Income Tax Returns help family to get bail in dowry death case

Income Tax Returns help family to get bail in dowry death case proving that they were of sufficient means not likely to demand dowry.

ABCAUS Case Law Citation
ABCAUS 3399 (2020) (10) HC

Income Tax Returns help family to get bail in dowry death case

In a recent case, the Allahabad High Court was pleased to grant anticipatory bail to a family in an alleged case of dowry death.

In this case the daughter in law who was a doctor had made an attempt to commit suicide and later died. The incident took place within seven years of the marriage. In police inquiry the nature of the death was categorized as homicidal.

A first information report (FIR) was lodged by the father of the deceased under Sections- 498A, 304B, 323, 506 and 313 I.P.C. and Section 3/4 D.P. Act naming the husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law etc. as accused who had made application for anticipatory bail under section 438 CRPC.

Placing reliance upon suicide note, it was urged that the suicide note of deceased did not contain any indicator to show that there was any demand of dowry by the applicants or the deceased was tortured by above named applicants for fulfilment of the demand of dowry.

It was argued that in the absence of any examined ante-mortem injury on the body of deceased, it clearly reflected the bonafide and innocence of the applicants. Who did not commit any act which could be directly attributed as the cause of death of deceased.

It was contended that the applicants were a family of doctors and were well to be persons and could not have demanded dowry as alleged in the F.I.R. To support this submission, the attention of the Hon’ble High Court was invited to the Income-Tax Returns of the applicants, upon which assessment orders had also been passed.

It was urged that once applicants themselves were well to do persons and have sufficient means, same was ample proof of their innocence. Therefore, the burden which was cast upon the applicants by virtue of Section 113 (B) of Evidence Act, stood discharged.

Thus, it was contended that irrespective of fact that the death of deceased had occurred within seven years from the date of marriage, it would not be prudent to classify the death of the deceased as a dowry death.

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The Hon’ble High Court stated that there was no co-relation in between the various allegations levelled in the F.I.R. The allegations made were general in nature and no specific role had been assigned to any of the applicants regarding the alleged demand of dowry.

Further, the Hon’ble High Court opined that on the basis of records, particularly the income-tax returns it could not be said that applicants were not of sufficient means. The absence of any external injury on the body of deceased, also¬† denoted the bonafide of applicants.

The Hon’ble High Court ordered that the applicants shall remain enlarged on bail till the conclusion of trial subject to few conditions.

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