While Indian weddings are known to be big affairs, here is one that has a lot of pomp, but unfortunately ended in a dowry case !! Sadly the case was filed MANY months after the split up and is now being fought in courts
“… the Roka ceremony in our house at Faridabad where they spent about `5.63 Lacs and gave cash Sagan to the Chopra family worth about `16.57 Lacs and Gold coins & Jewellery worth `.18.00 Lacs. My Parents had also invited about 300 people from our family/ friends to formally declare the marriage of mine. The Sagan given by my family/friends amounting to `.3.50 Lacs was also handed over to Mrs Veena …”
“… demanded that the clothes, bags, shoes and other articles of the marriage should be purchased from the branded stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Christian Dior, Bottega Venetta, Fendi, Salvatore Feraggamo, Versace etc. ….” “.. of shoes, bags, apparels, etc. My family had to spend Approx. `.20 Lacs on these articles …”
“… required lot of money and more time. My father contacted Sh. Dharmendra and gave an advance of `. 3.00 Lacs for the renovation of the house. The renovation work started in full swing however could not be completed at the time of marriage. My parents had paid `6.50 to the contractor for the renovation and ` 4.50 Lacs to FCML for the bathroom fittings …”
“… relatives. On the day of Lohri we could take cash/jewellery worth about 15 Lakhs. After the Lohri Mrs. Veena Chopra got very angry and said that she is very unhappy due to non fulfillment of her demand of gifts of ` 25 Lakhs …”
“… 2009. On 13.2.2009, my parents arranged a ring ceremony and Sagan at our house wherein we invited 700 guests from both sides and spent about `.62.13 Lacs, the list of which is enclosed herewith. On 16.2.2009, the formal marriage took place at a farm house in Juana Road, Mandi Road, New Delhi, wherein almost about 1200 people were invited and my parents had incurred an expenditure of `139.40 Lacs, as per demand of my in-laws, the list is enclosed …”
“… 23. I am under sever depression since October 2009 and am getting the treatment from Dr. Rajeev Kapoor in Faridabad. I am having anti depressant tablets to control my emotional self. I am unable to understand why my in-laws have subjected me with this filth, when my father has fulfilled all their demands of gifts/ jewellery worth Crores of rupees …”
“… in white colour should be given to him during the wedding. On his constant demands and looking into my future, my father had to book this car for an amount of `.88 lacs. The model of this car was sent to us for the wedding on 13.2.2009 …”
A brief tally of the above adds up to approx 3+ Crores. One can only wonder what else was spent on legal fees etc. But what is lost is peace of mind and happiness that every home should have !
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.
Crl.M.No.M-34686 of 2010(O&M)
Date of Decision: May 22, 2012
Vinod Chopra and another …..Petitioners
State of Haryana ……Respondent
CORAM: HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE RAM CHAND GUPTA
Mr.R.S.Cheema, Sr. Advocate with Mr.K.S.Nalwa, Advocate for the petitioners.
Mr.Anmol Malik, AAG, Haryana, with ASI Vishnu Mitter.
Mrs.Baljit Mann, Advocate for the complainant.
RAM CHAND GUPTA, J.(Oral)
The present petition filed under Section 438 Cr.P.C. is for grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioners in case FIR No.599, dated 23.10.2010, under Sections 498-A, 406, 34 IPC, registered at Police Station Faridabad Central, District Faridabad (Haryana).
I have heard learned counsel for the parties and have gone through the whole record carefully, including the impugned orders passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge, Faridabad, vide which applications filed on behalf of the present petitioners for anticipatory bail were dismissed.
It is pertinent to reproduce the FIR lodged in this case at the instance of complainant-wife, namely, Shweta Chopra, to the Commissioner of Police, Police Station Central Faridabad, which reads as under:-
” Dated:- 23-10-2010
To The Commissioner of Police,
Police Station, Central,
Subject : Criminal complaint against Mr. Varun Chopra (Husband),
Mrs. Veena Chopra (Mother- in- law), Ms. Vidhi Chopra (Sister-in-
law) & Shri Vinod Chopra (Father-in-law) all resident of D-1/33,
Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, for committing various offences of Cruelty,
Demand of Dowry, physical & mental assault and Criminal Breach of
1. I married to Varun Chopra according to Hindu customs, rites and
ceremonies at Sewa Farms, Jaunapur Mandi Road, New Delhi on
16.02.2009 in the presence of the friends & relatives and soon after
the marriage, I was tortured, abused, assaulted and was treated with
utmost cruelty on various occasions by my in-laws in order to
pressurize me to fulfill their illegal and unlawful demands of dowry.
My husband Varun Chopra, mother-in- law Veena Chopra, father-in-law
Vinod Chopra and sister-in- law Vidhi Chopra, tortured me physically
and mentally to the extent that I felt like committing suicide and
give up my life. I initially did not make any complaint and suffered
the cruel behaviour of these people, but when it became a continuous
act on day to day basis, I contacted my parents and narrated all the
incidents giving rise to the present complaint.
2.This all started in Feb. 2007 when we were sent a marriage
proposal through a local marriage broker for the matrimonial alliance
of myself with Varun. However, looking into our financial and social
status, Chopra family was very keen to get their only son married to
me at any cost. In the month of May, 2008, Mrs. Veena Chopra called
up my mother and started talking about me. She made various
representations about the credibility of their family and also the
respect which they command in the society. She further stated that
her son Varun Chopra was engaged earlier but has called off the
engagement and she is very much interested in having matrimonial
relations with our family.
3.That on her constant persuasions and various representations, my
parents thought of meeting them and thus we invited Shri Vinod Chopra
and his family to our house on 21st June 2008. We had a brief meeting
in our house in Faridabad. Varun had a chat with me for some time. In
the month of Oct./Nov. 2008, I attended one of the Diwali parties of
my friend where I met Varun again. After that Diwali party, Varun
started sending messages to me and also started making calls on
regular basis, trying to please me and also showing his inclinations
for getting married to me. On 6.11.2008 Varun proposed me and on his
perpetual overtures and alluring talks my parents said yes for the
marriage. Before the marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Chopra demanded that
since they are marrying their son in Lakhani family it would be
expected that their relatives and friends would be given gifts in
gold and diamond only. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com
4. Mrs. Veena Chopra came to our house in Faridabad in the morning
of 1.12.2008 and stated that she has invited about 100 people from
her family and friends who will be attending the Roka ceremony and
demanded that Sagan in cash should be given to each and every guest
who attend the Roka ceremony. She told my parents to prepare various
envelops with different amounts for their relatives. All these
envelopes were handed over to Mrs. Chopra, who stated that she would
give the same to the relatives herself later. My parents organized
the Roka ceremony in our house at Faridabad where they spent about
`5.63 Lacs and gave cash Sagan to the Chopra family worth about
`16.57 Lacs and Gold coins & Jewellery worth `.18.00 Lacs. My Parents
had also invited about 300 people from our family/ friends to
formally declare the marriage of mine. The Sagan given by my family/
friends amounting to `.3.50 Lacs was also handed over to Mrs Veena
Chopra, on her request. (The list is enclosed herewith). However
after the marriage I learnt that the envelopes were never given to
the relatives/friends and were retained by my mother in law.
5. On 7.12.2008 Mrs Veena Chopra and her daughter Vidhi Chopra
visited our house in Faridabad and stated that they wanted the
shopping for the marriage to be done from branded stores. They
demanded that the clothes, bags, shoes and other articles of the
marriage should be purchased from the branded stores like Louis
Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Christian Dior, Bottega Venetta, Fendi,
Salvatore Feraggamo, Versace etc. Both of them proposed names of
various branded stores in Delhi and Mumbai and stated that goods
should be purchased only from there. My Parents had no option but to
purchase the articles from the said branded stores for the wedding.
During this period, Mrs. Veena Chopra and her daughter Vidhi Chopra
made numerous calls making demands for purchase of a particular brand
of shoes, bags, apparels, etc. My family had to spend Approx. `.20
Lacs on these articles.
6. In the first week of Dec. 2009, Vinod Chopra called my parents
and said that the 2nd floor of the house, where Varun stays is in a
bad condition and in case we want Shweta to stay there, then my
parents should renovate and restructure the entire floor for them.
Being pressurized my parents decided to get their house renovated at
their own expenses. My father immediately contacted Mr Rajan Sood,
Architect and M/s D K Builders, the contractor, Sh Dharmendra for
renovating/ restructuring of the house of my in-laws. They also said
that the renovation should be completed before the date of the
marriage so that Shweta can shift in that portion of the house
immediately thereafter. Since it was an old house, the renovation
required lot of money and more time. My father contacted Sh.
Dharmendra and gave an advance of `. 3.00 Lacs for the renovation of
the house. The renovation work started in full swing however could
not be completed at the time of marriage. My parents had paid `6.50
to the contractor for the renovation and ` 4.50 Lacs to FCML for the
7. On 13.1.2009 my parents had gone to the house of Chopra for
Lohri. Mrs. Veena Chopra and Mr. Vinod Chopra said that the first
Lohri has to be celebrated in a grand manner, and said that
Jewellery/Gifts worth about 25 Lakhs should be given to them. They
said that if this is not done, they would be embarrassed before their
relatives. On the day of Lohri we could take cash/jewellery worth
about 15 Lakhs. After the Lohri Mrs. Veena Chopra got very angry and
said that she is very unhappy due to non fulfillment of her demand of
gifts of ` 25 Lakhs.
8. On 23.1.2009 we had a family meeting and we decided that it may
not be appropriate to go ahead with the marriage due to their greedy
behaviour. It seemed as if they want only money and jewellery and not
our daughter. After this meeting my parents decided to call off the
marriage considering their greed for money. On my Parents insistence,
my brother-in-law Sh. Nitin Miglani informed Varun that we are trying
to call off the wedding as it would not be appropriate. However,
after that Mr. and Mrs. Vinod Chopra continued to approach us through
their friends and relatives that this will be an ideal marriage. They
gave further assurances and as we had already declared the marriage
to family/ friends, we decided to go ahead with the marriage. They
also convinced my parents that their daughter would be very happy in
the house and whatever has happened was due to some misunderstanding
and they would accept whatever is being given to them.
9. On 5.2.2009, we organized a Mata Ki Chowki at our house and
surprisingly Mrs. Veena Chopra did not attend the same. Mr. Vinod
Chopra & Varun Chopra convinced us and said that she is not feeling
well and thus has not come. Being in fear of call off marriage Mr.
Vinod Chopra insisted that they should have an Arya Samaj/ Court
Marriage on the very next day. That after being pressurized we
arranged an Arya Samaj Marriage followed by Court Marriage on 6-2-
2009. On 13.2.2009, my parents arranged a ring ceremony and Sagan at
our house wherein we invited 700 guests from both sides and spent
about `.62.13 Lacs, the list of which is enclosed herewith. On
16.2.2009, the formal marriage took place at a farm house in Juana
Road, Mandi Road, New Delhi, wherein almost about 1200 people were
invited and my parents had incurred an expenditure of `139.40 Lacs,
as per demand of my in-laws, the list is enclosed.
10. On 9.2.2009 Smt. Veena Chopra my mother-in- law and my husband
Vinod Chopra visited our house in Faridabad and demanded that each &
every guest accompanying the Barat should be paid Sagan to the
minimum amount of ` 1 lac. On their specific demand, my parents had
to prepare Sagan envelopes even for Varun’s friends and their wives.
Varun also told me that he wants that his dream car Porsche (Cayenne)
in white colour should be given to him during the wedding. On his
constant demands and looking into my future, my father had to book
this car for an amount of `.88 lacs. The model of this car was sent
to us for the wedding on 13.2.2009. However, after having a look at
the car, Varun had a change of mind and stated that he did not want
this car and it should be replaced with S Class Mercedes. Although my
father had already paid for this car just to fulfill the demand of
his son-in-law, my father immediately sent their office manager to
purchase a new S320 Mercedes car.
11. After the marriage on 17.2.2009, when I visited the house for
Phera, my parents handed over all the jewellery to me and Varun. My
parents gave gifts in the form of jewellery/ watches/ designer
clothes/ accessories for Mrs. Veena Chopra, Mr. Vinod Chopra, Mr.
Varun Chopra and Ms .Vidhi Chopra worth about `.620 Lacs as demanded
by them. On 18.2.2009 I left for Vaishno Devi and before leaving my
mother-in-law and my sister-in-law asked me to hand over all my
jewellery and my suitcases with clothes, bags etc., which I got from
her parents, on the pretext of keeping it in safe custody. I, without
understanding their real intentions, gave the entire jewellery/ gifts
to them in their custody for safe keeping. The list of
jewellery/clothes gifted to me is enclosed to the complaint.
12. I left for our honeymoon for Australia/ US for a month. Varun
after coming back to Delhi bragged that he had spent ` 20 Lacs in the
Honeymoon and demanded that this should be reimbursed to him. After
coming back from honeymoon I, found that my suitcases containing
expensive designer clothes, bags, accessories which were purchased
from US had been removed from room and were missing. I later on
learnt that all my bags containing branded clothes, handbags,
perfumes, cosmetics, accessories etc. were secretly kept by my sister-
in-law Vidhi on the instructions of her mother Veena Chopra. When I
asked about them from my mother-in- law & sister-in-law they said
that they did not know where the bags were. After the marriage, my
mother-in-law, father- in-law, husband and sister-in-law, started
taunting me on day- to-day basis for not bringing adequate dowry. My
mother-in- law Mrs. Veena Chopra deliberately used to loose her
temper on trivial things and would abuse my parents in front of me
and would say that my parents inspite of being so rich acted as
‘Kanjus’ and could not give enough money to them. On one occasion
Mrs. Veena Chopra on a day of Holi got angry on me and tried to burn
by throwing boiling water on me. I however saved with minor burn
injuries. After the marriage my husband Varun also started
threatening me every night and said that his mother wanted that his
name should be put in all the properties belonging to me. He said
that the house in Faridabad in Sector 14 and 21C should be in the
joint name of Varun and Shweta and if the same is not done, I would
be subjected to torture like this for rest of my life. Varun would
also drink alcohol in the night and would beat me and lock me in the
bath room for the entire night. When I told my parents about their
new demand of transfer of properties to them, they suggested that I
should tell my in- laws that the properties belonging to me were
already pledged with the bank and my parents would get the same
cleared and would get the property transferred as per the wishes of
my husband and in-laws after some time. I was told that I should tell
them that it might take 9 months to one year. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com
16. Soon after the marriage, my husband Varun started beating me
physically and one day he and his mother hit me so badly that I
suffered injury on my legs and I bled profusely. After beating Varun
ran away from the house. Mr.s Veena instigated Varun to give me more
beatings. When I got hurt badly and there was no body to attend to
me, I called up my sister who took me to Dr. NK Pandey at Faridabad
and he gave me medication. I had bodyache all over my body because of
the severe beating given to me by Varun at the instance of my mother-
in-law. I had to take medicines for one month.
17. One day I learnt that my husband Varun is having an affair with
one Maneka. I also found out that they were having this relationship
from the last many years and the reason of marrying me was only money
and lots of dowry. I learnt that Varun had decided that after
marrying me he would dump me and would marry Maneka. It seems as if
Maneka was also party to the entire conspiracy.
18. In the first week of Sept. 2009, Mr. Varun and Mrs. Veena Chopra
fought with me and locked me in the room at about midnight. I was
again badly beaten up and was thrown on the bed. My husband Mr. Varun
brought a knife and raised threat that he would kill me. While the
room was locked, I somehow managed to call up my sister and narrated
the entire incident. My elder sister and my brother-in-law
immediately rushed to my matrimonial house. At the first instance
they were not permitted to enter the house and the guard locked the
main gate stating that he had instructions from Madam not to open the
gate for anyone. When I was about to call the police, the guards to
open the door and my elder sister could meet myself. They spent
nearly four hours in the house trying to sort out the problem but the
behaviour of Mrs. Veena Chopra and Mr. Varun Chopra was very
aggressive and abusive. Varun also threatened that he had good
connections in Delhi and his best friend had good connectivity with
the media and in case anyone would say anything against them, then
they would try to get them maligned by fabricating news items in the
paper against them. They also raised threat to me by saying that I
have another unmarried sister in the house and in case anything is
done, then they would do everything to damage the reputation of the
19. On 26-9-2010 my mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband tried to
strangulate me in their house but somehow I managed to escape. On
26th September, 2009, I was thrown out of the house by my in- laws
with few clothing and I was abused and tortured the whole night. My
husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law & sister-in-law also forced me
to get these demands fulfilled & they all forcibly ousted me from the
house on 26-9-2009 & did not allow me to carry anything from the
house. I came to my parent’s house only in three clothes which I was
wearing at that time. All my jewelry, clothes & Istridhan alongwith
other valuables are lying with my husband, father-in-law, mother-in-
law & sister-in-law in their house at New Delhi. I came back to my
parental house and started staying with my parents. Thereafter, I
along with my father went to my in- law’s house but we were not
allowed to get in the house. Rather Mr. Varun started using the
abusive & unparliamentary language & shouted that he had told
everything to his daughter & he should asked me only. Thereafter my
parents tried to sort out the things with the help of other
respectable people but no avail.
20. In the first week of Oct. 2009, Varun came to our house in
Faridabad to meet me. He went to my room on the pretext of talking to
me. After speaking to me for 20-25 minutes, he lost temper and took
me in the corner of the room and banged my head on the wall and said
that he would not accept me in his house till the properties are not
transferred in his name. He said “Apne Baap ko keh dena ke Larki Ko
Sasural Bhejna hai to property be sath mein bhenje”. Before I could
realize what he did, Varun rushed out of the house and ran away.
21. In the last week of Oct. 2009, my parents called up my in-laws
and requested them to sort out the issue amicably in case there is
any confusion or any misunderstandings. However, they were never
interested in sorting out the problem. They said that Varun is not
interested in staying with Shweta and he is in love with Maneka and
therefore they would have a divorce by mutual consent so that Varun
and Maneka could marry.
22. I called up my husband and mother- in-law in the last week of
Nov. 2009 and asked for my jewellery as I had to go for attending a
wedding of my elder sister’s brother-in-law Parikshit Miglani at
Mumbai. However inspite of requests, no jewellery or my belongings
were given to me for the wedding at Mumbai.
23. I am under sever depression since October 2009 and am getting
the treatment from Dr. Rajeev Kapoor in Faridabad. I am having anti
depressant tablets to control my emotional self. I am unable to
understand why my in-laws have subjected me with this filth, when my
father has fulfilled all their demands of gifts/ jewellery worth
Crores of rupees.
24. I am tired of the continuous physical torture and beatings at
the hands of my husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, I have no
other option but to request you to kindly register criminal case
against my husband Mr. Varun Chopra, s/o Shri Vinod Chopra, my father-
in-law Shri Vinod Chopra, s/o Shri Amlok Rai Chopra, my mother-in-law
Mrs. Veena Chopra, w/o Shri Vinod Chopra, my sister-in-law Ms. Vidhi
Chopra, D/o Shri Vinod Chopra, for committing various offences of
cruelty, threat, demand of dowry and criminal breach of trust and
investigate the same in accordance with law and also recover the
jewellery articles, Furniture, gifts and expensive clothes from the
possession of my husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-
at present R/o House No. 1340, Sector -14, Faridabad
List of Expenses Incurred on Roka and Courtship Ceremony, List of
Expenses Incurred on Ring Ceremony, List of Expenses Incurred on
Wedding and Phera Ceremony,List of Expenses Incurred on Personal
Jewelry, Clothes and other Items of Shweta Chopra given as per demand
of Chopra Family. Total expenditure incurred in the marriage of shweta”
A perusal of the aforementioned FIR shows that there are allegations of demand of dowry by petitioners alongwith co-accused even before solemnising the marriage. At one point of time, there was a thought in the mind of parents of complainant that they should not proceed with this marriage proposal and, however, later on they reconciled and the marriage was performed. Both the parties belong to affluent families. Lot of articles were given in dowry including jewellery, which was entrusted to all the family members including the present petitioners-accused. There are specific allegations of acts of physical torture having been committed upon the complainant by petitioners-accused and the co-accused. She has given natural version of the entire occurrence.
It has been contended by learned counsel for the petitioners that husband of complainant had already been arrested and released on regular bail. It is further contended that petitioners were also granted interim bail by this Court vide order dated 26.11.2010. It is also contended that even as per FIR, complainant left the matrimonial home on 26.9.2009 and thereafter only fact mentioned in the FIR is that in the first week of October 2009, Varun, i.e., son of present petitioners, came to their house in Faridabad and again raised demand of property and rushed out of the house. Hence, it is contended that since then, there was no contact from the side of complainant and the FIR was lodged after about 11 months of the same. It is further contended that since interim bail was granted to petitioners-accused, there was sufficient time for the Investigating Agency to have recovered jewellery items etc., and however, no serious efforts were made in that direction. It is further contended that the alleged dowry articles, as mentioned in the complaint, are also exaggerated as no such list was prepared at the time of marriage as per the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of List of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985. It is further contended that petitioners cannot be subjected to custodial interrogation for the purpose of recovery of dowry articles in proceedings under Sections 406 and 498-A IPC. He has placed reliance upon Ram Wati v. State of Haryana 1996(1) RCC 199; Jagdish Thakkar v. State of Delhi 1993 JCC 117; Ravi Pranja v. State 1997 JCC 123; Crl.M.No.M-16933 of 2000 decided on 6.3.2001 (Ram Labhaya Vij @ Ram Labhaya Vig and another v. Union Territory, Chandigarh); Smt.Neera Singh v. The State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) and others, 2008(3) RCR (Criminal) 287; and Baldev Raj Kapoor and another v. State of Haryana 2009(4) RCR (Criminal) 521. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com
It is further contended that provision under Section 498-A IPC is being misused. He has also placed reliance upon a judgment of Hon’ble Apex Court rendered in Preeti Gupta and another v. State of Jharkhand and another, JT 2010(8) SC 410, relevant paragraph of which reads as under:-
“13.The complaint in this case under Section 498A IPC has led to
several other cases. It is mentioned that a divorce petition has been
filed by the husband of respondent no.2. Both respondent no.2 and her
husband are highly qualified and are working with reputed
organisation like Tata Consultancy Service. If because of
temperamental incompatibility they cannot live with each other, then
it is proper that they should jointly get a decree of divorce by
mutual consent. Both respondent no.2 and her husband are in such age
group that if proper efforts are made, their re- settlement may not
Bail application has been vehemently opposed by learned State counsel as well as by learned counsel for the complainant on the plea that though husband of complainant, i.e., son of present petitioners, has already been arrested and interrogated and, however, no jewellery item has been recovered. Rather he stated that all the jewellery articles are in the custody of the present petitioners. It is further contended that though petitioners joined the investigation and, however, they are not cooperating and recovery of jewellery is yet to be effected. Further contended that there are specific allegations of various acts of cruelty having been committed upon complainant by all the family members including the present petitioners and that the complainant has given natural version of the occurrence in the detailed FIR lodged by her. Further submitted that petitioners themselves appeared before Hon’ble Delhi High Court for anticipatory bail and Hon’ble Delhi High Court granted transit bail to petitioners with a direction to surrender before the concerned Magistrate in Faridabad latest by 8th November 2010 and, however, instead of complying with the said order, they filed another anticipatory bail applications before the Court of Sessions, Faridabad, which were declined vide orders Annexures P7 and P8. Hence, it is contended that another application for anticipatory bail is not maintainable. It is further submitted that none of the judgments, on which reliance has been placed by learned Senior counsel for the petitioners, is applicable to the facts of present case as in this case husband has himself taken the plea that all the jewellery articles are in possession of the present petitioners. It is further submitted that respondent-complainant has given all the details of jewellery articles given in dowry and entrusted to the present petitioners and the other persons and detail was also mentioned in the income tax returns as well as in the account books of the firm of the father of the complainant and that all the details including bills and income tax returns have been provided to the Investigating Officer, a fact which is not disputed by learned State counsel.
It is further submitted that after complainant was turned out of the matrimonial home, divorce petition was filed by son of petitioners, i.e., husband of the complainant on 8.2.2010 and, however, when complainant filed petition for maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C., the said petition was withdrawn. It is also contended that son of present petitioners is having relations with some other girl, namely, Maneka, and he intended to contract the marriage with her after seeking divorce from the complainant. Hence, it is contended that in view of serious allegations of harassment and cruelty including physical violence and in view of the fact that jewellery articles are yet to be recovered, it is not such a case in which extraordinary relief of anticipatory bail should be granted to the petitioners-accused.
As is clear from the aforementioned facts, complainant has given detailed and natural version of the entire occurrence starting from the time when talks for marriage were initiated. Many gift items were given before the marriage and at the time of shagun and engagement ceremonies. Sufficient amount was spent on the marriage. Many jewellery articles were given in marriage which was accounted for in the account books of the father of the complainant and income tax returns. Bills for purchasing the same were also handed over to the Investigating Officer. However, none of the said jewellery articles has been recovered. She has given details of all the acts of cruelty being committed upon her by petitioners and other family members. There were also allegations of acts of physical violence. She was even tried to be strangulated by petitioners and other co-accused. Hence, she had to leave the house of the petitioners. The cruelty was to the extent that there were allegations that petitioners wanted to contract the marriage of their son with some other lady. Son of the petitioners also filed a divorce petition just after few months of complainant leaving the house of petitioners.
It is pertinent to reproduce the order passed by learned Delhi High Court in the petition moved by petitioners, which reads as under:
“Petitioners, in the instant petitions, are seeking transit bail in
case FIR No.599/2010 registered at Police Station Faridabad Central
for the offences punishable under Sections 498-A and 406 IPC read
with Section 34 IPC.
Learned counsel for the petitioners submit that petitioners are
innocent and they have been falsely implicated in this case because
of a matrimonial discord and they apprehend immediate arrest by the
Taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case, the
request for anticipatory transit bail is allowed, subject to the
condition that petitioners shall put in appearance before the
concerned Magistrate in Faridabad, latest by 8th November 2010.
It is directed that in the event of their arrest, respective
petitioners Vinod Chopra, Veena Chopra and Vidhi Chopra shall be
released on anticipatory bail till 8th November 2010 on their
furnishing personal bonds in the sum of Rs.25,000/- each with one
surety in the like amount each to the satisfaction of the Arresting
Officer/SHO concerned in order to enable them to appear before the
Petitions are disposed of accordingly.
Copy of this order be given Dasti under the signature of the Court
However, instead of surrendering before learned Magistrate, anticipatory bail applications were filed before learned Additional Sessions Judge, which was dismissed and then before this Court. Though interim order was passed in favour of the petitioners on 26.11.2010 and though petitioners joined the investigation, and however, jewellery articles are yet to be recovered.
Hon’ble Apex Court in Preeti Gupta and another’s case (supra) observed that though large number of cases come across in which complaints are not bona fide one and filed with oblique motive and, however, there are also rapid increase in genuine cases of dowry harassment.
The present is such a case of harassment and acts of cruelty having been committed upon complainant on account of dowry. She was turned out of the matrimonial home and, thereafter divorce petition was filed. Efforts were also made by this Court to reconcile the matter. Parties were also sent to Mediation and Conciliation Centre of this Court and, however, mediation failed.
Hence, in view of these facts, it is not such a case in which extraordinary relief of anticipatory bail should be granted to the petitioners- accused.
Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the present petition filed by petitioners-Vinod Chopra and Veena Chopra for grant of anticipatory bail is, hereby, dismissed being devoid of any merit.
Interim order dated 26.11.2010 stands vacated.
22.5.2012 (Ram Chand Gupta)
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