Supreme Court denies bail to mother-in-law and sister-in-law over wife's suicide

In its order passed last month, the high court had observed that allegations in the FIR require an investigation and this was not a case where the applicants, who are accused of abetting suicide by a newly married young woman, can be released on bail contemplating their arrest

PTIUpdated: Monday, June 06, 2022, 03:16 PM IST
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Supreme Court of India | PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday refused to grant anticipatory bail to the mother-in-law and sister-in-law of a woman, who had committed suicide after she complained that her husband was having an extramarital affair, saying they should have protected her rather than harassing her.

The apex court observed that the woman had died after two months of her marriage and there were specific allegations that her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were harassing her.

A vacation bench of justices M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose passed the order while hearing the plea filed by both the women, who had challenged the Bombay High Court order dismissing their applications seeking protection from arrest in the case.

During the hearing, when the counsel appearing for both the women, argued that there were no allegations against them, the bench said, "allegations are there. Why are you saying there are no allegations?".

"There are specific allegations that the mother-in-law and the sister-in-law, were harassing me (woman). And on the contrary, when the allegations are made that my husband is having extramarital relations, you should have protected her rather than harassing her. Where the newly wedded girl will go," the bench orally observed.

The counsel told the apex court that there was no direct allegation that these two women had compelled her to commit suicide.

"Sorry. You surrender and apply for bail," the bench said, adding, "What about the lady who died within two months of her married life?" The bench observed that in the facts and circumstances of the case, no case for anticipatory bail was made out.

"Let the petitioners surrender within a period of one week from today and thereafter, may apply for regular bail," it said, adding that when regular bail applications would be filed, they be considered in accordance with law and on their own merits.

In its order passed last month, the high court had observed that allegations in the FIR require an investigation and this was not a case where the applicants, who are accused of abetting suicide by a newly married young woman, can be released on bail contemplating their arrest.

The woman had committed suicide last month by consuming pesticide and a complaint was lodged by her father the next day.

The complaint had alleged that the woman had married in February this year and her husband was posted in Jammu.

It alleged that the woman had complained to her father about the affair of her husband and she had also stated that on this count, she was subjected to harassment by his relatives.

The high court had noted that as per the complaint lodged by her father, she had specifically narrated that her mother-in-law and sister-in-law were harassing her.

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