The Petitioner’s Custody can not become ground for bail : High Court of Karnataka

The criminal petition filed under section 438 of Cr.P.C. (Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest) for the enlargement on bail for the offence punishable under Sections 498A( husband or relatives of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty),304(b)( Dowry death), 302( punishment for murder), 212 (harboring offender) with Section 34 of IPC (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and under Sections 3( penalty for giving or taking dowry), 4( penalty for demanding dowry) and 6 ( Dowry to be benefits of the wife or her heirs ) Dowry prohibition Act by the petitioner. And the petition is rejected by the High court of Karnataka through the learned bench led by the Honorable MR. JUSTICE H P Sandesh in the case of Mujeeb Ahmed vs State of Karnataka ( criminal petition no.7676/2021) on 20th January 2022.

Brief facts of the case are that at the time of marriage, the petitioner and his family members have demanded an amount of Rs.3,00,000/- as dowry and an amount of Rs.2,00,000/- along with gold articles were given at the time of marriage and marriage was performed in the year 2017 and the petitioner and the victim gave birth to a child and the dowry harassment was still continued. On the date of incident, the deceased was in her parental house with her child and the petitioner came there and took the victim to his house leaving the child in her parental house and started quarreling with her and committed murder by strangulating the deceased and escaped from the spot. Based on the complaint, the police have registered the case, investigated and filed the charge-sheet.

Arguments presented by learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner that though an allegation is made against this petitioner is that he has strangulated the victim and the medical evidence not corroborates with the same and the counsel also submits that as per the PM report of the deceased, the deceased not died due to any pressure over the neck and accused Nos.2 and 3 have been enlarged on bail and there is a delay in lodging the complaint and there is no explanation for the said delay and this petitioner is in custody from the last 1½ years and only based on the voluntary statement, the prosecution has build up the case hence, the petitioner is entitled for the bail.

Arguments presented by the learned High court government pleader appearing on behalf of the respondent that the additional documents produced by the petitioner himself show that in terms of the opinion of department of Forensic Medicine dated 18thJune 2020, it is clear that the possibility of death resulting from cardiac arrest due to vagal inhibition cannot be ruled out considering the circumstances mentioned and such as pressure over the neck. Hence, it is clear that it is a case of strangulation. The learned High Court Government Pleader for the State submits that on the very same day, this petitioner took the victim to his house from her parental house leaving the child there itself and committed the murder and the witnesses that is , CW30 and 31 who have been witnessed to the incident stated that after committing the murder, this petitioner left the house in a motorcycle and apart from that the other witness that is CW8 also stated with regard to the panchayat held and hence, there is prima facie materials against this petitioner and hence, prayed to dismiss the petition.

Finally the court concluded in favour of respondent and held that sole custody of the accused cannot be the ground for bail and rejected the bail petition of petitioner. And the bail petition is rejected by the court.

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Judgement Reviewed by Sugam Anand Mishra

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