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Kedu Kashinath Gangurde vs The State Of Maharashtra on 26 September, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL BAIL APPLICATION NO. 2396 OF 2019

Kedu Kashinath Gangurde …. Applicant

Versus

The State of Maharashtra …. Respondent

—–
Mr. Sumant Deshpande, Advocate for the Applicant.
Smt. A. A. Takalkar, APP for the State/Respondent.
Mr. G. R. Rathod, PSI, Chandwad police station, present.
—–

CORAM :SARANG V. KOTWAL, J.

DATE :26th SEPTEMBER, 2019

P.C. :

1. The Applicant is seeking his release on bail in

connection with C.R.No. 174 of 2018 registered with Chandwad

Police Station, Nashik, under sections 304B, 306 and 498A r/w. 34Section

of the Indian Penal Code. The applicant was arrested on

01/11/2018 and since then he is in custody. The investigation is

over and the charge-sheet is filed.

2. The FIR is lodged on 31/10/2018 by Trambak Wakte,

father of the deceased Shakuntala. He has stated in his FIR that,

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Shakuntala had got married with the applicant on 12/04/2012.

They couple was residing with the applicant’s joint family

consisting of applicant’s uncles and cousins. It is mentioned in the

FIR that Shakuntala was treated properly for a period of one year.

Thereafter the applicant was not allowed to use a tractor and a

motorcycle belonging to the joint family. They were insisting that

the applicant should force the deceased to get Rs.2 lakhs from her

parents, so that, he could buy a tractor and a motorcycle for his

own use. On more serious allegation was that the applicant’s

cousin Khandu was demanding sexual favours from Shakuntala.

Shakuntala, obviously, was disturbed. Five months prior to the

date of incident, she came to reside at her parental house. At that

time, she had told everything to her parents and had added that

the applicant’s younger brother Bapu wanted to marry

Shakuntala’s younger sister Ashwini and on that count Bapu was

harassing her. It is further mentioned in the FIR that informant’s

son Roshan and his friend Santosh Salade went to the applicant’s

house and told the applicant’s family that Khandu was having bad

intentions for Shakuntala. The informant has further stated that

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his younger brother Sopan had told the applicant, Khandu and

Jayram that they were not in a position to get Rs.2 lakhs. On

30/10/2018 Shakuntala called the informant from her mobile

phone and told him that she was assaulted by the applicant,

Khandu and applicant’s uncle Jayram. The informant tried to

pacify her, but shortly thereafter at around 3.15p.m. the informant

was told telephonically that Shakuntala had committed suicide by

hanging herself. On this basis, the FIR was lodged.

3. The Postmortem notes show that the deceased had

suffered four other injuries besides ligature mark around the neck.

Though, injuries were on the back, right hand, left knee and right

thigh, the postmortem notes show that these injuries were

antemortem. However, the investigating agency had sought further

opinion from the Medical Officer as to whether those injuries were

antemortem or postmortem. The cause of death was mentioned as,

“Asphyxia due to Hanging. Viscera preserved for chemical

analysis.” The charge-sheet contains statements of family

members of the first informant i.e. his wife, daughters etc. There is

a statement of his brother Sopan and the statement of one SectionSantosh

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Salde who was friend of informant’s son Roshan. All these

statements are important in the context of this case.

4. Heard Shri. Sumant Deshpande, learned counsel for

the applicant and Smt. A. A. Takalkar, learned APP for the State.

5. Learned counsel for the applicant submitted that, the

main allegations are directed against Khandu and Jayram. Both of

them are granted bail by this court. The accused Jayram was

granted bail by this court (Coram : Shri. A. S. Gadkari, J) vide

order dated 20/12/2018 passed in A.B.A.No.3260 of 2018. The

other accused Khandu was granted bail by this court (Coram :

Shri. P. N. Deshmukh, J.) vide order dated 02/05/2019 passed in

Bail Application No.879 of 2019. He submitted that the applicant’s

role is much lesser than those two accused and, therefore, on the

ground of parity, he deserve to be released on bail. He submitted

that there are some statements in the chargesheet exonerating the

applicant and the allegations are directed only against Jayram and

Khandu. He submitted that the applicant is already in custody

since 05/11/2018, therefore, he deserves to be released on bail.

6. Learned APP opposed this application and submitted

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that the applicant was husband of the deceased and his

responsibilities were more than other relatives of the deceased.

She submitted that the FIR and other statements of the family

members clearly show that the applicant was demanding Rs.2

lakhs from her and he had even assaulted the deceased prior to the

incident. She submitted that the theory of assault is supported by

postmortem notes.

7. I have considered all these submissions. As rightly

pointed out by the learned counsel for the applicant, the role

attributed to Jayram and Khandu is more serious than the role

attributed to the applicant. Jayram and Khandu were denying the

applicant use of their common vehicles and were forcing the

applicant, in turn, to force the deceased to get the amount from

her parents. The allegations are mainly directed against Khandu

that, he was insisting that the deceased should keep illicit physical

relations with him and that appears to be main cause of

harassment from which she was suffering. The other angle was the

desire of applicant’s younger brother Bapu to get married with

Shakuntala’s younger sister. All these factors have led to the

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unfortunate incident. The statement of the brother of the

informant Sopan shows that, deceased had told him and the first

informant that, she was sent to their place by Jayram to bring Rs.2

lakhs. He has not stated that the applicant had asked Shakuntala

to get that amount from her parents. Though, there is further

general statement that all the family members were calling her

telephonically and were demanding Rs.2 lakhs, he has not alleged

that the applicant himself had asked either her or other family

members of the informant to pay Rs.2 lakhs. His statement further

mentions as to how Khandu was harassing her. The statement

further narrated that on 30/10/2018 the informant told him that

Shakuntala called the informant and was saying that Khandu and

Jayram had assaulted her and on their instigation the applicant

has also joined in the assault. The other family members had

abused her and she was crying. By afternoon, she had committed

suicide.

8. Learned counsel for the applicant submitted that this

statement, in fact, shows that the applicant was forced by his

family members. There is a reference of the applicant’s name only

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in respect of the date of incident that he had assaulted the

deceased. Apart from that, there is no whisper made by Sopan

against the applicant as to how he was harassing the deceased at

any time before that particular incident.

9. One Santosh Salde has also supported the applicant’s

theory of innocence because he has stated that he had gone to the

house of applicant’s family with his friend Roshan. Roshan and

Santosh confronted Khandu for his behaviour. At that time, the

applicant had tried to pacify all the parties. This conduct of the

applicant, in fact, shows that he was trying to settle the issue.

Though, there are other statements of family members of the

informant narrating the same story, as stated in the FIR, the

statements of these two witnesses create sufficient doubt in favour

of the applicant. The more important factor which I have

considered is grant of bail to the main accused Jayram and Khandu

whose role, as pointed out earlier, is much more serious than the

role attributed to the applicant. In this view of the matter, on the

ground of parity and in view of the discussion above, the applicant

deserves to be released on bail.

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10. Hence, the following order :

ORDER
(i) In connection with C.R. No. 174 of 2018
registered with Chandwad Police Station,

Nashik, the applicant is directed to be released
on bail on his furnishing PR bond in the sum of
Rs.25,000/- (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand
Only) with one or two sureties in the like
amount.

(ii) Application stands disposed of accordingly.

(SARANG V. KOTWAL, J.)

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