Patna High Court: Ahsanuddin Amanullah, J., dismissed an application for grant of pre-arrest bail to the petitioners. The petitioners apprehend arrest in connection with Dumraon PS Case No. 201 of 2019 dated 08-06-2019, instituted under Sections 341, 323, 498A, 307 and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The petitioners are the father-in-law and mother-in-law of respondent 2.
Earlier on 03-09-2020, the Court had recorded that a consensus has been reached whereby the petitioners and their son is ready to keep respondent 2 in the matrimonial home with love and affection and the willingness is reciprocated by the respondent as well. The petitioners and their son were to work out modalities of the reunion of the husband and wife.
However, it is conveyed by Digvijay Kumar Ojha that the petitioner’s son has filed a divorce petition in Bhopal against respondent 2 on 31-08-2020. Initially, the counsel had stated that the petition has been filed on 09-10-2020.
The Court found this revelation with respect to the date of filing the divorce petition to be irrelevant as it has been categorically stated in the pleadings that petitioner’s and their son are willing to keep respondent 2 in their matrimonial home.
The son (respondent 2’s husband) had filed a case for restitution of conjugal rights under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which has been allowed ex-parte in his favour. Thereafter, the divorce case has been filed.
The Court is of the opinion that the conduct of the petitioners has cast a shadow of doubt over their intent. When they had already filed an application for anticipatory bail and the suit for restitution has been decided in the favour of the petitioner’s son, then going ahead a divorce petition makes absolutely no sense especially in view of the Covid19 pandemic. It appears that this is just a ploy to defy the stand taken by the petitioners earlier that they were willing to keep respondent 2 in their home. The Court can observe that whatever ensued is the result of a well planned strategy devised by the petitioners where, by first filing an application for restitution of conjugal rights and taking a stand before the Court in the present proceeding that their son was ready to keep the wife with all love and affection and they had no objection to their matrimonial life and in support thereof, showing that he has filed an petition for restitution of conjugal rights, and then getting the same decreed ex-parte, knowing fully well that the petition filed at Bhopal would be difficult to be contested by the opposite party no. 2, who is living at Dumraon in the district of Buxar, especially in the present times and then getting ex-parte decree and then filing a petition for divorce, raises grave misgivings about the conduct of the parents and their son.
The Court is of the understanding that it has been deliberately misled through the categorical pleadings in the application which was again reiterated by the petitioner’s counsel. In the garb of asking for a chance to work out things, the petitioners and their son were trying to fool the Court.
On the issue of the divorce petition, the Court observed that mere filing of the petition does not act as a roadblock in the parties willing to resume their matrimonial relationship and if the petitioners and their son were really desirous of the same then they should have done it already. It is evident that both the pleading and the stand of the petitioners lacks bona fide and has been done solely with the purpose of getting the Court to grant them indulgence.
Counsel for the state, Suresh Prasad Singh has submitted that independent witnesses have confirmed the allegations of there being a demand of dowry right after the marriage.
In view of the above, the present application has been dismissed by the Court denying relief to the petitioners.[Jai Kishun Yadav v. State of Bihar, 2020 SCC OnLine Pat 1808, decided on 19-10-2020]
Yashvardhan Shrivastav, Editorial Assistant has put this story together