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Dheeraj Malhotra ….. … vs State on 22 April, 2020

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* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
+ BAIL APPL. 772/2020
DHEERAJ MALHOTRA ….. Petitioner/
Applicant

Through: Mr. Rajat Katyal, Adv.

versus

STATE ….. Respondent

Through: Mr. Ravi Nayak, APP for State.
Kumar Abhishek, IO, ACP.
(8750871105)
CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ANUP JAIRAM BHAMBHANI
ORDER
% 22.04.2020
BAIL APPL. 772/2020

The applicant seeks regular bail in case FIR No. 0230 of 2019
dated 14.05.2019 registered at PS: Moti Nagar under Sections 498A/
406/377/354A/34 IPC. As an alternate prayer, the applicant has
sought interim bail on personal bond for a period of eight weeks from
the date of his release. Although medical report as sought for by the
last order has not been filed, the application is taken-up at request of
both parties.

2. The genesis of the case is a complaint made by the applicant’s sister-

in-law against her husband (the applicant’s brother) and her in-laws,
the applicant being one of them.

Bail Appl. 722/2020 Page 1 of 5

3. Although to begin with the FIR was registered only under provisions
of the Indian Penal Code 1860, subsequently in her statements
recorded under sections 164 and 161 Cr.P.C., the complainant made
certain additional allegations which amounted to casteist slur ; and
which, according to the prosecution, amounted to offences under the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Act, 1989 (‘SCST Act’ for short) .

4. Charge-sheet dated 14.11.2019 stands filed in the proceedings
pending before the Trial Court ; and the matter was posted for framing
of charge, which however has not happened so far by reason of the
truncated working of courts due to the prevalent pandemic. The next
date of hearing before the Trial Court is now 01.06.2020.

5. Mr. Rajat Katyal, learned counsel appearing for the applicant states
that there is no substance in the allegations made against the
applicant, which are false and retaliatory; and have been made only
because the complainant has a serious marital dispute with the
applicant’s brother. Counsel submits that the applicant is not the main
accused but has been drawn into the matter by the complainant only
because he is her brother-in-law. He further points-out that the
allegations under section 377 IPC have been made only against the
husband and not against the applicant. Counsel argues that several
allegations and counter allegations have been made between the
parties and there is also an FIR filed by the applicant’s wife against
the complainant ; and that there was also a civil suit filed against the
complainant, in which an injunction order was passed against the
complainant restraining her from dispossessing inter alia the

Bail Appl. 722/2020 Page 2 of 5
applicant from a property.

6. Mr. Katyal further argues that the applicant has been in judicial
custody since 23.10.2019 ; that he moved an application seeking bail
before the learned Additional Sessions Judge which was dismissed on
22.11.2019 ; and thereafter another bail application was also
dismissed by the Delhi High Court on 17.01.2020.

7. Mr. Katyal urges that, other things apart, considering the prevalent
public health emergency, a sympathetic view be taken and the
applicant be at least granted interim bail in the matter.

8. On the other hand, Mr. Ravi Nayak, learned APP appearing for the
State submits that the allegations against the applicant, in particulars
those under the SCST Act are grave and serious ; that two bail
applications filed by the applicant have already been dismissed ; that
there has been no change in the circumstances after the dismissal of
the last bail application by the High Court on 17.01.2020. He also
submits that the applicant ought to have filed afresh for bail before the
Trial Court, instead of approaching the High Court straightaway.

9. Mr. Nayak also points-out that under Section 15A(5) of the amended
SCST Act, the complainant/victim has a right to be heard including at
the stage of grant of bail.

10. Accordingly, the complainant/victim has joined the hearing today
through video-conferencing from PS : Moti Nagar in the presence of
the Investigating Officer ACP Kumar Abhishek, who has identified
her ; and the complainant has been heard in the matter. The
complainant has also given submissions in writing in the vernacular,
which have been perused and considered. In her submissions the

Bail Appl. 722/2020 Page 3 of 5
complainant’s main contention is that inter alia the applicant has
committed serious offences against the complainant ; and for this
reason he does not deserve to be granted even interim bail till
conclusion of the trial.

11. Upon a conspectus of all facts and circumstances, inter-alia that the
applicant is not the main accused; that allegations under the SCST Act
were made subsequent to the filing of the first information ; and
especially the prevailing public health emergency, factoring in the dire
need of decongesting prisons ; and also that the offences with which
the applicant is charged fall within the criteria spelt-out by the High
Powered Committee at its meeting dated 28.03.2020 for interim bail,
this court is persuaded to admit the applicant to interim bail for a
period of 45 (forty-five) days from the date of his release, subject to
the following conditions :

(a) The applicant shall furnish a personal bond in the sum of
Rs.50,000/- to the satisfaction of the Jail Superintendent.
Considering the prevailing lockdown, the furnishing of surety
bond as a condition of bail, is dispensed with at this stage ;

(b) The applicant shall not leave the State of Punjab without
permission of the court and shall ordinarily reside in his place
of residence as per prison records in Zirakpur, District
Mohali, Punjab ;

(c) The applicant shall make a video-call every Friday between
11 am and 11:30 am to the Investigating Officer, and in case
the Investigating Officer is no longer in service or is
otherwise unavailable, then to the SHO PS : Moti Nagar,
Delhi and also ‘drop-a-pin’ on Google Maps, so that the IO/
SHO can verify the applicant’s presence and location.
Counsel for the applicant has confirmed that the applicant has

Bail Appl. 722/2020 Page 4 of 5
the wherewithal to comply with this condition;

(d) The applicant shall furnish to the Investigating Officer/SHO a
cellphone number on which the applicant may be contacted
and shall ensure that the number is kept active and switched-
on at all times ;

(e) If the applicant has a passport, he shall also surrender the
same to the Jail Superintendent upon revocation/easing of the
prevailing lockdown;

(f) The applicant shall not contact nor visit nor threaten nor offer
any inducement to the complainant or any of the
complainant’s witnesses. The applicant shall not tamper with
evidence nor otherwise indulge in any act or omission that
would prejudice the proceedings in the matter ;

(g) Upon expiry of the period of interim bail, the applicant shall
surrender before the concerned Jail Superintendent.

12. Nothing in this order shall be construed as an expression on the merits
of the pending matter.

13. The application stands disposed of in the above terms.

14. Copy of this order be sent to the concerned Jail Superintendent.

ANUP JAIRAM BHAMBHANI, J.

APRIL 22, 2020/uj

Bail Appl. 722/2020 Page 5 of 5

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