Extra Marital Affair is not a Ground for Implicating Husband Under Section 304B IPC

This article discusses a recent judgment delivered on September 5, 2023, by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vikas Mahajan in the High Court of Delhi. The case revolves around a bail application filed under Section 439 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) for regular bail in a case registered under Sections 304B/34 IPC (Indian Penal Code) at PS Narela. The petitioner, referred to as “the husband,” sought bail, and the judgment delves into the details of the case.


The prosecution’s version of events centers on the marriage between the deceased, referred to as “Wife,” and the petitioner. It is alleged that the husband had misrepresented his profession as a lawyer and was involved in an extramarital affair and betting. This led to strain in their relationship, and Wife had filed various cases against him, including under Section 125 CrPC, Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Act, Section 498A IPC, and a Divorce Petition.

On August 7, 2022, Wife tragically committed suicide, resulting in the registration of the FIR under Section 304B/34 IPC.

Petitioner's Arguments

The petitioner’s senior counsel argued that the petitioner (Husband) and Wife had been living separately since April 19, 2021. He asserted that Wife had a history of anxiety and depression, receiving treatment for these conditions. The Wife also visited a doctor for respiratory issues on the same day she took her life.

The defense contended that since Wife and the Husband were living separately, there was no recent harassment or cruelty inflicted by the petitioner (hsuband), making his custody unnecessary.

Prosecution's Response

The prosecution, supported by the complainant’s counsel, argued that the Husband had threatened Wife a day before her suicide, potentially influencing her decision to take her life. They expressed concerns about witness tampering if the petitioner were granted bail.

Extramarital Affiar Charge

The Delhi High Court emphasized that the petitioner’s extramarital affair and involvement in betting should not be considered as valid grounds for implicating the petitioner under Section 304B IPC. The court made it clear that this section specifically deals with dowry-related matters, and these unrelated issues should not be used to justify the application of Section 304B IPC in this case.

Image of a Husband holding bars of a jail cell. Text overlay says "bail in dowry death case"

High Court Grants Bail

Husband was granted bail by Delhi High Court for several reasons, which were considered during the judgment:

  1. Presumption of Innocence: The court acknowledged that at the stage of a bail application, there exists a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused. Parul had not been proven guilty at this point in the legal process.

  2. Delay in Trial Commencement: The court took into account the significant delay in commencing the trial. With as many as 22 witnesses cited by the prosecution, it was anticipated that the trial would be protracted. Keeping the accused in custody for an indefinite period without a trial was deemed unfair.

  3. Medical Records Analysis: An analysis of the medical records of the deceased, Poonam, revealed that she had been under treatment for anxiety and depression. Importantly, these records did not strongly indicate a direct link between her death and dowry demands, which is a crucial element in Section 304B IPC.

  4. Matrimonial Separation: Parul’s defense argued that he and Poonam had been living separately since April 19, 2021. During this period, there had been no contact between them. This fact raised questions about allegations of harassment or cruelty being meted out to the deceased by the petitioner.

  5. Demand of Dowry Timing: The court noted that while a complaint against Parul had been made in September 2021, it pertained to dowry demands made before Poonam left her matrimonial home in April 2021. This indicated that the alleged dowry demands were not proximate to her death.

  6. Seriousness of Offense: While considering the gravity of the offense, the court balanced this against the principle of justice. Granting bail to Parul allowed for his release while ensuring he would continue to attend court hearings as required.

  7. Conclusion of Investigation: With the investigation complete and a charge sheet filed, the court determined that there was no necessity to keep Parul in custody. This further supported the decision to grant bail.

For the complete judgment and detailed insights, you can refer to the original case document with Case No. BAIL APPLN. 312/2023, available on the Delhi High Court’s official website. This downloaded judgment can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference in ongoing cases as well.


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