” Bail granted by Karnataka High Court to Mahesh in Domestic Violence and Abetment to Suicide Case”
In a recent judgment, the Karnataka High Court, Kalaburagi Bench, granted bail to Mahesh, the petitioner in Criminal Petition No. 200339 of 2023. The petition was filed under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, seeking bail in connection with Crime No. 119/2022 of Nimbarga Police Station. Mahesh was accused of offenses punishable under Sections 498A (domestic violence) and 306 read with Section 34 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The court, presided over by the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rajesh Rai K., examined the facts and circumstances of the case before rendering its decision.
The case revolves around the unfortunate demise of Shivalamma, who was married to Mahesh, the petitioner. According to the complaint filed by Kalyani Ramanna Jogan, Shivalamma’s mother, Shivalamma initially had a happy married life. However, after about a year, she allegedly faced physical and mental harassment from Mahesh and his mother, accusing her of not being good-looking and lacking cooking skills. A Panchayat (community meeting) was convened, where the petitioner and his parents were advised to treat Shivalamma properly. Despite the advice, the petitioner and his mother continued to harass her.
On December 5, 2022, the petitioner’s mother locked Shivalamma out of the house and informed her that Mahesh had left and she should join him. Disturbingly, the next day, Shivalamma’s parents received news that she had fallen into a well and committed suicide. The police registered a case based on the complaint, and during the investigation, Mahesh was arrested on December 8, 2022.
The petitioner’s counsel argued that the specific allegations in the complaint were against Mahesh’s mother, who had already been granted bail by the High Court in a separate petition. They contended that Mahesh had never physically or mentally harassed his wife or incited her to commit suicide. The counsel further highlighted that Mahesh had been in custody since his arrest and that the investigation was almost completed, making his continued incarceration unnecessary.
The prosecution, represented by the learned High Court Government Pleader, countered that the investigation papers indicated Mahesh’s direct involvement in his wife’s suicide. They argued that Mahesh had subjected Shivalamma to physical and mental harassment, leading to her tragic decision.
After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court analyzed the complaint and facts of the case. It noted that the petitioner’s mother had locked Shivalamma out of the house, but there was no evidence of instigation or active involvement by Mahesh immediately prior to his wife’s death. The court cited precedents from the Supreme Court, which require proof of direct or indirect incitement to suicide to sustain charges under Section 306 of the IPC. Mere allegations of harassment without proximate actions compelling the person to commit suicide are insufficient.
Additionally, the court mentioned that Mahesh’s mother had already been granted bail by the same court in a related case. Considering these factors, the court concluded that Mahesh should be granted bail. The petitioner/accused was granted bail on the conditions of executing a personal bond, not tampering with prosecution witnesses, appearing before the Trial Court as scheduled, and obtaining prior permission if leaving the jurisdiction of the trial court. The prosecution retained the right to seek cancellation of bail in the event of any violation of these conditions.
In the case of Mahesh vs. The State, the Karnataka High Court, Kalaburagi Bench, granted bail to Mahesh, the petitioner accused of domestic violence and abetment to suicide. The court examined the complaint, which primarily implicated Mahesh’s mother, and found no evidence of direct or indirect incitement by Mahesh leading to his wife’s suicide. Relying on precedents and considering the circumstances, the court granted bail to Mahesh, imposing certain conditions to ensure his compliance with the legal proceedings.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREEYA S SHEKAR