The Supreme Court while setting aside the bail granted by the Punjab and Haryana high court to a mother in law in a dowry death case, observed that the bail granted to an accused can be revoked by a higher court if the court has ignored relevant materials on record or has considered irrelevant factors rendering the order granting bail legally untenable.
The bench consisting of CJI NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli also observed that “the gravity of offence, societal impact of undue indulgence by the Court when the investigation is at the verge and the conduct of the accused, are also one of the few reasons where a superior court has the right to interfere in an order of bail so as to prevent the miscarriage of justice.”
The offence alleged in this case is very grave and heinous and highlights the structure of our past society which is still yearning for change despite the many efforts made by the Legislation and the Judiciary, the court noted. The court found that the accused had been on the run for more than two years after being declared guilty and went on to further say that, “Defendant’s conduct of fleeing for more than two years without any justifiable reason should have been taken into account while granting her discretionary relief. This act puts her in a rather different pedestal than the other accused with whom she seeks parity”.
While setting aside the bail order, the court went on to say: It must be remembered that the deceased experienced a tragic end within three months of her marriage. Although it is too early to be charged under sections 302 or 304B I.P.C., the fact remains that the life of young women came to an unexpected end. She died an unnatural death in her own matrimonial home. The accused is the mother-in-law of the deceased. Hence, The Investigating Agency deserves a free hand to investigate the role of the accused, if any, in the untimely and unnatural death of her daughter-in-law.