HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
?Court No. – 84
Case :- CRIMINAL MISC. BAIL APPLICATION No. – 3664 of 2019
Applicant :- Purushottam Shashtri
Opposite Party :- State of U.P.
Counsel for Applicant :- Amar Nath Mishra,Awadhesh Kumar Shukla,Indra Kumar Chaturvedi(Senior Adv.),Neeraj Mishra,Roopesh Kumar Mishra,Shiv Kumar Singh Rajawat,Somya Chaturvedi
Counsel for Opposite Party :- G.A.,Amit Daga
Hon’ble Raj Beer Singh,J.
Heard Sri Indra Kumar Chaturvedi, learned Senior Counsel for the applicant, Sri Amit Daga, learned counsel for the informant, learned A.G.A. for the State and perused the record.
The present bail application has been filed by the applicant in case crime No. 286/2018, under Sections 498A, Section504, Section304B, Section120-B IPC Section 3/Section4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, police station Babina, District Jhansi Nagar with the prayer to enlarge the applicant on bail.
It has been argued by learned Senior Counsel for the applicant that the accused-applicant is father-in-law of the deceased and he has been falsely implicated in this case due to ulterior motive. The deceased has suffered death in natural calamity of flood by drowning and injuries sustained in the flood water as entire house of applicant was submerged and destroyed. It was submitted that on 02.09.2018, when entire family members of applicant were sleeping inside their house, suddenly gush of flood water submerged the premises of temple and residence of applicant, causing huge damage. They were brought out with the help of villagers and CISF personnel, however, deceased Smt. Jyoti Shashtri could not be traced out and her body was found later, but unfortunately, she has died. However, applicant and his family members have immediately taken her to Medical College, Jhansi to save her life and thus, bona fide and sincere efforts were made for proper treatment of the deceased. The doctor has found two minor injuries on body of deceased, which may be due to fall or struggle while trying to save her life in the said flood and cause of death of deceased was asphyxia due to ante-mortem injuries and drowning. It was stated that complainant has made false and baseless allegations in the FIR, whereas death of deceased was accidental due to drowning in natural calamity. Learned Senior Counsel has also pointed out statements of witnesses, namely, Pratap Singh Bundela, Mohit Sharma, Balwant Raikwar, Neelesh Patsariya that they have, inter alia, stated that even the CISF was called for rescue operation and some area of the roof was broken to make search of deceased and the body of deceased was taken out. Official and personnel of CISF have also made statements to the effect that temple and house of applicant was fully submerged in flood water till height of roof and that there is sufficient evidence, which shows that there was excessive and dangerous flood and a rescue operation was conducted by CISF and others. In this regard, statements of CISF personnel, namely, Kallu Singh and S.S. Gujjar were also pointed out. Learned Senior Counsel further submits that applicant has dedicated his life in service of Mansa Pooran Temple and he is working as Head Priest and that he is opposed to dowry system. He neither demanded any dowry nor he has caused any harassment to his daughter-in-law. Even the expenses of her M.Sc. and B.Ed. education was borne by his family members. It was further submitted that applicant is an old person, aged 60 years and he is in judicial custody since 31.10.2018 and there is no specific allegations of dowry or harassment against him. Learned Senior Counsel further submitted that no case against the applicant was made out. It was further submitted that applicant has filed an application for discharge, which was rejected by the trial court, but that order of trial court was set aside by the High Court and matter was remanded to the trial court. Though, learned trial court has again rejected application of discharge and against that order, a petition has been filed before the High Court. Learned Senior Counsel further submits that co-accused Geeta Shashtri, who is mother-in-law of the deceased, has already been enlarged on bail by another Bench of this Court, copy of which has been annexed as annexure no. 5 to the bail application. It has also been argued that in case, applicant is enlarged on bail, the applicant will not misuse the liberty of bail.
Learned A.G.A. as well as learned counsel for the informant have strongly opposed the prayer for bail and argued that applicant is named in the FIR and there are specific allegations against him that applicant and co-accused persons used to harass the deceased on account of dowry. It was stated that applicant and co-accused have committed murder of deceased and thereafter, she was thrown into a room, filled with water of flood in order to show that her death took place due to natural calamity. There were injuries on her body and her right side ribs were also found fractured. Several independent witnesses including Mohit Sharma, Balwant Raikwar and Nitesh Patsariya have alleged that they have brought out deceased from water in dead condition and applicant has made false statement that deceased was unconscious and she was taken to hospital in order to save her life. The ante-mortem injuries sustained by deceased were not possible in flood and there was absence of water in lungs of the deceased, which also goes to show that deceased has died prior to drowning in water. Learned counsel for the complainant has pointed out statement of Pratap Singh Bundela, recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C., wherein he has, inter alia, stated that on 02.09.2018, water of drain and rain has entered into the residential accommodations and people were running here and there and he saw that applicant has gone into the room of deceased by entering into water and after sometime, applicant and his son Rahul Shashtri were seen coming out from the room. As water has increased into the room within half and hours, CISF personnel have also reached there to rescue affected persons and after rescuing applicant and his family members as well as animals from flood, they have left the place. It was submitted that statement of this witness categorically supports the prosecution version that deceased was intentionally done to death by applicant and co-accused persons. Learned counsel for the complainant further submits that case of co-accused Geeta Shashtri has no parity with the applicant and in bail order of co-accused Geeta Shashtri itself, it was observed by the High Court that co-accused shall not be entitled to claim parity as case of co-accused is distinguishable from case of present applicant.
Considering the submissions of learned counsel for the parties, facts of the case, nature of allegation and period of custody, gravity of offence and all attending facts and circumstances of the case and also considering the fact that it will take sufficient time to conclude the trial, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the Court is of the opinion that it is a fit case for bail. Hence, the bail application is hereby allowed.
Let the applicant Purushottam Shashtri involved in the aforesaid crime be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond and two local sureties each of the like amount to the satisfaction of court concerned subject to the following conditions:
1. The applicant shall not tamper with the prosecution evidence.
2. The applicant shall not pressurize the prosecution witnesses.
3. The applicant shall appear on the date fixed by the trial Court.
4. The applicant shall not indulge in such acts like that of present case.
5. The applicant shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case.
Order Date :- 21.11.2019