The Karnataka High Court refused to grant bail tof a police officer accused in a Dowry Death case.

The Court dismissed a Criminal Appeal challenging the order of the Trial Court rejection bail application of the Husband.

The Court noted that the husband, being a Sub-Inspector, poses a substantial risk of interfering with the prosecution's evidence.

The Bench of Justice Mohammad Nawaz observed, “From the material collected by the prosecution, there is a prima facie case made out against the appellant for the offences charge sheeted against him. As rightly contended by the learned counsel for respondent, in the event of grant of bail to the appellant, there is every chance of tampering the prosecution evidence”.

Senior Advocate M.S. Shyamsundhar appeared for the Appellant and Government Pleader Sowmya R. appeared for the State.

Venkatarayappa filed an FIR against a Police Sub-Inspector at Begur Police Station, alleging abuse and an attempt to kill his daughter, Shilpa. V, with whom the accused had a romantic relationship. Despite opposition based on caste differences, they got married, but the abuse persisted. Charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the SC/ST Act were filed against the appellant, his brother, and the house owner. Following the investigation, the charge sheet was filed against the appellant alone for offences including Section 498A, 304B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (DP Act), and Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act).

A Criminal Appeal was filed at the High Court challenging the Trial Court's order that rejected the application filed under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC).

The Court noted that despite the deceased and the accused being in love, the Appellant initially showed disinterest in marriage, only agreeing after negotiations. The marriage was registered, and they lived together in a rented house in Bengaluru. The death occurred in suspicious circumstances, with the charge sheet indicating that the Appellant subjected the deceased to physical and mental torture, citing dissatisfaction with the match.

The Bench noted that the complaint reveals that the Accused did not inform the complainant about the deceased's suicide. The post-mortem report shows external injuries and internal haemorrhage on the dead body. While the accuracy of the death note is not addressed at this stage, the prosecution's material suggests a prima facie case against the Appellant. The denial of bail by the Sessions Judge considered the gravity of the offence and the potential for tampering with prosecution evidence if bail is granted.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Appeal.

Cause Title: Ramesh S.V v State Of Karnataka (2023:KHC:46207)

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