Magistrate’s order in dowry death case overturned
A Sessions Court at Rohini here has overturned a Magistrate’s order granting bail to a woman accused of involvement in the dowry death of her daughter-in-law despite three successive orders, two by a Sessions court and one by the Delhi High Court, denying her anticipatory bail.
“The order may not per-se be illegal, but is certainly improper [of] the Metropolitan Magistrate [for] not having taken into consideration two successive orders of the Sessions Courts and also the order of the High Court, and the impugned order being a non-speaking order not reflecting proper application of mind or an effective hearing given to the prosecution, but I may add that no mala fide can be attribute to the Judge, though the Subordinate Court ought to be much more vigilant. The order of the Magistrate dated December 5, 2011, is hereby set aside being an abuse of process of law,” Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
The prosecution said the Magistrate did not grant sufficient opportunity to the prosecution to argue the matter as the bail application of accused Krishna Devi Sharma was moved by her counsel on December 5, and the order passed on the same day without the court calling for a report from the Investigating Officer.
The prosecution also contended that the MM failed to consider that the accused avoided her arrest intentionally, that the bail order was passed in haste without going through the case records and that the accused had concealed that fact that non-bailable warrants were issued against her. It was also pleaded that the case pertains to dowry death, exclusively triable by a Sessions Court and therefore, the Magistrate’s Court should refrain from entertaining bail applications in such cases wherein the punishment provided is death or life imprisonment.
The prosecution also pointed out that the Magistrate’s order was not a speaking order as it does not show any grounds or reason for which bail was granted for the accused. While cancelling bail, Dr. Lau took note of one of the earlier reasons given by a Sessions Court for not granting bail: the victim in a suicide note had said her husband had married her only for the “service of his mother, cleaning and cooking and treating her like a maid”.