The Bombay High Court rejected the grant of anticipatory bail to a man who was charged with cheating his wife as he had allegedly concealed four other marriages from her.

The complainant had married the accused after she came across his profile on a matrimonial site. After their marriage, the accused asked for financial help. The complainant gave him Rs.7 lakhs and additionally obtained a loan of Rs.32 lakhs by pledging her ornaments.

A Single Bench of Justice Sarang V. Kotwal observed, “There is a birth certificate in respect of a girl child born on 03.05.2009. The mother’s name is mentioned in that birth certificate. The father is shown as the present applicant. There is another birth certificate of another girl child. She was born on 15.04.2009. In that certificate, name of the mother is different, but the applicant’s name as father is common. Thus, there are two birth certificates in the year 2009 in respect of two girls in which mothers were different but the father is the applicant himself.

Advocate Samarth S. Karmarkar represented the applicant and Advocate Dwivendra Dubey appeared for the complainant while APP Mahalakshmi Ganapathy appeared for the respondent.

The complainant had filed an FIR against the accused on the indication that he was having an affair with his colleague. The complainant also made enquiries and came to know that the accused had been married four times before marrying her.

The accused submitted that all the allegations in the FIR were false as he had only married once after his first wife passed away.

The Court considered the investigation papers that highlighted the presence of two birth certificates from 2009, each indicating different mothers but listing the accused as the father in both cases.

There were also proceedings of divorce by mutual consent where there was another lady involved with the accused.

The Court held that “There is another divorce proceedings still pending; filed in the year 2018, in which, the wife is named as ‘K’. Thus, there is sufficient material to show that the applicant has cheated many women. All this was concealed from the present first informant. Therefore, the offence of cheating is clearly made out apart from other offences. No case for grant of anticipatory bail order is made out.

Accordingly, the High Court rejected the application.

Cause Title: Shantilal Yashwant Kharat v. State of Maharashtra (2024:BHC-AS:2534)

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