Karnataka HC grants Bail to Udaya Kumar Shetty, a bank supervisor, accused of harassing a woman, leading to her suicide.



Dated on: 16th MAY, 2024



In Criminal Petition No. 3835 of 2024, Udaya Kumar Shetty, a Supervisor at SLDCC Bank, sought anticipatory bail after being implicated in a case where the wife of Vijay Kulal allegedly committed suicide. The prosecution claims Shetty harassed the victim with false accusations of fund misappropriation, which led to her suicide on March 20, 2024. Initially, a complaint mentioned she attempted suicide after leaving the office abruptly. A subsequent complaint on March 25, 2024, alleged Shetty and others scolded her at her home, prompting her suicide. The court granted Shetty anticipatory bail, citing inconsistencies in the complaints and imposing conditions for his release.

Issues framed by Court:

  1. Whether Udaya Kumar Shetty, the petitioner, has been falsely implicated in the case.
  2. Whether there is sufficient prima facie evidence to suggest Shetty’s involvement in the offenses under Sections 504, 448, 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), read with Section 34, as alleged by the prosecution.
  3. Whether Shetty is entitled to anticipatory bail, considering the circumstances of the case, the evidence presented, and the potential risk of him absconding or interfering with the investigation.

Legal Provisions:

Section 438 Of Cr.P.C: It deals with the provision of Anticipatory Bail.

Section 504 of IPC: Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace.

Section 448 of IPC: Punishment for house-trespass.

Section 306 of IPC: Abetment of Suicide.

Contentions of the Appellant:

The appellant, Udaya Kumar Shetty, argued that he’s innocent and wrongly accused in the case. He’s just a supervisor at the bank, not involved in any misconduct. The complaint against him changed over time, suggesting inconsistencies. Initially, it was said the victim attempted suicide after leaving her job abruptly. Later, it was claimed that he, along with others, went to her house and scolded her, leading to her suicide. He believes these contradictions cast doubt on the case against him. Therefore, he requested anticipatory bail, asserting that he won’t flee and will cooperate with the investigation.

Contentions of the Respondent:

The respondent, representing the State of Karnataka, argues that Udaya Kumar Shetty, the petitioner, should not be granted anticipatory bail. They claim that there is evidence suggesting the petitioner’s involvement in the events leading to the victim’s suicide. According to the respondent, Shetty, along with others, allegedly harassed the victim by falsely accusing her of misusing funds, which ultimately drove her to take her own life. They assert that there is enough initial evidence to suggest Shetty’s complicity in the offenses outlined in the complaint. Therefore, they argue that granting anticipatory bail to Shetty may impede the investigation and compromise justice.

Court’s Analysis and Judgement:

The court examined a case where Udaya Kumar Shetty, a bank supervisor, was accused of harassing a woman, leading to her suicide. There were two conflicting versions of events which suggests that she attempted suicide after leaving work, along with claim that Shetty and others scolded her at home, prompting the suicide. However, the hon’ble court found these contradictions troubling, leading to doubts about Shetty’s involvement. As a result, they granted him anticipatory bail, meaning he wouldn’t be arrested if the police investigated further. However, certain conditions were imposed, like surrendering to the investigating officer and cooperating with the investigation. This decision was made to ensure fairness and prevent Shetty from fleeing, allowing the investigation to proceed smoothly.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Shramana Sengupta

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