Uttarakhand HC Dismisses Bail Application in Dowry Harassment Case

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On 31st August 2020, a Single Judge Bench of Hon’ble Justice Ravindra Maithani heard the case of Rashid v. State of Uttarakhand via video conferencing.

Facts of the Case

An FIR was lodged by the father of the deceased Rubina, who was married to Azam, the younger brother of the applicant, around 18 months prior to the lodging of the FIR. According to FIR, the deceased and her elder sister were married to two real brothers. The deceased’s elder sister is Sabina, who was married to the present applicant. 

The applicant and other family members used to harass and torture the deceased and her sister for the demand of dowry. A motorcycle was being demanded. On 28.10.2019, the informant was informed that the deceased was killed by the applicant and other family members after they had hanged her. After investigation, a charge sheet was submitted against the applicant and his brother, Azam, who is the husband of the deceased.

The contention of the Applicant 

Learned Senior Counsel for the applicant contended that the FIR was lodged against all the family members, whereas the charge sheet was submitted against the applicant and his younger brother. He also contended that the applicant and his family were staying separately from the family of the deceased and her family and thus the Applicant had nothing to do with the household affairs of the deceased and her family. Further, the deceased was found hanging in her room, and she was taken to the hospital where she was declared dead. 

The Counsel referred to the statement made by the co-accused Azam given to the Investigating Officer, to argue that it was a small issue between the deceased and her husband, which prompted the deceased to commit suicide and the applicant has no role in it. 

The contention of the Informant

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the informant contended that the deceased and her sister were both beaten by the applicant and his family members. Further, the sister of the deceased also sustained injuries but she survived. 

The contention of the State

The Brief Holder for the State contended that it is a categorical case that the applicant demanded dowry, particularly, a motorcycle. Reference was made to the statement of the informant and the sister of the deceased, who is married to the present applicant.

Court’s Analysis

The Court opined that it was an unfortunate incident in which a young girl died within 18 months of her marriage other than under normal circumstances. According to the investigation, it appears as if she committed suicide. The doctor, who conducted the post-mortem, opined that the cause of death was Asphyxia due to suspected hanging. 

The Court found the following statements true: 

  • The FIR was against six persons but the charge sheet has been submitted against the applicant and his younger brother, Azam, who was married to the deceased. 
  • The applicant was married to the elder sister of the deceased. 
  • The informant in his statement given to Investigating Officer revealed that the demand for dowry was made by the applicant and other family members. He was specific that a motorcycle was being demanded. 
  • The sister of the deceased, Sabina, revealed that she and her sister, Rubina, were harassed for the demand for dowry. According to her, her sister Rubina was killed. 
  • The Court observed that the above statements would require scrutiny during the trial. But the Court found it sufficient to say that according to the prosecution, it was a case of dowry death. 

Court’s Decision

The Court held that the applicant was not entitled to be enlarged on bail and the bail application was dismissed. 

Applicant Rashid was taken into judicial custody under Sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 304B (Dowry Death) of IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 Police Station, Kotwali Laksar, District Haridwar. Uttarakhand HC dismisses bail application in dowry harassment case


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