Rajesh Kumar vs Amrawati Bharti And Ors. on 6 May, 1985
Equivalent citations: 1985 (2) Crimes 379 SC, 1985 (1) SCALE 1009
Author: D Desai
Bench: D Desai, R Misra
D.A. Desai, J.
1. Passage of time heals a festering sore and mollifies the sting caused by the criminal behaviour of the petitioner in this Court as well as in the High Court. If this order would have been pronounced about six months back, the petitioner would have been safely lodged in Tihar Jail for his criminal misconduct in taking false oath, misleading a Senior learned counsel like Mr. S.N. Kacker and polluting the fountain of justice.
2. Let us recapitulate a few facts. The petitioner is the husband of respondent unfortunate wife Smt. Amrawati Bharti. A son Sandeep was born during the wedlock. The match in our opinion was wholly unequal. The respondent Smt. Amrawati Bharti holds the postgraduate degree and is a Lecturer. The petitioner, the husband, is a low-paid workman and yet he displayed conduct of a male chauvinist. When Sandeep was aged about one year, the petitioner husband beat Smt. Amrawati Bharti and inflicted several injuries. She was thrown out of the house after depriving her of the custody of minor Sandeep. The wife lodged information of the occurrence at Police Station Kotwali Etawah around 5.30 P.M. on the day of the occurrence. The officer-in-charge of the Police Station behaved, not unexpectedly in the usual manner and did not take action on the information of the offence lodged at the Police Station. The serious lapse on the part of the Police officer was that he did not care to enquire about the whereabouts of minor Sandeep. Subsequently, when the wife approached Superintendent of Police, Etawah, the petitioner-husband was taken into custody but he was released on bail on the same day after rejecting the application of the Investigation Officer for remand to police custody. No attempt was made to trace minor Sandeep. Subsequently, Smt. Amrawati Bharti frustrated by the apathy and dereliction of duty by the police in her capacity as mother of the minor Sandeep moved a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Allahabad High Court. A learned Single Judge of the High Court observed : ‘that in view of the fact that minor Sandeep was hardly aged about one, the mother Smt. Amrawati Bharti was entitled to his custody.’ Then the case took a curious turn. In response to the notice of the writ petition the petitioner appeared and contended that minor Sandeep was not in his physical custody nor did he know anything about the whereabouts of minor Sandeep. After examining the rival contentions, the learned Judge made an order that the present petitioner-father do produce minor Sandeep Kumar in the Court on October 23, 1981. It is against this order of the High Court that this present petition for special leave is filed.
3. It was reiterated in the petition for special leave that minor Sandeep is not only not in the custody of the present petitioner but he had no knowledge about his whereabouts. We are reluctant to interfere but a persuasive plea by Mr. Kacker painting the unenviable plight of the petitioner that if we did not grant leave and stay the operation of the order of the High Court, the petitioner will be straightway hauled up for contempt. Against our better judgment, we directed a notice to be issued to the respondent-wife, simultaneously granting ex-parte stay of the order of the High Court. But while granting stay, we had our serious reservations about the poser of the present petitioner. The apprehension was that the petitioner was telling a blat ant falsehood and is leading us and his learned counsel on a garden path. Mr. S.N. Kacker, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner was taken in by the apparent facade and poser of innocence adopted by the petitioner. In order to be doubly sure, the petitioner was called before the Court and was questioned and he made a statement on oath that he did not have