marriage and there is an infant son born, the same is sufficient to indicate that the parties were well aware of the status of each other at the time of marriage. Thus, the Court is inclined to allow the prayer for pre-arrest bail. Petitioner no. 1, will be released on bail upon furnishing bail bonds of Rs. 25,000/- (twenty-five thousand) to the Judicial Magistrate. The petition stands disposed of in the aforementioned terms.”

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Judgment reviewed by – A. Beryl Sugirtham

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