Mumbai: Man, kin get anticipatory bail in domestic violence case

Court says law not recourse for recovery of ornaments

A sessions court granted anticipatory bail to a man and two of his family members in a domestic violence case, stating that the law is not a recourse for recovery of ornaments, after the police opposed their plea stating that jewellery belonging to his estranged wife is yet to be recovered.

“The investigating officer though made submission that he wants to recover the ornaments but as the law is very clear that the offence under section 498A (cruelty by husband or his relative) of the Indian Penal Code is not a recourse for recovery of the ornaments from the applicants. The informant (the woman who filed the complaint) though is saying that the applicants have misappropriated her ornaments but all the allegations are vague in nature,” the court said while granting the pre-arrest bail in a recent order.

According to the plea, the husband had claimed that he is a self-employed man, whose work had stopped due to the pandemic. While his wife had filed a complaint stating that she was being harassed and assaulted with demands for money by him and his family, the man claimed that he was humiliated by her as she earned more than him. He told the court that last June, she sought a divorce and called him a ‘beggar’, citing her salary from her MNC job.

It was submitted that she had then left her marital home and not returned since. He claimed that he had sent a notice for mutual divorce in January and on receiving it, his estranged wife had filed a case of domestic violence.

The state prosecutor opposed the pre-arrest bail plea stating that the streedhan belonging to the woman was lying at her marital home amounting to over Rs 7 lakh, which needs to be recovered along with ornaments. The accused told the court that all jewellery was taken by the woman when she left and if anything is remaining, they are ready to hand it over.

“…the Hon’ble Apex Court as also various Hon’ble High Courts always made it clear that when the matters are arising out of family dispute, involving allegations in the nature of domestic violence, then we should avoid arrest of the accused person because it involves interest of two families in it,” the court said while allowing the pre-arrest bail pleas.

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