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Solely on the basis of allegations bail cannot be resisted, High Court of Karnataka while viewing the bail petition

CASE TITTLE: MADHUNIRANJAN SWAMY M. S. V STATE OF KARNATAKA

CASE NO: CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 4300 OF 2024

DATED ON: 21ST DAY OF MAY, 2024

QUORUM: JUSTICE S RACHAIAH

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The petitioner is before this Court seeking grant of anticipatory bail in Crime No.0020/2024 of Women Police Station, Tumakuru, registered for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 342, 417, 109, 506, r/w Section 34 of Indian Penal Code (for short ‘IPC’) and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. the complainant is the wife of petitioner and their marriage was solemnized about two and a half years ago. Petitioner is a Dentist by profession and he is working in Malaysia. After marriage, petitioner went to Malaysia by assuring the complainant that he would take her to Malaysia after one year, however, he did not return to India. Further, while going to Malaysia, he had taken an amount of Rs.5,00,000/ from the complainant’s father. Thereafter, the petitioner has neither called the complainant nor taken her to Malaysia. The in-laws and other family members of the petitioner were not taking care of the complainant and the complainant was not getting satisfactory answers when she asked about the whereabouts of the petitioner. Having suspected the act of the petitioner, complainant had lodged a complaint against the petitioner and her in-laws and the same is registered in FIR No.0020/2024 by the Women Police Station, Tumakuru.

LEGAL ISSUES:

Whether the bail application of the petitioner may be considered and may be enlarged on bail?

LEGAL PROVISIONS:

Sections 498A of indian penal code, Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.”

Section 342 of the Indian penal code, talks about punishment for wrongful confinement

Section 417 of Indian penal code, talks about cheating.

Section 109 of Indian penal code, talks about abetment

Section 506 of indian penal code, talks about criminal intimidation

 Section 34 of Indian Penal Code talks about acts done by several person in furtherance of common intension

Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, talks about penalty for demanding dowry

CONTENTIONS OF APPELLEANT:

 The petitioner through their counsel submitted that petitioner has been falsely implicated in the matter and allegation against the petitioner was baseless.the counsel further submitted that Petitioner was coming to India frequently and was staying with the complainant. Due to some unavoidable circumstances, he could not take her to Malaysia where he is working. In the meanwhile, a false complaint has been registered against the petitioner family members. counsel further submitted that if bail is granted, the matter is likely to be settled between the parties. Petitioner would certainly go to India and have some negotiations with the complainant. the counsel also submitted that the offences alleged are neither punishable with death nor imprisonment for life. The petitioner is the permanent resident of the address mentioned in the cause title to the petition and he is ready and willing to abide by any of the conditions that would be imposed by this Court. Hence,the counsel prays to allow the petition in the interest of justice.

CONTENTIONS OF THE RESPONDENT:

The respondent through their counsel submitted that the averments of the complaint clearly disclose demand and acceptance of dowry and also cruelty and harassment by the family members of the petitioner. The counsel further submitted that the averments further disclose that complainant has been cheated by the petitioner. The counsel also submitted that the averments made in the complaint attracts Section 498A and other provisions of IPC including Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The counsel further submitted that petitioner is staying in Malaysia and there may be a chance of absconding or tampering the prosecution witnesses. Therefore, the petitioner is not entitled for grant of anticipatory bail. Hence, the counsel prays for dismissal of the petition.

COURTS ANALYSIS AND JUDGEMENT:

The court on Having heard the learned Counsel for the parties and after perusal of the complaint averments, the court observed that it is not in dispute that the petitioner was working in Malaysia as a Dental Doctor and he used to come to India frequently and staying with the complainant. The court opined that the allegations against the petitioner are not sufficient to resist bail further If suitable conditions are imposed, certainly, it would safeguard the apprehension of the prosecution. The court On a careful perusal of the offences mentioned in the FIR, it appears that, the offences are neither punishable with death or imprisonment for life. Hence,The court opined that the petitioner may be enlarged on bail subject to conditions which will take care of the apprehension expressed by the respondent counsel that the petitioner may abscond or may tamper or threaten the prosecution witnesses. Accordingly, The court allowed the petition, Further the court ordered The petitioner to be enlarged on bail in the event of his arrest in Crime No.0020/2024 of Women Police Station, Tumakuru. The court further directed the petitioner to appear before the Investigating Officer within one month from the date of receipt of this order and on his appearance, the Investigating Officer shall enlarge him on bail subject to the conditions, that The petitioner shall furnish the bond in a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs) with one surety for the like sum to the satisfaction of the Investigating Officer,further the court directwed the  petitioner to appear before the Investigating Officer as and when called for the investigation. The petitioner shall not threaten or tamper the prosecution witnesses.The court further directed that in case the petitioner violates any of the bail conditions as stated above, the prosecution will be at liberty to seek for cancellation of bail.

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Madras High Court Says Media Should Ascertain Truth Before Telecasting Allegations Against Reputed Personalities.

TITLE: Zee Media Corporation Limited Vs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Decided On: August 31, 2023.

O.S.A.No.50 of 2023 and C.M.P.No.4661 of 2023

CORAM:  Hon’ble Mr. Justice R. Mahadevan.

Introduction:

In this case the 1st respondent instituted the suit in C.S.No.185 of 2014 against the appellant and the respondents 2 to 4 herein seeking permanent injunction restraining them and their parties from publishing/ republishing, carrying out any reports or articles or telecasts or repeat telecasts or programs or debates or any discussion or reporting or publishing in any other manner, any other matter of any kind directly or indirectly pertaining to the alleged report of the third defendant or any other matter related to the said alleged statement and / or any news content relating to the plaintiff to acts of betting, spot fixing and match fixing of cricket matches or in any manner insinuating about the integrity and honesty of the plaintiff as a cricketer.

Facts:

The appellant a news channel started telecasting and broadcasting news reports that the first respondent herein was involved in the alleged illegal activities of betting, match fixing and spot fixing and further spreading the news that the first respondent was summoned by the Tamil Nadu Police. The first respondent is a cricketer of world repute and a dedicated person who represented our Country at the highest levels of international cricket with sincerity and devotion. When an allegation is made against such an international personality, the News Channel like that of the appellant herein, has to be cautious in telecasting news reports against such person. The truth with regard to the allegations have to be properly ascertained without there being any iota of doubt. In the case on hand, it is to be noted that it is the case of the first respondent/plaintiff that various frivolous and unfounded allegations were made against him that he was involved in betting, match fixing and spot fixing in IPL matches, which are false and without any basis. Justice Mudgal Committee appointed to go into the allegations of betting spot fixing in the Indian Premiere League Matches, has not given any report about the alleged involvement of the first respondent in betting.

Legal Analysis and Decision:

The Judges Considered the materials placed on record in the case they concurred with the specific finding given by the learned Judge that the details / material facts required in the interrogatories are not dealt with in the written statement and further, no ground has been made out by the appellant for setting aside the impugned order. In such view of the matter, interrogatories have to be necessarily answered by the first defendant. The maintainability of the application under Order XI Rule 7 before the learned Judge is concerned, the decision of the learned Judge has to be understood in the scheme of Rule 7, which permits an adversary to take out an application to strike out the interrogatory, if it is unreasonable, vexatious or are prolix, oppressive, unnecessary or scandalous. The learned Judge in para 18 of the Order has clearly considered the scope of Rule 7 and then, held that the application is not maintainable as no ground as permissible under Rule 7 is made out. In view of the same, this ground is misconceived and is hence rejected.

Conclusion:

The Madras High Court dismissed an appeal preferred by the Zee Media against the world reputed Cricketer M.S. Dhoni for making allegations and Publishing or Telecasting without ascertaining the truth on grounds of Non maintainability of the application under Order XI Rule 7 of Cpc.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY JANGAM SHASHIDHAR.

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