Vipan Kumar Dhir vs State of Punjab: Judgement Summary
FACTS OF THE CASE
The appellant, also the father of the victim filed an appeal against the high court of Punjab and Haryana in the Supreme Court. The appeal is against an anticipatory bail granted to the accused, also the mother-in-law of the victim, charged under sections 304B, 302 read with 120B of Indian Penal Code. The appellant alleged that the accused started to harass his daughter immediately after the marriage for dowry. The victim died within 2 months of the marriage. It was alleged by the appellant that the cause of death was poison administered to the deceased via her mother-in-law, the accused/respondent.
Soon after lodging of the FIR by the appellant, the accused moved to the session court for bail, but was rejected. Hence, they moved to the High Court for the same which was also rejected. The accused ran away form the arrest order, and remained on run while the said court granted bail to the brother-in-law of the deceased. As a result, the respondent/accused file two appeals in the said court, asking an anticipatory bail as well as seeking quashing of order that declared her as a “proclaimed offender”. These petitions were accepted by the High Court.
The appellant pleaded that the High Court has overlooked the well established principles of granting the anticipatory bail.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to the accused and directed her to surrender. The court made the following observations-
The Supreme Court also observed that since the respondent was a key accused member of the dowry death case. The dowry cases are "heinous and protrudes our medieval social structure" and hence, granting her bail in a case where the deceased died in unnatural manner within 2 months of her marriage is tragic. The court observed, “It has to be borne in mind that the deceased met with a tragic end within three months of her marriage. While it is too early to term it an offence under Sections 302 or 304B I.P.C., but the fact remains that a young life came to an abrupt end before realizing any of her dreams which were grimly shattered. She died an unnatural death in her matrimonial home. The Investigating Agency, therefore, deserves a free hand to investigate the role of the Respondent Accused, if any, in the unnatural and untimely death of her daughter in-law”.