NEW DELHI: A man spent over Rs 1.5 crore on the wedding of his doctor daughter into a doctors family in Agra, then both paid over Rs 60 lakhs over three years to meet the insatiable greed of the in-laws and after she died an unnatural death following prolonged ill-treatment, he spent more money to move the SC and succeeded in getting the in-laws anticipatory bails cancelled.
The SC also frowned at the Agra police leaking suicide note to the press and attempting to discredit the allegations against the accused doctor family. It said such leakages are neither fair to the accused, the victim nor to the investigation.
“This is not fair to the accused because it pulls the rug below the presumption of innocence. It is not fair to the victims of crime, if they have survived the crime, and where they have not, to their families. Neither the victims nor their families have a platform to answer the publication of lurid details about their lives and circumstances,” said a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and
While the husband of the deceased is in jail, the father Dr Naresh Kumar Mangla’s petition led to a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee cancelling the anticipatory bail granted by Allahabad High Court to her father-in-law Dr S C Agarwal, his wife, other doctor son and latter’s wife, all accused of torturing the deceased for more dowry.
The deceased made telephone calls on August 3 to her parents informing that she has been assaulted for the past few days and feared for her life. By the time Mangla traveled from
to Agra he found that his daughter had been brutally beaten for non-fulfillment of the demand for dowry. Mangla took the deceased to
at Faridabad for treatment where she died on August 6. He lodged an FIR after performing the last rites. He alleged that the accused had taken possession of the monies which were earned by the deceased and that she had been killed for dowry.
Cancelling the anticipatory bail granted to Agarwal and his family members, Justice Chandrachud-led bench said, “The FIR contains specific allegations against the accused, commencing with the incident of October 2017 (when the girl was badly beaten up). Whether such an incident, as reported by the deceased to the police on October 1, 2017 did take place, leading to her suffering injuries which were examined at the Government Hospital, is a matter for investigation. How the HC’s Single Judge could have concluded – in the face of specific allegations in the FIR and the reference by the Sessions Judge to money transactions – that the FIR prima facie has been “engineered to implicate the accused” defies
“The surmises which are contained in the reasons recorded by the HC have no basis in the materials with which it was confronted. The observation of the HC that no specific role is assigned in the FIR to the accused is based on a misreading of the FIR. The entire approach of the HC is flawed. It is contrary to the record and, as we shall now explain, contrary to settled principles of law governing the exercise of discretion on the grant of anticipatory bail in a case involving the alleged commission of a serious offence,” it said.
Turning attention to the probe done so far in the case, the SC said, “The investigation by
the UP Police
in the present case leaves much to be desired. We have already extracted in the earlier part of this judgment, the contents of the counter affidavit which have been filed on behalf of the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Agra. The contents of the counter affidavit are at a material divergence with the contents of the charge-sheet filed on November 5, 2020.”
Frowning at the suicide note being leaked to the press by the police, the bench said, “The investigating officer has a duty to investigate when information about the commission of a cognizable offence is brought to their attention. Unfortunately, this role is being compromised by the manner in which selective leaks take place in the public realm… Having said this, we prima facie reject the insinuation that the FIR had not doubted or referenced the suicide note, despite its publication in the news media.
Acceding to the request of Mangla for an independent probe given the influence of Agarwal family in Agra, the bench said, “Having regard to the circumstances which have emerged on the record, which have been adverted to in the earlier part of the judgment, we are of the view that it is necessary to entrust a further investigation of the case to the CBI in exercise of the powers of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution.”