In the case of Syed Bilal & Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh (CRIMINAL PETITION No.4200 OF 2022) decided through the learned bench led by Justice Subba Reddy Satti, the Andhra Pradesh High Court was of the opinion that the entire family had been roped into the controversy and so granted them anticipatory bail in case of dowry as the attempt to murder charges were not proven.
Facts of the case: A family was booked for the offense of attempt to murder under sec 307 and offenses under sec 498 A, husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty read with sec 34 i.e. acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. The family was also booked under sec 3 and 4 of the dowry prohibition Act 1916.
It was claimed that the first petitioner i.e. the husband of the victim used to harass the complainant for dowry along with his parents, brothers, and sisters. Not just harassment but according to the complainant once the accused beat her and as she fell down they tried to strangulate her with a scarf, and this being the last straw she with help of her uncle filed a report against all the accused.
Whereas the accused claimed that they were falsely implicated in the case and they were adamant that under no circumstances will they be charged for an offense like an attempt to murder, also there was no medical evidence showing what the claimant alleged happened to her meaning no medical examination or no wound certificate had been produced to show the injures she sustained and hence the argument was that all the family members of the first petitioner were being roped in.
Judgment: the special assistant public prosecutor opposed the bail application and submitted that investigation was still in the ongoing process and so the attempt to murder complaint is still valid as claimed by the victim and so the accused cannot get a pre-arrest bail.
But the court stated that the prosecutor from the victim’s side was not able to produce a single piece of evidence proving the authenticity of the injury she sustained. And hence considering the facts and circumstances of the case it the opinion of the court that the family members of the petitioner were being roped in.
At last, the court granted bail to all the accused and asked them to furnish a self-bond for Rs.20,000/- with two sureties for a like sum, also asking the accused to cooperate with the investigation and to not tamper with the evidence or turn any witness hostile.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY MANAL NASEEM