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Venugopal Singh vs The State on 18 February, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU

DATED THIS THE 18th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2019

BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE B.A.PATIL

CRIMINAL PETITION No.8298/2018

BETWEEN:

1. Venugopal Singh
S/o late Govardhan Singh
Aged about 29 years
R/a No.08, 3rd Cross
Jyothi Nagar, M.S.Palya
Occupation: Car Driver
Bengaluru-560 097.

2. Smt. Ahalya Bai
W/o late Govardhan Singh
Aged about 50 years
R/a No.08, 3rd Cross
Jyothi Nagar, M.S.Palya
House Wife,
Bengaluru-560 097.

3. Archana
W/o Gurudev Singh
D/o late Govardhan Singh
Aged about 25 years
R/a No.115, Gurukrupa
C.M. Extension
Near Rajanna House
Kyathasandra
Tumkur-572 104.
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4. Gurudev Singh
S/o Raghunandan Singh
Aged about 31 years
R/a No.115, Gurukrupa
C.M. Extension
Near Rajanna House
Kyathasandra
Tumkur-572 104.
…Petitioners

(By Sri. Dilraj Rohit Sequeira, Advocate)

AND:

The State
by Kodigehalli Police Station
Represented by the State Public prosecutor
High Court Building
Bengaluru-560 001.
… Respondent
(By Smt. B.G.Namitha Mahesh, HCGP)
Sri Madhav Kashyap, Advocate for
Sri P. Prasanna Kumar, Advocate for Complainant)

This Criminal Petition is filed under Section 438 of
Cr.P.C praying to enlarge the petitioners on bail in the
event of their arrest in Crime No.176/2018 of Kodigehalli
Police Station, Bengaluru, for the offences punishable
under Sections 498A, 323, 341, 354, 406, 342, 417, 506
r/w Section 34 of Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4
of Dowry Prohibition Act and Section 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s), 3(1)(z),
3(1) (za) of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

This Criminal Petition coming on for Orders, this day
the Court made the following:-
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ORDER

The present petition has been filed by the petitioners/

accused Nos.1 to 4 under Section 438 of Cr.P.C. to release

them on bail in Crime No.176/2018 of Kodigehalli Police

Station for the offences punishable under Sections 498-A,

323, 341, 354, 406, 342, 417, 506 r/w Section 34 of IPC,

and Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and

Sections 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s), 3(1)(z), 3(1)(zc) of the SC/ST

(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (hereinafter referred to

as the ‘Act’ for short).

2. I have heard the learned counsel appearing for the

petitioners and the learned High Court Government

Pleader appearing for the respondent-State and also the

learned counsel for the complainant.

3. The gist of the complaint is that accused No.1 fell

in love with the complainant and on 10.2.2012 they got

married at Dharmasthala and it was registered on

13.2.2012 in the office of the Registrar of Marriages,
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Hebbal. Thereafter, accused No.1 started ill-treating and

blackmailing the complainant and asked her to pay certain

amount. It is further alleged that, accused No.1 started

saying that since complainant and her family are belongs

to Schedule Caste, he cannot take her to his house since

accused Nos.2 and 3 would object the same. Thereafter,

accused No.1 continued to have marital relationship with

the complainant. When the parents of the complainant

insisted accused No.1 to have arranged marriage, then

accused No.1 demanded dowry and marriage expenses and

thereafter the complainant’s family agreed for the same

and performed marriage. Despite performance of the

marriage, accused No.1 refused to take the complainant to

the matrimonial home on the ground that she belongs to

Scheduled Caste. It is further alleged that, thereafter

accused Nos.1 and 2 called the complainant and the

parents of the complainant to their home and a

panchayath was also held in this behalf and in the said

panchayath accused No.2 insulted the complainant by
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stating that she will never approve her son’s marriage with

a person belongs to schedule caste. The accused Nos.2 to 4

abused the complainant and her family members and

made a derogatory remarks against the complainant’s

caste. The accused persons taunted the complainant for

being Adi Karnataka Schedule Caste and stated that it is

below their dignity to allow the complainant to live with

them and when the complainant went to the matrimonial

home, the accused persons stated that they had allowed to

live with them only to prevent any legal action against

them. Thereafter, again the ill-treatment and harassment

continued and accused persons threatened the

complainant that they will kill her if she intimate the ill-

treatment and harassment caused by the accused persons.

It is further alleged that it is accused Nos.3 and 4 abused

the complainant by stating the name of the caste and

threatened them in the public. It is further alleged that in

spite of the efforts made by the complainant, ill-treatment

and harassment continued and she has been threatened
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and sent out of the house. As such, she filed a private

complaint.

4. It is the submission of the learned counsel for the

petitioners/accused that instead of filing a complaint as

contemplated under the law, she has filed a private

complaint. That itself clearly goes to show, only to harass

the petitioners/accused such a lengthy complaint has been

filed. It is further submitted that accused Nos.3 and 4 are

not residing along with the petitioner/accused No.1 and

they are separately residing at Tumkur and there is no

connection between them and the complainant. It is

further submitted that the alleged offences are not

punishable with death or imprisonment for life and only to

wreck vengeance against petitioner/accused No.1 and

others, complaint has been filed. He further submitted that

there is no prima facie material as against the

petitioners/accused. He also relied upon the decision of

Dr.Subhash Kashinath Mahajan Vs. State of Maharashtra

and Another reported in (2018) 6 SCC 454 and submitted
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that if no prima facie case has been made out, then under

such circumstances, this Court can exercise power under

Section 438 of Cr.P.C. and release the petitioners/accused

on bail. On these grounds, he prayed to allow the petition

and to release the petitioners/accused on bail.

5. Per contra, the learned High Court Government

Pleader vehemently argued and submitted that there is a

bar under Section 18(A) of the Act to release the

petitioners/accused on anticipatory bail if there is prima

facie material as against them. She further submitted that

the ingredients of the complaint if it is clearly looked into,

it is accused Nos.1 to 4 who have abused by taking the

name of the caste and also insulted and have not allowed

her to reside in the house, as she belongs to Adi Karnataka

Community. She further submitted that

petitioners/accused if they are released on bail, they may

abscond and may not be available for the trial. On these

grounds, she prayed to dismiss the petition.
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6. The learned counsel for the complainant also by

supporting the arguments of the learned High Court

Government Pleader submitted that there is prima facie

material as against the petitioners/accused and the

petitioners/accused are not entitled to be released on bail.

7. I have carefully and cautiously gone through the

contents of the complaint and the submissions made by

the learned counsel appearing for the parties and perused

the records.

8. This Court is conscious of the fact that there is a

bar under Section 18(A) of the Act which reads as under:

“18A: (1) For the purposes of this Act,-

(a) preliminary enquiry shall not be required for
registration of a First Information Report
against any person; or

(b) the investigating officer shall not require
approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any
person,

against whom an accusation of having
committed an offence under this Act has
been made and no procedure other than
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that provided under this Act or the Code
shall apply.

(2) The provisions of Section 438 of
the Code shall not apply to a
case under this Act, notwithstanding
any judgment or order or direction of
any Court”.

A close reading of the said Section there is a bar to

release petitioners/accused on anticipatory bail. However,

in the case of Dr.Subhash Kashinath referred supra,

therein, the Hon’ble Apex Court has come to the conclusion

that there is no absolute bar against grant of anticipatory

bail in cases under Atrocities Act if no prima facie case is

made out or where on judicial scrutiny complaint is found

to be prima facie mala fide.

9. Keeping in view the above said proposition of law,

on close reading of the complaint it indicates that there is a

prima facie material as against the petitioners/accused to

show that they have abused the complainant by taking the

name of the caste and they have also not allowed the

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complainant to reside in their house as she belongs to Adi

Karnataka Scheduled Caste.

10. All these materials clearly goes to show that in

the complaint, there is prima facie material and as such

the provisions of Section 18(A) of the Act will come into

play and the petitioners/accused are not entitled to be

released on anticipatory bail.

Hence, the petition stands dismissed.

However, the petitioners are at liberty to approach

the trial Court. After surrender and in the event of filing an

application under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. to enlarge them

on bail, the Court below is directed to expedite the said bail

application expeditiously.

Sd/-

JUDGE

*AP/-

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