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Karnataka HC considered the seized quantity of Ganja (3 kg 49 grams) as an intermediate quantity, not constituting a commercial quantity; Granted bail with conditions.

Case title: MR. SHAIK MOHAMMED HUJEEF VS. STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case no: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.3506 OF 2024

Dated: 16th May , 2024

Quorum: THE HON’BLE MR JUSTICE H.P.SANDESH

Fact of the case:

The background of the case is Mr. Shaik Mohammed Hujeef, the petitioner, was arrested and placed in judicial custody following a raid conducted by the police based on credible information received on 10th March 2024. The police received information alleging that the petitioner was involved in selling Ganja from his residence. A raid was subsequently conducted, and during the raid, 3 kg 49 grams of Ganja worth Rs. 2,40,000/- was seized from the first floor of the petitioner’s premises. Moreover, an amount of Rs. 590/- along with 10 plastic covers was recovered from the petitioner during the raid. The petitioner filed a Criminal Petition (CRL.P) under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) seeking bail in connection with Crime No. 35/2024 of Davanagere Police Station, registered under Section 20(b)(ii)(B) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Issues framed by court:

  1. Whether the Trial Court’s rejection of the petitioner’s bail application was erroneous in light of Section 37 of the NDPS Act.
  2. Whether the quantity of Ganja seized (3 kg 49 grams) constitutes an intermediate quantity, and if so, does it warrant bail.
  3. Whether the petitioner’s custody for 66 days, lack of criminal antecedents, and the non-receipt of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report justify granting bail.
  4. What conditions, if any, should be imposed upon the petitioner if bail is granted.

Legal provisions:

Section 439 of CrPC: Deals with the power of the High Court and the Court of Sessions to grant bail.

Section 20(b)(ii)(B) of NDPS Act: Pertains to the offense of possessing or dealing with a small quantity of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Contentions of Appellant:

Appellant contended that the Trial Court’s rejection of the bail application was erroneous, citing Section 37 of the NDPS Act. Argued that the seized quantity of Ganja (3 kg 49 grams) was an intermediate quantity, not constituting a commercial quantity, thus warranting bail. Asserted non-compliance with provisions such as Sections 42, 50, 52, 55, and 57 of the NDPS Act in the seizure process. Highlighted the petitioner’s custody for 66 days, lack of prior criminal record, and the non-receipt of the FSL report as grounds for bail.

Contentions of Respondents:

 Respondent argued that the Ganja was recovered at the instance of the petitioner from premises owned by him, implying his involvement. Pointed out that the FSL report was pending, and hence, the petitioner was not entitled to bail. Emphasized the importance of preventing drug-related offenses and the need to keep the petitioner in custody pending investigation.

Court analysis& Judgement:

The court considered the seized quantity of Ganja (3 kg 49 grams) as an intermediate quantity, not constituting a commercial quantity. This factored into the decision to grant bail. The petitioner’s 66 days in custody, coupled with the absence of any prior criminal record, were significant factors in favor of granting bail. The court noted the petitioner’s contention regarding non-compliance with various provisions of the NDPS Act in the seizure process, which further supported the grant of bail. Bail was granted with stringent conditions, including executing a personal bond, refraining from tampering with witnesses, appearing before the court as required, and not leaving the jurisdiction without court permission.

Therefore, the court granted bail to the petitioner considering the nature of the seized quantity, the petitioner’s custodial period, lack of criminal antecedents, and alleged non-compliance with NDPS Act provisions. The conditions imposed were aimed at ensuring compliance and preventing any interference with the investigation.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Antara Ghosh

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Karnataka High Court : Upholds Denial of Bail to Orissa-Origin Trial in Bengaluru Drug Seizure Case

Karnataka High Court : Upholds Denial of Bail to Orissa-Origin Trial in Bengaluru Drug Seizure Case

Case title: KUNNA SUNNA AND ORS VS THE STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case no.: CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 4191 OF 2024

Dated on: 16nd May 2024

Quorum:  Hon’ble. MR JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH

FACTS OF THE CASE

The present petition is filed under Section 439 of Cr.P.C seeking regular bail by these the petitioners/accused Nos.1 to 3 in Crime No.359/2023 (Spl.C.C.No.637/2024) of Cotton pet Police Station, Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners and the learned High Court Government Pleader appearing for the respondent-State. Cotton pet sub-division, Bengaluru City for the offence punishable under Section 2(b)(ii)(C) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (‘the NDPS Act’ for short). The factual matrix of case of prosecution is that on 14.09.2023 at about 8.00 p.m., the complainant has received credible information that within the limits of Cotton pet Police Station, Cotton pet main road, Cotton pet, Bengaluru City, the persons of Orissa origin are carrying contraband in their Swift Dezire Car bearing No. OD-24-J 5932. On receipt of information, he has informed the matter to ACP, obtained permission to conduct the raid, informed the matter to panchas and staff, proceeded to the spot. In the spot three persons were found and when the vehicle of accused was checked in that several ganja packets were found packed in a khaki colour cello tape, the total ganja found in the car is 161 K.Gs. The said ganja was kept in the cement bags. A detail mahazar was drawn by seizing the ganja. The report is submitted and case is registered and investigation is also completed and accused Nos.1 to 3 were found with conspicuous position of ganja worth of Rs.1,40,00,000/-, the same is transported from Orissa to Bangalore. The Police have investigated the matter and filed the Charge sheet.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the petitioners are entitled to bail under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.)?
  2. Whether the allegations against the petitioners regarding the transportation of contraband substances are substantiated?
  3. Whether the quantity of ganja seized, the involvement of an Orissa-registered vehicle, and the duration of custody weigh against granting bail?

LEGAL PROVISIONS

Criminal procedure code 1973

Section 439 of Cr.P.C.: This section deals with the special powers of High Court or Court of Sessions regarding bail.

Section 2(b)(ii)(C) of the NDPS Act: Pertains to the possession, sale, purchase, transport, warehousing, use, consumption, import inter-State, export inter-State or import into India or export from India of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Section 42 of NDPS Act: Deals with the power of an authorized officer to seize drugs and substances, the procedure for making such seizure, and the safeguards to be followed.

Section 37 of NDPS Act: This section pertains to the presumption as to offences under certain sections of the Act, including the possession of illicit drugs in small quantities.

 

CONTENTIONS OF THE APPELLANT

The counsel appearing for the petitioner would vehemently contend that the petitioners are innocent and they have not committed the said offence. It is contended that the police arrested the accused Nos.1 to 3 from the native Orissa and fit the case against the present petitioners and implicated them in the present case. They have not transported the same as alleged by the prosecution. The entire CCB office is surrounded by the C.C.T.V footage but there is no description of parking of vehicle Infront of CCB office. No such transportation through the Cotton pet main road. The council also would vehemently contend that even an alleged mahazar is not in compliance with Section 42 of NDPS Act. It is also contended that the complainant police is not made any local witnesses as panchas and there is no bar to make them as local witnesses by seizing the same. The seizure of mahazar in police station is invalid. The counsel also would vehemently contend that these petitioners are in custody from last 10 months. The Counsel also submits that this Court has enlarged the accused persons in a similar set of facts wherein the seized ganja was to an extent of 122.60 Kgs of contraband narcotic substance having the market value of Rs.30,65,000/- was recovered from the vehicle since investigation has been completed and the petitioners are also entitled for bail.

CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENTS

the counsel appearing for the State/respondent would contend that the seizure of ganja is 161 Kgs, the same is worth about Rs.1,40,00,000/- and also the counsel would vehemently contend that they are the residents of Orissa and they are not the local persons. Apart from that even the vehicle which is seized is registration of Orissa i.e., OD-24-J-5932. Hence, it is clear that the ganja is transported from Orissa to Bangalore. The counsel also would submit that along with 161 Kgs of ganja other articles were also seized by drawing the mahazar. The contention that not complied the mandatory provisions cannot be considered at this juncture and only Court has to take note of Section 37 of NDPS Act and accused persons have made out the case for granting the bail. Having heard the petitioners’ counsel and also the counsel appearing for the State/respondent and also the specific allegation made against the petitioners that they are the persons of Orissa origin and they are carrying contraband in their Swift Dezire car bearing No.OD-24-J 5932 considered the vehicle in which the ganja was seized is also having the registration of Orissa. It is also the case of the prosecution that they are the residents of Orissa and they transported the same. The fact that the ganja was seized in the conspicuous possession of these petitioners is not in dispute. It is also emerged during the investigation that the same was handed over by one Suresh to transport the same and admittedly the said Suresh was not arrested. No doubt this Court made an observation in the earlier order also that non arrest of the accused cannot be a ground to reject the same. But, in the case on hand, quantity of ganja seized is 161 Kgs and this Court granted bail in Crl.P.No.4619/2022 wherein the seized quantity is 122.60 Kgs. This Court earlier rejected the bail petition of the said petitioner. He is a resident of Karnataka and not from Outside. It is also important to note that the Court has to see the quantity of ganja seized and Orissa registration vehicle is involved in the incident for transportation of ganja and the quantity in this case is higher than the ganja seized in Crl.P.No.4619/2022, exercising the jurisdiction in respect of other case is concerned, the same cannot be a ground. The Court has to take note of the gravity of the offence as well as the offence is against the society at large, the ganja seized is more than 8 times of commercial quantity and they are in custody from last 8 months cannot be a ground to enlarge them on bail and it affects the society at large. Hence, the counsel for petitioners not made out any ground to enlarge them on bail.

COURT’S ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

THIS CRL.P. IS FILED U/S.439 OF CR.P.C., PRAYING TO ENLARGE THE PETITIONERS ON BAIL IN SPL. C.C. No.637/2024 (CRIME No.359/2023) OF OFFENCE PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTION 20(b)(ii)(C) OF NDPS ACT, 1985, OF RESPONDENT COTTONPETE POLICE STATION, BANGALORE PENDING ON THE FILE BEFORE COURT OF THE CITY CIVIL AND SESSIONS JUDGE AND SPECIAL JUDGE, (NDPS), (CCH-33) AT BENGALURU, IN THE ENDS OF JUSTICE. Having heard the petitioners’ counsel and also the counsel appearing for the State/respondent and also the specific allegation made against the petitioners that they are the persons of Orissa origin and they are carrying contraband in their Swift Dezire car bearing No.OD-24-J 5932 considered the vehicle in which the ganja was seized is also having the registration of Orissa. It is also the case of the prosecution that they are the residents of Orissa and they transported the same. The fact that the ganja was seized in the conspicuous possession of these petitioners is not in dispute. It is also emerged during the investigation that the same was handed over by one Suresh to transport the same and admittedly the said Suresh was not arrested. No doubt this Court made an observation in the earlier order also that non arrest of the accused cannot be a ground to reject the same. But, in the case on hand, quantity of ganja seized is 161 Kgs and this Court granted bail in Crl.P.No.4619/2022 wherein the seized quantity is 122.60 Kgs. This Court earlier rejected the bail petition of the said petitioner. He is a resident of Karnataka and not from Outside. It is also important to note that the Court has to see the quantity of ganja seized and Orissa registration vehicle is involved in the incident for transportation of ganja and the quantity in this case is higher than the ganja seized in Crl.P.No.4619/2022, exercising the jurisdiction in respect of other case is concerned, the same cannot be a ground. The Court has to take note of the gravity of the offence as well as the offence is against the society at large, the ganja seized is more than 8 times of commercial quantity and they are in custody from last 8 months cannot be a ground to enlarge them on bail and it affects the society at large. Hence, the counsel for petitioners not made out any ground to enlarge them on bail. The Criminal Petition is Rejected.

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Karnataka High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail in Alleged Forgery and Cheating Case: Property Sale Transaction

Karnataka High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail in Alleged Forgery and Cheating Case: Property Sale Transaction

Case title: SUMAN @ SUMAN N P VS STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case no.: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.4180 OF 2024

Dated on: 16nd May 2024

Quorum:  Hon’ble. MR JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH

FACTS OF THE CASE

THIS CRL.P IS FILED U/S.438 CR.P.C PRAYING TO ENLARGE THE PETITIONER ON BAIL IN THE EVENT OF HIS ARREST IN CR.NO.116/2024 OF JAYANAGAR P.S., BENGALURU CITY FOR THE OFFENCES P/U/S 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 R/W 34 OF IPC AND ETC. This petition is filed by the petitioner/accused No.1 seeking the relief of anticipatory bail under Section 438 of Cr.P.C in the event of his arrest in Cr.No.116/2024 of Jayanagar police station, Bengaluru City for the offences punishable under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 read with Section 34 of IPC.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the petitioner is entitled to anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C) in connection with Crime No. 116/2024 of Jayanagar police station, Bengaluru City.
  2. Whether the petitioner, as a consenting witness in the sale transaction, has any involvement in the alleged offences under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  3. Whether the payment of Rs. 20 lakhs as sale consideration implicates the petitioner in the alleged offences.
  4. Whether the conditions imposed for granting anticipatory bail are appropriate and sufficient to ensure compliance with legal procedures.

LEGAL PROVISIONS

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

Section 419 – Punishment for cheating by personation: This section penalizes the act of cheating someone by pretending to be another person. The punishment can include imprisonment for up to three years, a fine, or both.

Section 420 – Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property: This section deals with cheating and inducing someone to deliver property or alter or destroy valuable security. The punishment can include imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine.

Section 467 – Forgery of valuable security, will, etc.: This section addresses the act of forgery related to valuable securities, wills, and other significant documents. The punishment can be life imprisonment or imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and also a fine.

Section 468 – Forgery for purpose of cheating: This section pertains to forgery committed specifically with the intent to cheat. The punishment can include imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine.

Section 471 – Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record: This section penalizes the use of any forged document or electronic record as if it were genuine. The punishment corresponds to the same as if the person had forged the document themselves.

Section 34 – Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention: This section addresses acts committed by multiple persons in furtherance of a common intention, making each person involved liable as if they had committed the act individually.

Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C)

Section 438 – Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest:

This section allows a person to seek anticipatory bail if they anticipate being arrested for a non-bailable offense. The court can grant bail with specific conditions to ensure the person complies with legal procedures.

CONTENTIONS OF THE APPELLANT

The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner herein submits that there was a lease agreement in respect of the property which is the subject matter of the sale agreement executed by the original owner in favour of the complainant wherein this petitioner signed the said document as consenting witness, but not received any amount as alleged in the complaint. The counsel for the petitioner has produced the copy of the absolute sale deed dated 15.02.2022 executed by the petitioner herein as a Power of Attorney holder on behalf of M/s Ramky Estate and Farms Private Limited in favour of one Smt. Nanjamma who represented by her GPA holder Sri Prakash H N and the said amount of Rs.20/- lakh has been paid as sale consideration in respect of the sale deed dated 15.02.2022. The counsel would vehemently contend that except the payment of Rs.20/- lakh towards sale consideration from the account of the mother-in-law of the complainant, this petitioner has not received any amount. Hence, false allegation is made against this petitioner. Hence, the counsel for the petitioner prays to enlarge the petitioner on anticipatory bail.

CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENTS

The learned HCGP appearing for the respondent/State would vehemently contend that the amount of Rs.20/- lakh has been paid in favour of this petitioner. Having heard the learned counsel appearing for the respective parties and also on perusal of the material available on record, prima facie it discloses that the amount of Rs.20/- lakh was paid in respect of the sale transaction and this petitioner is only a consenting witness to the said transaction since this petitioner is in occupation of the subject matter of the sale transaction in terms of the sale agreement executed by the Power of Attorney of the original owner. Hence, there is a force in the contention of the counsel for the petitioner that this petitioner has signed the sale agreement as consenting witness in view of possession is vested with him as a lease holder. Hence, it is a fit case to exercise the powers under Section 438 of Cr.P.C to enlarge the petitioner on anticipatory bail.

COURT’S ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

The petition is allowed. Consequently, the petitioner/accused No.1 shall be released on bail in the event of his arrest in connection with Crime No. Cr.No.116/2024 of Jayanagar police station, Bengaluru City for the offences punishable under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 read with Section 34 of IPC, subject to the following conditions: –

  • The petitioner shall surrender himself before the Investigating Officer within ten days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order and shall execute a personal bond for a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh only) with two sureties for the like-sum to the satisfaction of the concerned Investigating Officer.
  • The petitioner shall not indulge in tampering the prosecution witnesses.
  • The petitioners shall not leave the jurisdiction of the Court without prior permission till the disposal of the case.

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Judgement Reviewed by – HARIRAGHAVA JP

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Karnataka High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail in Dowry Harassment, Considering Gravity and Allegations, Bail Granted

Case Title: Chandra Mohan v. State of Karnataka

Case Number: Criminal Petition No. 3843 of 2024

Dated On: 16th day of May, 2024

Quorum: The Hon’ble Mr. Justice H.P. Sandesh

FACTS OF THE CASE

The complainant’s marriage with accused No.1, Chandra Mohan, was solemnised on 28.05.2017. At the time of marriage, the complainant’s family provided a dowry that included a 25-gram gold chain, a 10-gram ring, and Rs.5,00,000/- in cash. The couple has two children, aged about five years and one year and nine months. The complainant, a government servant, alleges that accused No.1 married her for her money and property. After the marriage, accused No.1 did not show love and affection and complained that the dowry was insufficient, continuing to mentally torture her. It is alleged that this harassment was instigated by accused Nos.2 to 6 (the family members of accused No.1). On 21.01.2024, between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., accused No.1 allegedly demanded the complainant’s entire salary and the transfer of a property site in her mother’s name to him. When the complainant refused, accused No.1 assaulted her, mishandled her, and attempted to strangle her, threatening her life. The complainant filed a police complaint on 06.03.2024. The police registered a case against the accused for offences under Sections 498A (cruelty by husband or his relatives), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) read with Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC, and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The case is still under investigation. The petitioners claim that the complaint is a reaction to an earlier complaint filed by Chandra Mohan (accused No.1) on 02.02.2024. In his complaint, Chandra Mohan alleged that the complainant did not allow him to care for his aged mother, who is suffering from cancer. The defence presented documents showing that petitioner No.2 (the mother of accused No.1) is receiving treatment for cancer. The defence argued that the complainant’s allegations are false and were made after the police had previously advised her based on the husband’s complaint. Petitioners 1, 3-6 have professional and personal responsibilities which they argue mitigate against their involvement in the alleged offences. The case revolves around allegations of dowry harassment, assault, and an attempt to murder by the husband and his family members against the complainant, who is his wife. The defence contends the allegations are retaliatory following the husband’s prior complaint about mistreatment by the wife. The court has considered the context, including the health condition of the husband’s mother and the professional background of some petitioners, and granted anticipatory bail with conditions.

 ISSUES

  1. Are the allegations made by the complainant against her husband (accused No.1) and his family members (petitioners 2 to 6) credible and substantiated by evidence?
  2. How does the delay between the alleged incident (21.01.2024) and the filing of the complaint (06.03.2024) affect the case?
  3. Should the petitioners be granted anticipatory bail considering the seriousness of the charges and their personal circumstances?

LEGAL PROVISIONS

  1. Indian Penal Code (IPC):
    • Section 498A: Husband or relative of the husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
      • This section deals with the offence of a husband or his relatives subjecting a woman to cruelty, including physical or mental harm or harassment for dowry.
    • Section 307: Attempt to murder.
      • This section addresses attempts to commit murder, prescribing severe penalties for anyone who does an act with intent to cause the death of another person.
    • Section 323: Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt.
      • This section provides punishment for causing hurt voluntarily, which is applicable if physical injuries are inflicted.
    • Section 114: Abettor present when the offence is committed.
      • This section applies when a person abets an offence and is present at the time of its commission.
    • Section 504: Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace.
      • This section pertains to intentional insult with the intention of provoking a breach of the peace.
    • Section 506: Punishment for criminal intimidation.
      • This section deals with the punishment for criminal intimidation, which involves threatening someone with injury to their person, reputation, or property.
    • Section 149: Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of the offence committed in the prosecution of a common object.
      • This section holds every member of an unlawful assembly liable for offences committed in pursuit of the common objective of the assembly.

2.  Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:

    • Section 3: Penalty for giving or taking dowry.
      • This section prescribes penalties for giving or taking dowry, making it a punishable offence.
    • Section 4: Penalty for demanding dowry.
      • This section deals with the penalty for demanding dowry, which is punishable by law.

3.  Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC):

    • Section 438: Direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest.
      • This section provides the legal framework for granting anticipatory bail to individuals who anticipate arrest on accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence.

CONTENTIONS OF THE APPELLANT

Sri D.S. Sathish, Advocate counsel of the appellant submitted that the complaint filed against them is an afterthought and retaliatory in nature. They assert that it was lodged only after the husband filed a complaint against the complainant, suggesting a motive of malice rather than genuine grievances. Pointing out the significant delay between the alleged incident and the filing of the complaint, the appellant contends that this casts doubt on the authenticity and seriousness of the allegations. They argue that such a delay undermines the credibility of the complainant’s claims. The appellant challenges the severity of the allegations by questioning the medical evidence provided. They argue that the injuries documented in the medical report are minor, contradicting the complainant’s claims of a serious assault and attempted murder. Highlighting their respectable positions in society, such as being a teacher and being employed in the police department, the appellant argues that their professional responsibilities make it improbable for them to engage in the alleged criminal activities. The appellant asserts that family members implicated in the complaint are innocent and wrongly accused. They argue that there is no substantial evidence to support the allegations against these individuals. Lastly, the appellant seeks anticipatory bail, emphasising their willingness to cooperate with the investigation and asserting that they pose no threat to the legal process. They argue that given the circumstances and the lack of credibility in the allegations, granting anticipatory bail is justified. These contentions collectively aim to challenge the credibility and timing of the complaint, question the supporting evidence, highlight the appellant’s respectable standing, and seek relief in the form of anticipatory bail.

CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENT

Smt. Waheeda M.MHCGP (High Court Government Pleader) counsel of the respondent submitted that the complainant’s allegations of dowry harassment and attempted murder are well-founded and supported by evidence. They argue that the complainant has provided a detailed account of the harassment she faced from her husband and his family members, including specific instances of violence and threats against her life. While acknowledging the delay in filing the complaint, the respondent argues that the complainant has provided a plausible explanation for the delay. They contend that the complainant was subjected to continuous harassment and abuse, which made her hesitant to come forward with her grievances immediately. Moreover, they argue that the delay does not undermine the credibility of the allegations, as the complainant’s fear of reprisal and societal pressure may have contributed to the delay. The respondent disputes the appellant’s interpretation of the medical evidence and the severity of the injuries sustained by the complainant. They assert that while the injuries may have been classified as minor, they were still the result of a violent assault and should be taken seriously by the court. The respondent challenges the appellant’s assertion of respectability, arguing that the appellant and his family members have a history of abusive behaviour towards the complainant. They contend that the appellant’s professional standing should not exempt him from accountability for his actions. The respondent maintains that the involvement of family members in the alleged offences is supported by the complainant’s testimony and other corroborating evidence. They argue that family members played an active role in instigating and perpetrating the harassment and violence against the complainant. Finally, the respondent opposes the appellant’s request for anticipatory bail, citing the seriousness of the charges and the risk of interference with the ongoing investigation. They argue that granting anticipatory bail would undermine the administration of justice and the complainant’s right to seek redress for the harm she has suffered. These contentions reflect the respondent’s position on the case and their arguments in opposition to the appellant’s claims.

COURT’S ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT

The court began by summarising the factual background of the case. It outlined the complainant’s allegations of dowry harassment and attempted murder against her husband (accused No.1) and his family members (petitioners 2 to 6). The court noted the specific instances of alleged violence and harassment detailed by the complainant, as well as the delay between the incident and the filing of the complaint.

The court then examined the contentions presented by the appellant. It considered the appellant’s assertions regarding the false and retaliatory nature of the complaint, the delay in filing the complaint, the interpretation of the medical evidence, the character and professional standing of the appellants, the implication of family members, and the request for anticipatory bail.

After analysing the appellant’s arguments, the court reviewed the respondent’s counter arguments. It considered the respondent’s position on the credibility of the complainant’s allegations, the explanation for the delay in filing the complaint, the severity of the injuries based on medical evidence, the character of the appellant and his family members, the involvement of family members in the alleged offences, and the opposition to anticipatory bail.

Moving on to the legal analysis, the court examined the relevant legal provisions, including sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) related to dowry harassment, attempted murder, and other offences, as well as sections of the Dowry Prohibition Act and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) pertaining to anticipatory bail.

The court then deliberated on the appellant’s request for anticipatory bail. It weighed the seriousness of the charges, the risk of interference with the investigation, and the likelihood of the appellant absconding or tampering with evidence against the appellants’ personal circumstances and the potential need for protection from arrest.

After careful consideration of the arguments presented and the evidence on record, the court rendered its judgement. It allowed the criminal petition and granted anticipatory bail to the appellants, subject to certain conditions. The court imposed conditions including surrender before the Investigating Officer, execution of a personal bond, cooperation with the investigation, and prohibition from leaving the jurisdiction without prior permission.

In its judgement, the court provided reasoning for its decision, addressing the issues raised by both parties and explaining the basis for granting anticipatory bail. The court emphasised the need to balance the rights of the accused with the interests of justice and concluded that the conditions imposed would adequately safeguard the interests of the prosecution while ensuring the protection of the appellants’ rights.

The court concluded by issuing a final order granting anticipatory bail to the appellants in light of the circumstances of the case and the arguments presented by both parties. It directed the appellants to comply with the specified conditions and to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation.

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 Judgement Reviewed by – Shruti Gattani

 

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