Questions of faith have no bearing on individuals’ freedom to choose a life partner; Delhi High Court rejects bail for mother and grandmother

Wherever the life and liberty of any individual is concerned, especially in cases of couples legally marrying out of their own freewill and volition, the police is expected to act expeditiously and with sensitivity in accordance with law and take necessary measures for protection and safety of applicants concerned, if they apprehend hostility and concerns for their safety from different quarters including their own family members.

Delhi High Court


Delhi High Court: In a bail petition filed against sister, mother and grandmother of the wife of the complainant regarding allegations pertaining to abducting the complainant and his wife, beating them and amputating the private part of the complainant, Anoop Kumar Mendiratta, J., rejected bail to the mother and grandmother of the wife considering the grave nature of offence, ghastly manner in which the assault was made and considering their role in the incident, whereas granted bail to the sister, since no active role appears to have been attributed to her, subject to furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 25,000/- with one surety in the like amount.

FIR was registered under Sections 356/367/368/326/307/506/120-B/34 of Penal Code, 1860 on the statement of injured/victim Raman, who had married Menka (another victim/injured) against the consent of her parents on 21-12-2021. However, family members of the wife of the complainant abducted Raman and his wife Menka on 22-12-2021 and after brutally beating him up, amputated his private part with an axe and was thrown in a drain from and was rescued later by his brother.

The Court noted that so far as the petitioner – Naina Rana (sister of victim) is concerned, no active role appears to have been attributed to her. However, so far as the petitioners – Geeta (mother of Menka) and Kaushalya (grandmother of Menka) are concerned, both of them are alleged to have participated in assault and exhorted family members for amputation of private part of the complainant. Moreover, both petitioners- Geeta and Kaushalya have criminal antecedents and petitioner- Geeta in fact was declared as a proclaimed offender (P.O) during the initial stages of the proceedings.

The Court observed that the freedom of choice in marriage in accordance with law is an intrinsic part of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Even the questions of faith have no bearing on an individual’s freedom to choose a life partner and are the essence of personal liberty.

Thus, the Court found no grounds for bail in respect of petitioner/accused Geeta and Kaushalya and admitted the petitioner- Naina Rana on bail subject to furnishing a personal bond.

The Court concluded that it is unfortunate that in this case necessary steps for ensuring the safety and security of the victims/complainant were not initiated by the SHO, Police Station Rajouri Garden on the complaint of victims, taking it in a routine course while they were expected to act with promptitude. The conduct of the concerned police officials in this regard is deprecated and needs to be looked into and necessary action taken. Any such lapse cannot be accepted on behalf of the police.

[Naina Rana v. State, Bail Application No. 2346 of 2022, decided on 13-10-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Rahul Sharma with Mr. Prabhash Malik and Mr. Vinay Daggar, Advocates for the Petitioner;

Mr. Laksh Khanna, APP for State with SI Vikash Fageria, P.S. Rajouri Garden.

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