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Sunday, March 19, 2017

It is not disputed that more than a month after the death of Dr. Rashmi, wife of the deceased the respondent has registered a case on the basis of an anonymous letter. Immediately after the death of Dr. Rashmi, her parents were informed by the appellant about her death and they had come to Solapur. The parents of the deceased have not lodged any complaint against the accused. Father-in-law of the appellant has sworn to an affidavit that she was living a happy married life with the appellant and that she had died a natural death. Therefore, he has no objection for her funeral without post mortem. It is also necessary to state here that the appellant has no criminal antecedents. 7 In the circumstances, the High Court was not justified in rejecting the application of the appellant. We are of the view that it is just and proper to grant an order of anticipatory bail to the appellant. Therefore, the order of the High Court in Anticipatory Bail Application No. 841 of 2016 is set aside. 8 In view of the above, we direct that in the event of arrest, the appellant shall be released on bail on execution of personal bond for Rupees one lakh with sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of the investigating officer. The appellant shall not tamper the witnesses of the prosecution and shall appear before the investigating officer/court as and when required.

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE



                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURSIDCITON

                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.505_OF 2017
                (Arising out of S.L.P. (CRL) No.4831 of 2016



PRASSANNA VENKARDARI AGRAHAR          … APPELLANT

                                   VERSUS

STATE OF MAHARASHTRA                        …RESPONDENT



                                  O R D E R


S.ABDUL NAZEER, J.


1     Leave granted.


2     This appeal is directed  against  the  order  dated  15th  June,  2016
passed by the High Court  of  Judicature  at  Bombay  in  Anticipatory  Bail
Application  No.  841  of  2016,  whereby  the  High  Court   rejected   the
application filed by the appellant for  grant  of  anticipatory  bail.   The
appellant is a doctor by profession and specialized in  neuro  surgery.   He
was practicing at Ahmed Nagar but shifted to Solapur in the  year  2012  and
is practicing as Neuro Surgeon in Solapur.  He married to  Ms.  Rashmi,  who
was also a doctor.   It is the case of  the  appellant  that  his  wife  was
suffering from chronic diabetes and was under treatment.  She  died  on  9th
July, 2015 at about 1.00 a.m.  The  appellant  informed  this  fact  to  her
parents who had come to Solapur on the next day and after due  consideration
and affirmation that the death of Rashmi  was natural due to heart  failure,
they all decided to cremate her.  After a passage of  about  one  month,  an
anonymous letter addressed to the Commissioner of  Police,  Solapur  stating
that the appellant had extra-marital affairs with one Megh Roy Chodhuri  and
in order to obtain benefit of insurance policy which was in the name of  the
deceased Rashmi, the  appellant  committed  her  murder.     It  is  further
contended that on  the  basis  of  the  said  letter  an  inquiry  had  been
initiated and the appellant had been summoned for inquiry.  The  police  has
been repeatedly visiting his  house  for  interrogation  and  he  is  having
apprehension that the police will register offence against him and he  would
be arrested.  Therefore, he filed Criminal Bail  Application  472/16  before
the  Principal  District  and  Sessions  Judge,  Solapur.   The  District  &
Sessions Judge by order dated 3.5.2016 rejected the application.

3     The appellant moved the High Court by filing an application for  grant
of anticipatory bail in Criminal  Application  No.841  of  2016.   The  High
Court dismissed the application by order dated 15.6.2016.

4     Learned counsel for the appellant submits  that  the  appellant  is  a
doctor by profession and is a renowned neuro surgeon  attached  to  Gangamai
Hospital, Solapur and his wife was also a doctor.  He was married to  Rashmi
in the year 2010 and they have a son by name Neerav, who was born in  April,
2012 and who is mentally challenged.   Ms. Rashmi was diabetic and  she  was
being treated by consulting Dr. Mule.  She suffered a heart  attack  in  the
intervening night of  8-9.7.2015  and  hence  was  examined  by  one  doctor
Prabhakaran.  Since she was found dead, Dr.  Prabhakaran  issued  a  medical
certificate to that effect.   The  parents  of  the  deceased  wife  of  the
appellant were immediately informed and they came to  Solapur  on  9.7.2015,
after having satisfied  that  her  death  was  natural,  took  a  collective
decision along with the appellant not to perform  post-mortem.   In-laws  of
the appellant had sworn an affidavit on 14.7.2015  and  6.4.2016  about  the
natural death of the wife of the appellant.   This  affidavit  was  required
for cancellation of their  tickets  from  Bangalore  to  Frankfurt  and  for
refund.  After more than a month  in  August,  2015,  on  the  basis  of  an
anonymous letter  sent  to  the  Commissioner  of  Police,  Solapur  raising
suspicion about the death  of  the  wife  of  the  appellant  and  that  the
appellant had extra-marital affairs, therefore he committed  murder  of  his
wife, appellant was interrogated by the police.  He has cooperated with  the
police during investigation.    The appellant has not committed any  offence
as alleged.  Therefore, the High Court is not  justified  in  rejecting  the
application of the appellant for grant of anticipatory bail.

5     On the other hand, learned counsel appearing  for  the  State  submits
that the wife of the appellant had died in  suspicious  circumstances.   The
appellant took disadvantage of his position as  doctor  and  himself  issued
medical certificate about death of his wife and showed that  his  wife  died
natural death.   It  is  further  submitted  that  the  police  received  an
anonymous letter on 28.8.2015 stating that the appellant gave  an  injection
to his wife and killed her.  Without conducting post  mortem,  the  body  of
the  deceased  was  cremated  in  an  electric   crematorium.    Thereafter,
appellant obtained death certificate and took the  insurance  claim  of  the
deceased.  Considering the facts and circumstances of  the  case,  the  High
Court has rightly rejected the application.

6     It is not disputed that more than a  month  after  the  death  of  Dr.
Rashmi, wife of the deceased the respondent has registered  a  case  on  the
basis of an anonymous letter.  Immediately after the death  of  Dr.  Rashmi,
her parents were informed by the appellant about  her  death  and  they  had
come to Solapur.  The parents of the deceased have not lodged any  complaint
against the accused.   Father-in-law  of  the  appellant  has  sworn  to  an
affidavit that she was living a happy married life with  the  appellant  and
that she had died a natural death.  Therefore, he has no objection  for  her
funeral without post mortem.  It is also necessary to state  here  that  the
appellant has no criminal antecedents.

7     In the circumstances, the High Court was not  justified  in  rejecting
the application of the appellant.  We are of the view that it  is  just  and
proper to grant an order of anticipatory bail to the appellant.   Therefore,
the order of the High Court in Anticipatory  Bail  Application  No.  841  of
2016 is set aside.

8     In view of the above, we direct that in  the  event  of  arrest,   the
appellant shall be released on bail  on  execution   of  personal  bond  for
Rupees one lakh with sureties of the like amount to the satisfaction of  the
investigating officer.  The appellant shall not tamper the witnesses of  the
prosecution and shall appear before the investigating officer/court  as  and
when required.

9     It is needless to clarify that the observations made herein  are  only
for the purpose of disposing of this  appeal  and  will  not  influence  the
investigation or trial.

10    The appeal is allowed in the above terms.


                       …………………………………………J.
                                  (J. CHELAMESWAR)



                       …………………………………………J.
                                  (S. ABDUL NAZEER)
New Delhi
March 09, 2017

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