Court orders IT dept. 2 to report how wife & co could spend 40 Lakhs on marriage. Classic P&H HC bail !

A husband harassed with 406 & 498 cocktail approaches the Hon for AB

during the course of the hearing, the court notices that the wife seems to have made fake and exaggerated claims on dowry items and marriage expenses (to the extent of 40 lakhs !!).

The Hon HC notices these exagerated claims and orders investigation into the wife’s family finances and their source of funds . “….During the course of arguments, this Court asked the complainant side to explain where from 40,00,000/- were acquired by the complainant and her parents so as to spend such a huge amount in the marriage, but they could not give any satisfactory answer and to arrive at a correct conclusion, this Court directed the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar Range, Jalandhar, to verify the said fact. The private parties were directed to appear before the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar. The report has been received wherein it has been mentioned that the mother of the complainant has no means to spend beyond22,71,900/-……”

The Honourable court also reiterates that sections 406 & 498-A IPC, are not meant for recovery of dowry articles and grants anticipatory bail to husband !! “….9. So far as the recovery of dowry articles are concerned, the provisions of Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the said purpose. Reference can be made to Jagdish Thakkar v. State of Delhi, 1992 (3) CCR 2764, wherein Delhi High Court held that in a case under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, the anticipatory bail cannot be denied only on the ground that jewellery and the dowry articles were not recovered. It has further been held that the proceedings under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the recovery of the jewellery and the dowry articles. The wife (complainant) if so chooses can move the Civil Court for the recovery of the said articles…..”

===========================

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

CRM-M-29829-2012 (O&M)

Date of Decision: August 23, 2013

Prit Pal Singh   …Petitioner

Versus

State of Punjab and another …Respondents

CORAM:       HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE NARESH KUMAR SANGHI

Present:     Mr. Vijay Pal, Advocate, for the petitioner.

Mr. K.S. Pannu, DAG, Punjab, for respondent No. 1.

Mr. Mandeep Singh Sachdev, Advocate, for respondent No. 2.

NARESH KUMAR SANGHI, J.

  1. Prayer in this petition is for grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioner, Prit Pal Singh, son of Gurjit Singh Walia, resident of G-77/A, Opposite Ansal Plaza Mall, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon, who has been booked for having committed the offences punishable under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, in a case arising out of FIR No. 47, dated 23.8.2012, registered at Police Station, Women Cell (now Police Station, Women), Jalandhar City, District Jalandhar.
  2. Learned counsel contends that vide order dated 25.9.2012, the investigating agency was directed not to take coercive steps against the petitioner; the petitioner has joined the investigation several time and fully cooperated with the investigating agency; most of the alleged dowry articles have already been recovered from the house of the petitioner; and that it was a love marriage and the petitioner and the complainant- respondent No. 2 could not pull on well, therefore, just to put pressure on the petitioner and to grab his property, a false case has been registered against him. He further submits that even during the pendency of the application before the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Jalandhar, ad-interim anticipatory bail was granted to the petitioner and he joined the investigation and fully cooperated with the investigating agency. It has also been contended that the complainant has alleged that approximately `40,00,000/- were spent in the marriage, but the report sought by this Court from the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar-II, Jalandhar, belies the said fact. It has also been contended that the provisions contained in Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for recovery of the dowry articles etc.

  3. Learned counsel for the State on instructions from ASI Ravi Kumar of Police Station, Women, Jalandhar City, District Jalandhar, very fairly concedes that the petitioner has joined the investigation and no more required by the investigating agency. However, all the dowry articles as alleged by the complainant, have not been recovered and for that purpose further interrogation of the petitioner is required.

  4. Learned counsel for the complainant-respondent No. 2 submits that the factum of the love marriage, as alleged by the petitioner, is belied from the compact discs which have been placed on record by her; the petitioner has not joined the investigation and cooperated with the investigating agency; the report received from the Commissioner of Income-tax is incomplete, wrong and perverse; except the husband, no other member of his family has been involved in this case; the grant of anticipatory bail at this stage would prejudice the investigation; and that the previous investigating officer was colliding with the petitioner, therefore, the case could not be effectively investigated.

  5. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and with their able assistance gone through the material available on record.

  6. The marriage of the petitioner with the complainant- respondent No. 2 was solemnized on 1.12.2009. According to the petitioner, it was a love marriage and with the consent of the parents of the petitioner and the complainant, it was performed at Jalandhar. The husband and wife could not pull on well and, hence, the matter was reported to the police, resulting into registration of the present case. The petitioner and the complainant-respondent No. 2 resided at Gurgaon after the marriage, where the petitioner was employed as a Software Engineer in some multinational company. After registration of the case, the petitioner made an application for grant of anticipatory bail before the learned Court of Session and he was granted ad-interim bail. In compliance of the said order, he joined the investigation, but ultimately the said application was dismissed. Hence, he approached this Court.

  7. By virtue of the interim orders passed by this Court, the petitioner further joined the investigation and some of the dowry articles were recovered from him. It is the conceded position that in accordance with the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985, no list of the gifts was prepared. During the course of arguments, this Court asked the complainant side to explain where from 40,00,000/- were acquired by the complainant and her parents so as to spend such a huge amount in the marriage, but they could not give any satisfactory answer and to arrive at a correct conclusion, this Court directed the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar Range, Jalandhar, to verify the said fact. The private parties were directed to appear before the Commissioner of Income-tax, Jalandhar. The report has been received wherein it has been mentioned that the mother of the complainant has no means to spend beyond22,71,900/-.

  8. According to the learned counsel for the State, the petitioner has joined the investigation and some of the dowry articles have been recovered, but few dowry articles as disclosed by the complainant side are yet to be recovered.

  9. So far as the recovery of dowry articles are concerned, the provisions of Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the said purpose. Reference can be made to Jagdish Thakkar v. State of Delhi, 1992 (3) CCR 2764, wherein Delhi High Court held that in a case under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, the anticipatory bail cannot be denied only on the ground that jewellery and the dowry articles were not recovered. It has further been held that the proceedings under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for the recovery of the jewellery and the dowry articles. The wife (complainant) if so chooses can move the Civil Court for the recovery of the said articles.

  10. In Uday Singh v. State of Haryana, 2001 (1) R.C.R. (Criminal) 354, this Court held that the accused who had approached this Court for grant of anticipatory bail in a case arising out of the offences punishable under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, had joined the investigation and certain articles of dowry were recovered, in that eventuality, anticipatory bail could not be refused on the ground that some articles were still to be recovered.

  11. In Anil Rajput and others v. State of Haryana, 2010 (6) R.C.R. (Criminal) 1126, this Court also held that during pendency of the anticipatory bail petition in a matrimonial dispute case, the petitioner joined the investigation and in spite of the fact that recoveries were yet to be effected, would not dis-entitle the petitioner/accused to the concession of anticipatory bail.

  12. In Beant Singh and another v. State of Punjab, 2011 (2) R.C.R. (Criminal) 381, this Court also held that where there is a claim and counter claim with regard to the dowry articles, in the said circumstances the concession of anticipatory bail should not be withheld.

  13. In Vishal Gulati v. State of Punjab (CRM-M-17915-2012, decided on 5.7.2012), this Court also expressed the view that the provision contained in Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, are not meant for recovery of the dowry articles.

  14. Hon’ble the Supreme Court in the matter of Siddharam Satingappa Mhetre v. State of Maharashtra, 2011 (1) R.C.R. (Criminal) 126, held that the arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arrest of the accused is imperative, in the facts and circumstances of the case.

  15. No contrary view has been produced either by the learned counsel for the State or the learned counsel for the complainant-respondent No. 2.

16. Without discussing much on the merits of the case, but keeping in view the facts that the petitioner has joined the investigation and most of the dowry articles have already been recovered, as well as the ratio of the judgments cited herein above, the present petition for grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioner, Prit Pal Singh, son of Gurjit Singh Walia, resident of G- 77/A, Opposite Ansal Plaza Mall, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon, is allowed. In the event of his arrest, the petitioner shall be admitted to bail, subject to his furnishing bail bonds to the satisfaction of the Arresting Officer.

  1. The petitioner shall continue to join the investigation as and when required to do so and abide by all the conditions laid down under Section 438(2), Cr.P.C.

(NARESH KUMAR SANGHI)
August 23, 2013                                  JUDGE
Pkapoor

Kapoor Prashant
2013.08.31 13:56
I attest to the accuracy
of this order

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