Husband’s arrest, when petition for restitution of conjugal rights is pending, will shut down all possibilities of settlement

Karnataka High Court: While deciding a criminal petition filed under S. 438 of CrPC praying to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner, a Single Judge Bench of Rathnakala, J. allowed the petition holding that arrest of the petitioner-husband at this stage would shut down the possibility of settlement of disputes between the husband and the wife.

The petitioner-husband apprehended arrest by the police in a criminal case for offences punishable under Ss. 498-A, 307, 506 read with S. 34 of IPC and Ss. 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. The complainant was the wife of the petitioner. The allegation was that the petitioner used to quarrel with the complainant and demanded dowry from her. It was also alleged that he attempted to kill her by making burn injuries on her hand and forcibly administering some drug.

Learned counsel for the petitioner-husband submitted that the incident occurred on 21.06.2017 and the complaint was lodged on 28.06.2017. There was enormous delay in lodging the complaint. The petition filed by the petitioner under S. 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act for restitution of conjugal rights was pending. The complainant made a false complaint only to keep distance form the petitioner.

The High Court after considering the submissions made by the parties held that considering the fact that the marriage was still in subsistence and the petition filed by the petitioner under S. 9 of HMA was pending; it was felt that arrest of the petitioner would shut down all possibilities of a settlement of marital dispute between the parties.

Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the petitioner was granted anticipatory bail subject to the conditions imposed. [Girish v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Petition No. 5991 of 2017, dated Septemebr 18, 2017]

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