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Bhagwant Singh vs State Of Punjab on 8 March, 2018

Criminal Misc. No. M- 40616 of 2016 (OM) 1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
AT CHANDIGARH

Criminal Misc. No. M- 40616 of 2016 (OM)
Date of decision : March 08, 2018

Bhagwant Singh …..Petitioner

Versus

State of Punjab and another ….Respondents

CORAM:- HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE LISA GILL

Present: Mr. H.N.S. Gill, Advocate
for the petitioner.

Mr. Sukhpreet Singh, AAG, Punjab.

Mr. J.S. Brar, Advocate
for the complainant.

***

LISA GILL, J.

Prayer in this petition is for grant of anticipatory bail to the

petitioner in FIR No. 128 dated 15.07.2015 under Section 406/498A IPC

registered at Police Station City Kharar, SAS Nagar, Mohali.

The above said FIR was registered on a complaint dated

18.02.2015 (Annexure P-1) submitted by the complainant – Harsimrat Kalsi

to The All India Chairperson, Human Rights Protection Forum, Mohali. The

said complaint was forwarded by the said Forum and the FIR lodged.

As per the allegations in the complaint, marriage between the

petitioner’s son and the complainant was solemnised on 24.06.2012. It is

specifically mentioned that the complainant was subjected to ill-treatment

and harassment by her husband as well as parents-in-law and the matter got

worse after the birth of a baby girl. Marriage was performed through Bharat

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Matrimony website. It is alleged that on the very second day of marriage,

the complainant was told that the gifts, jewellery etc. given at the time of

marriage were not adequate. The complainant’s husband went back to

Auckland, New Zealand, where he was working, on 10.07.2012 while

promising to facilitate the complainant to join him within a month. It is

alleged that the complainant was subjected to ill-treatment by her parents-

in-law while she was staying with them as her husband was in New Zealand.

In the interregnum, while preparing her papers for going to New Zealand,

the complainant came to know that her husband was earlier married and had

sought divorce from his first wife. This fact was never brought to her notice

but still she chose to overlook the same. The complainant reached Auckland

on 27.10.2012. Allegations of ill-treatment at the hands of her husband,

being forced to do menial jobs in New Zealand are raised. It is further stated

that the present petitioner was extremely interfering. He used to call the

complainant’s husband numerous times during the day. The money earned

by the complainant by doing menial jobs was taken away by her husband.

He imposed number of restrictions upon her daily routine. The complainant

came to know that though her husband had portrayed himself to be a graphic

designer, he was in fact a bus driver in Auckland. It was discovered by the

complainant that her husband was colour blind and also had a problem of

short memory. The complainant got pregnant and wanted to come to India

for delivery but this was not to the liking of her husband. He further refused

to allow the complainant’s mother to come to New Zealand and asked his

own mother to come to New Zealand. A daughter was born on 30.01.2014

in Auckland. Graphic details are given of the ill-treatment etc. meted out to

her due to which her counselling had to be done. No care was allegedly

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afforded towards the child either. The complainant was compelled to come

to India. She had refused but her parents-in-law bought a one way ticket for

her and the child but a return ticket for her husband. On return to India, it is

alleged that the complainant was treated like a servant in her in-laws home.

She was subjected to harassment on account of bringing insufficient dowry.

Specific allegations are raised against the present petitioner. It is further

stated that the petitioner even refused to give the passport of the child. She

was ultimately ousted from the matrimonial home on 01.06.2014 in India.

Various efforts were made to rehabilitate the complainant and the minor

child but to no avail. It is alleged that on 15.10.2014, the present petitioner

even went to the complainant’s college in Ludhiana to make inquiries about

her character while showing her photograph to the maids and staff in the

college. Her call detail records were sought by the accused and the

complainant did not deny the same. The petitioner, it is alleged, in his last

conversation with the complainant told her that his son is now preparing for

another wife. It is stated that the complainant, a physiotherapist, had been

abandoned and defamed by all the accused for no fault of hers. FIR was

registered on these allegations.

Learned counsel for the petitioner vehemently argues that the

petitioner is the father-in-law of the complainant. He has needlessly been

involved only because of his relationship with the complainant. Moreover,

he has joined investigation. It is, thus, prayed that this petition be allowed.

Learned counsel for the complainant – respondent No. 2 has

opposed this petition with equal vehemence while submitting that specific

and serious allegations were levelled against all the accused persons

including the petitioner. The complainant’s husband is admittedly in

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Auckland and has not come to India to face the proceedings or even settle

the matter one way or the other. It is argued that various opportunities were

afforded even during the pendency of this petition to settle the matter but

the bona fides of the petitioner and his son are clearly suspect. The

complainant had even agreed to part ways on being handed over a sum of

`13,25,000/- as full and final settlement of all her claims. However, the

petitioner again backed out. Therefore, the present petition should be

dismissed.

Learned counsel for the State submits that though the petitioner

has joined investigation, recoveries are yet to be effected.

I have heard learned counsel for the parties at length.

It is noticed that interim relief was afforded to the petitioner

way back on 11.11.2016. It was submitted on behalf of the petitioner that

his son was residing in New Zealand and the petitioner is ready to get the

dispute settled between the parties one way or the other. This matter was

placed before the Mediation and Conciliation Centre of this Court but

mediation failed. Opportunity was afforded to the petitioner to seek

instructions whether his son would come to India to settle the dispute and

further if the petitioner is ready to compensate the complainant and the

minor child. Thereafter, on 16.08.2017, the petitioner submitted that it

would not be possible for his son and the complainant to reunite but

petitioner’s son expressed his willingness to hand over a sum of `10 lakhs

as full and final settlement of all claims of the complainant and the minor

child and, in case, the complainant wishes to part company with the minor

child, the petitioner and his wife would be willing to take care of the minor

child as well. The matter was adjourned on request of learned counsel for

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the complainant to seek instructions. Ultimately, the following order was

passed on 22.01.2018:-

Learned counsel for the petitioner and respondent No.2
submit that their respective clients have decided not to resume
matrimonial ties. A petition under Section 13B of the Hindu
Marriage Act, 1955 shall be filed by them.

Petitioner/petitioner’s son shall handover a sum of `13,25,000/-
as full and final settlement of all claims of the minor child as
well as respondent No.2 regarding alimony, maintenance etc.
Sum of `10,00,000/- shall be handed over to respondent No.2
and a sum of `3,25,000/- shall be handed over by way of an
FDR in favour of the minor child, which shall not be encashed
till the minor attains majority.

Learned counsel for the parties pray for some time to
place on record the written terms and conditions of the
settlement between the parties.”

When the matter was taken up for hearing today, learned

counsel for the petitioner, on instructions from his client who is present in

Court, submits that it would not be possible to stick to the arrangements as

mentioned on 22.01.2018 for the reason that now the petitioner’s son has

back tracked. The petitioner’s son has raised a specific condition that the

settlement can be arrived at only if the complainant hands over the custody

of the minor daughter, aged 4½ years. On a specific query, the petitioner,

present in Court, candidly stated that till date, no application seeking the

custody of the child has ever been moved either by the petitioner or his son.

The conduct of the petitioner and his son (who is comfortably living in

New Zealand and not facing the proceedings) is clearly suspect and

disentitles the petitioner from seeking the concession of anticipatory bail. It

appears that the petitioner has been indulging in mere delay tactics to enjoy

the interim relief granted to him.

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In view of the facts and circumstances as above, specifically the

conduct of the petitioner, no ground is made out to grant the concession of

anticipatory bail to him.

Present petition is, accordingly, dismissed.

(Lisa Gill)
March 08, 2018 Judge
rts
Whether speaking/reasoned : Yes/No

Whether reportable : Yes/No

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