Karnataka High Court Prashanth @ Prashantharaj Urs vs State Of Karnataka on 4 March, 2014Author: Budihal R.B.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE DATED THIS THE 4TH DAY OF MARCH 2014
THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE BUDIHAL R.B.
CRIMINAL PETITION No.941/2014
Prashanth @ Prashantharaj Urs,
S/o. Javaraj Urs,
Aged about 36 years,
R/at MIG-1, No.157,
3rd Stage, Near Remand House,
Chickmagalur-576 121. .. PETITIONER (By Sri. A.H. Bhagavan, Adv.)
State of Karnataka,
By Rural Police,
The State Public Prosecutor,
High Court Buildings,
Bangalore-560 001. .. RESPONDENT (By Sri. K. Nageshwarappa, HCGP)
This criminal petition is filed under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C. praying to enlarge the petitioner on bail in Cr. No.357/2013 of Chickmagalur Rural P.S., Chickmagalur, for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 304B, and 307 R/W 34 of IPC.
This petition coming on for Orders this day, the Court made the following :
This petition is filed by the petitioner-accused No.1 under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. seeking his release on bail of the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 304B and 302 read with Section 34 of IPC registered in respondent Police Station Crime No.357/2013. The charge sheet has been filed for the offences punishable under sections 498A, 304B and 306 of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
2. Brief facts of the case are that the complainant Smt. Kamalamma, W/o. Manjunatharaju, is the mother of the deceased/Pushpa. The petitioner is the Husband of the deceased Pushpa. Marriage between the petitioner and deceased was performed about 5 years back. They have got a male child, aged about 4 years. It is alleged that the deceased’s husband and her mother-in-law frequently used to send the deceased to her parents place in order to bring Dowry. Then they paid some amount to petitioner earned out of Coolie. It is alleged that the deceased two years after the 3
marriage, being unable to bear the torture, went to her parents place and by doing Coolie, she was leading her life. In that regard both sides relatives held a Panchayath at R & B, Bunglow and advised both to lead a harmonious life. It is alleged that in spite of it, again they used to give torture and in turn, deceased used to inform the same to her parents through phone. It is further alleged on 30-09-2013 at 12 p.m., deceased’s sister-in-law’s husband Venkatachalaraju informed one of his relative stating that Pushpa has committed suicide and she is no more. Then they went and noticed the same. It is suspected that decease’s husband, his parents, his sister Sujatha and others have murdered Pushapa, strangulated her to show that she has committed suicide and prays for action. On the basis of the said complaint, the case was registered by the respondent police against the petitioner and other family members.
3. I have heard the learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner-accused No.1 and the learned High Court Government Pleader appearing for the respondent-State. 4
4. Learned Counsel for the petitioner, during the course of the arguments, submitted that though at the first instance the complaint was filed for the offence under section 302 IPC, since the allegation was that the petitioners and the other family members might have committed the murder of the deceased. The offence was also registered under section 302 of IPC. Further the police have filed charge sheet under section 306 of IPC. The counsel submitted that so far as the allegations for demand of dowry, there is vague and general statement made in the complaint so also in the statement of mother of the deceased. It is submitted that even at the time of the marriage of the petitioner with the deceased, he never demanded dowry. Therefore, the question of demanding further dowry from the deceased does not arise at all. It is submitted that so far as the allegations of torture given to the deceased on account of demand of dowry as against the petitioner and his parents and other family members, it is submitted that though the complaint was against six persons, after investigation, the police filed charge sheet against four persons, that is the petitioner and parents of the petitioner and his niece. He 5
submitted that the other accused have already been granted bail and the petitioner is also entitled to be released on bail on the ground of parity. He submitted that by imposing reasonable conditions, the petitioner may be admitted to bail.
5. As against this, learned High Court Government Pleader appearing for the respondent-State, during the course of the arguments, submitted that death has taken place within seven years from the date of marriage and it has taken place in the house of present petitioner. He has also submitted that looking to the averments made in the complaint so also the statement of witnesses recorded by the investigating officer, during investigation, it clearly goes to show that husband as well as family members of the husband were giving ill treatment to the deceased insisting her to bring more dowry from her parental place. He submitted that when the husband and his family members started to give ill treatment to the deceased, she left house of the husband and separately living in the house of her parents doing coolie work. Panchayat were held and advised the petitioner and deceased to live happily. However, the 6
petitioner again started torturing her. He submitted that there is prima facie material collected by the investigating officer during investigating to show abetment of suicide by the petitioner as well as the other accused persons. Hence, he submitted that the petitioner is not entitled for bail.
6. I have perused the averments made in the bail petition, FIR, complaint and the other materials on record. The fact that the death has taken place within seven years from the date of her marriage is not disputed. It is also not disputed that the death has taken place when the deceased was leading her marital life in the house of the husband. The averments in the complaint as well as the statement of witnesses goes to show that even on earlier occasion also, the said ill-treatment was given to the deceased. She left house of the husband and started to live in the house of the parents. Panchayat was held and the couple were re-united. The materials collected by the investigating officer during investigation goes to show prima facie that there used to be ill treatment given to the deceased by the present petitioner. Therefore there is material and also there is presumption 7
under law that the death of the deceased is because of the abetment by her husband and other family members. The contention of learned Counsel for the petitioner that the other accused persons have been granted bail and in view of the materials collected by the investigating officer during investigation, the husband of the deceased is also entitled for the said benefit, cannot be accepted. I am of the opinion that the husband is the person who is responsible and accountable for the alleged death of the deceased in this case. Therefore, looking to these materials on record, in my view it is not a fit case to exercise discretion in favour of the petitioner. The petition is accordingly rejected. Sd/-