The Patna High Court held that an anticipatory bail cannot be granted for the settlement of the offence under Section 498A of the I.P.C. by directing parties to lead a conjugal life.

A wife had registered a case under Section 498A/341/323/504/34 of the I.P.C. read with Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against her husband.

The Court held that the “High Court can not grant an anticipatory bail on the ground that the husband will take his wife and keep her with him for six months and after six months, if the wife does not have any complain against the husband, the order of bail will be confirmed.

The Husband had prayed for an anticipatory bail before a Coordinate Bench of the High Court. An order of provisional bail was granted by the Coordinate Bench on the condition that the parties would try for reconciliation of the dispute.

The trial court, however, rejected the grant of provisional bail to the husband.

A Single Bench of Justice Bibek Chaudhuri observed, “It is needless to say that in a criminal case, at an inter locutory, stage the parties cannot be directed to stay together, where there was allegation of mental and physical cruelty. The conditions for provisional bail, in my humble and respect opinion was not satisfactory. No such condition can be imposed, as a condition for anticipatory bail directing the accused to restore peaceful conjugal life with the defacto complainant.

Advocate Manoj Kumar represented the petitioner, while Advocate Ram Sumiran Rai appeared for the respondents.

The High Court clarified that an accused cannot be arrested in an offence under Section 498A of the I.P.C. without compliance Section 41(A) of the Cr.P.C. An Investigating Officer has to obtain the permission of a Magistrate and show special reasons for the arrest of an accused.

The Court relied on Sushila Aggarwal & Ors. v. State (NCT of Delhi) & Anr. 2020 (5) SCC 1 where a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had held that protection of anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. is not invariably related to a fixed period. Normally, it should inure in favour of the accused without any restriction of time. However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, if the Court show consider it warranted, it may grant anticipatory bail only for a fixed period.

The Court noted, “I am not unmindful to note that by way of judicial proceeding an offence under Section 498A of the I.P.C. can be compounded, but in the statute the offence has been made non-compoundable.

The Court did not accept the conditions imposed by the Coordinate Bench while granting anticipatory bail to the husband and subsequently directed the husband to surrender before the trial court.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the revision petition.

Cause Title: Sanjay Kumar @ Sanjay Prasad v. The State of Bihar & Anr.


Petitioner: Advocates Manoj Kumar, Dharmendra Kumar Singh and Shashi Shekhar Singh

Respondents: Advocate Ram Sumiran Rai

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