Be liberal in deciding bail petitions in marital disputes: HC : The Tribune India

Be liberal in deciding bail petitions in marital disputes: HC

Be liberal in deciding bail petitions in marital disputes: HC


Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, November 18

In a significant judgment liable to change the way regular bail pleas by estranged couples of their families are decided in matrimonial disputes, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has called for a more liberal approach. This, the Bench asserted, was required as inconsequential issues were more often than not amplified or were detached from reality.

Most end in truce

It has been seen that most discords end up in settlement and keeping a spouse in detention for months together aggravates the bitterness. Justice Suvir Sehgal

“This court is of the view that a liberal approach has to be adopted while considering petitions seeking post-arrest bail in matrimonial matters arising out of proceedings initiated (for criminal breach of trust and subjecting a married woman to cruelty) under Section 406 and 498-A of the IPC. In such matters, most of the times, trivial disputes are either blown out of proportion or the allegations levelled appear far from truth,” Justice Suvir Sehgal asserted.

Besides this, keeping a spouse or a relative in detention for months together aggravated the bitterness and created hurdles in bringing about an amicable compromise.

The assertions came in a case where a husband, behind bars for almost nine months, was seeking regular bail in a case registered on March 5, 2021, for offences under Sections 406, 498-A and 448 of the IPC at Women police station in Patiala district. Section 201 of the IPC on disappearance of evidence was added later on.

His counsel contended the FIR was an outcome of a matrimonial dispute and the petitioner-husband was in custody since February 23.

He submitted that the marriage had been dissolved by an ex parte judgment and decree dated July 2.

The counsel added the petitioner deserved to be released on bail as challan or the final investigation report had been presented and charge framed on the conclusion of investigation. Besides this, the petitioner’s middle-aged mother required immediate medical attention.

The state counsel, meanwhile, submitted none of the 34 prosecution witnesses had so far been examined in the case.

Allowing the plea after hearing rival contentions and going through the documents, Justice Sehgal added the court was of the view that the petitioner deserved to be released on bail, noticing the nature of allegations levelled against him, his mother’s custody, the length of custody, the stage of trial and the divorce between the parties.

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