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Tapan Kumar Agarwala vs Unknown on 6 March, 2019

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32 06.03.2019 C.R.M. 2296 of 2019
Aloke Court 28
In Re : An application for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure filed on 22.02.2019 in connection with
Mallarpur P.S. Case No.29 of 2019 dated 30.01.2019 under Sections
498A/406/323/325/354/354(C)/376/511/506/34 of the Indian Penal
Code read with Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

And

In the matter of: Tapan Kumar Agarwala
…Petitioner
Mr. Sekhar Kr. Basu, Sr, Adv,
Mr. Sourav Chatterjee
Mr. Rohan Ojha
Mr. Souvik Bera
… for the petitioner
Mr. Sudip Ghosh
Mr. Apurba Kr. Datta
… for the State
Allowed Mr. Ayan Bhattacharya
Mr. Kunal Ganguly
… for the de facto complainant

Petitioner being the father-in-law of the de facato complainant

before us praying for pre-arrest bail. It has been contended on behalf of

the petitioner that there is a matrimonial dispute between the parties

and number of proceedings are pending inter se.

The instant case is a counter blast to an earlier matrimonial

suit pending against the de facto complainant by her husband and it is

alleged that there is delay in lodging the first information report. The

allegations of ill-treatment and torture are generic and afterthought to

add criminal profile. It is also contended that pursuant to an interim

order passed by this Court on 18.02.2019 the petitioner had sought to

render assistance in the course of investigation. However, they were ill-

treated and humiliated. Supplementary affidavit in support of his

contention is placed on record.

Learned counsel for the State submits report and hotly disputes

the contention raised on behalf of the petitioner and it is submitted that

petitioner did not cooperate with the investigation. On the other hand,

separate bank lockers were opened by the husband and father-in-laws

behind the back of the investigating agency. It is also contended that the

allegations against the petitioner are serious and prayer for pre-arrest

bail ought not to be allowed.

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Learned counsel for the de facto complainant submits that

‘streedhan’ had not been recovered and the petitioner had subjected her

to torture and humiliation.

We have considered the rival submissions made on behalf of the

parties while on the one hand by our earlier order dated 18.02.2019 in

CRM 1948 of 2019 we directed the accused persons to cooperate with the

investigation including recovery of ‘streedhan’, if any. Supplementary

affidavit filed by the petitioner have narrated the manner and

circumstances in which they sought to extend their cooperation which

were not only rebutted. On the other hand, the investigation agency it is

alleged that petitioner subjected the victim particularly women folk to

unnecessary harassment and humiliation. This however, denied and

disputed by the investigating agency who claimed that bank lockers were

opened during the course of investigation behind their back.

In the faced with such allegations and counter allegations

relating to non-cooperation in the course of investigation we queried the

investigating agency with regard to their generic and plenary powers

under Sections 94 and 102 of the Cr.P.C. we are informed that the

residence of the petitioner in fact have been sealed but no articles

belonging tot he de facto complainant was recovered. Bank lockers

opened by the petitioner have also been sealed.

In the backdrop of the steps taken by the investigating agency

particularly the sealing of the bank lockers, we are of the opinion that

the possibility of mis-appropriation or removal of ‘streedhan’ articles, if

any, in the said lockers have been effectively dealt with. Coming to the

allegations in the first information report including the statement of the

de facto complainant recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. we note that

the allegations are general and omnibus in nature while the husband

suspected fidelity of the lady the latter has made allegations with regard

to the misdemeanor on the part of the father-in-law. We however note

that there was no contemporaneous complain lodged with regard to the

alleged incident on 23.11.2018. Although, the de facto complainant

claims that she left the matrimonial home immediately thereafter.
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It appears that a matrimonial suit was filed by the petitioner

and thereafter the instant criminal case has been registered. Allegations

and counter allegations is the subject matter of investigation and the

present proceeding and, therefore, we do not choose to make any

comment with regard to the truthfulness thereof which may be

adjudicated in the appropriate stage of the proceeding. However, in the

fats and circumstances of the case and in the light of the fact that the

bank lockers have already been sealed, we are of the opinion that

custodial interrogation of the petitioner may not be necessary. It is

essential that he is subjected to strict conditions to ensure their

cooperation and to preempt them from intimidating witnesses or causing

dis-appearance of evidence.

Accordingly, we direct that in the event of arrest, the petitioner

shall be released on bail upon furnishing bond of Rs.10,000/-(Rupees

Ten Thousand only) with two sureties of like amount each, to the

satisfaction of the arresting officer and he shall meet the investigating

officer once in a week until further orders and also be subject to the

conditions as laid down under Section 438(2) of the Code of Criminal

Procedure, 1973 and he shall appear before the court below and pray for

regular bail within a fortnight from date.

The application for anticipatory bail is, accordingly, allowed.

Urgent Photostat Certified copy of this order, if applied for, be

supplied expeditiously after complying with all necessary legal

formalities.

(Manojit Mandal, J.) (Joymalya Bagchi, J.)

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