Ernakulam Sessions Court Grants Bail To Advocate Accused Of Illegally Confining House Help

first_imgNews UpdatesErnakulam Sessions Court Grants Bail To Advocate Accused Of Illegally Confining House Help Akshita Saxena24 Dec 2020 4:26 AMShare This – xThe Ernakulam Sessions Court in Kerala on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to Imthiyaz Ahammed, an Advocate accused to have illegally confined his house maid, who later died in an attempt to escape from the house. The Additional Sessions Judge, Mohanakrishna P. observed that most of the offences alleged against the accused were bailable in nature and the only non-bailable…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Ernakulam Sessions Court in Kerala on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to Imthiyaz Ahammed, an Advocate accused to have illegally confined his house maid, who later died in an attempt to escape from the house. The Additional Sessions Judge, Mohanakrishna P. observed that most of the offences alleged against the accused were bailable in nature and the only non-bailable offence pertaining to trafficking was not prima facie made out. The Court also noted that the accused is an Advocate and he is not likely to attempt to flee from justice. Background The defacto complainant (husband of the deceased) had alleged that the petitioner gave false information to the police by saying that the deceased had been escaping through the balcony after stealing money from him. He insisted that the deceased was confined and exploited by the Petitioner and she died in an attempt to flee from clutches of the accused, from the sixth-floor balcony. It was further alleged that the petitioner had threatened the defacto complainant to withdraw the FIR and had forced him into signing a blank paper. Accordingly, an FIR was lodged under Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 370 (trafficking of persons) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with the Kochi Police. Section 370 is a non-bailable offence, while sections 342 and 338 are bailable offences. The counsel for the Petitioner vehemently denied the allegations levelled against the petitioner and claimed that the ingredients needed to constitute the non-bailable offence under section 370 of the IPC were not present in this case. It was further contended that there was no need for custodial interrogation of the petitioner as he was an advocate and he would not flee from justice. The Public Prosecutor however, opposed the plea for the bail application while stating, “the allegations levelled against the petitioner are very serious in nature and custodial investigation is necessary for the purpose of investigation.” He argued that the ingredients of section 370 were present in this case. He further brought to the knowledge of the Court that it was not the first time that the petitioner had harassed a domestic worker. In 2010, the petitioner and his wife were accused of physically assaulting a 14-year-old girl, the daughter of their then domestic worker. They were accused of causing serious burn injuries to girl Findings Firstly, the Court noted that the crime against the petitioner was registered under sections 342 and 338 of the IPC in the FIR. But, section 338 was deleted and was replaced by sections 201 (giving false information) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. Out of these, only section 370 is non-bailable. The Court stated that in order to be categorised as trafficking under section 370 of the IPC, the harbouring of the person needs to be for the purpose of exploitation. The Court cited the information presented by the prosecution and stated, “On going through the F.I.Statement given by the defacto complainant, it is evident that the deceased Rajkumari started working as a maid servant at the house of the petitioner on her own volition for the purpose of eking out a livelihood for her family.” The Court further observed that the fact that the petitioner had given Rs.10,000 to the deceased as a salary advance shows that the petitioner had no intention to exploit her. The First Information Statement (FIS) provided by the defacto complainant doesn’t disclose any information that would prove that the deceased was being exploited. The Court also quoted the statement given by the brother of the deceased and pointed out that she had contacted the petitioner herself and had asked him if she could come and work at his flat. In this context, the Court stated, ” If the petitioner was exploiting the deceased as contended by the prosecution, it is highly improbable for the deceased to go again to the petitioner’s house for house work. So, prima facie, from the available material on the record, it is doubtful whether an offence under section 370 of the IPC is made out against the petitioner.” The Court went on to say, “It is true that, the allegations made in the F.I.Statement would constitute wrongful confinement of the deceased which is punishable under section 342 of the IPC by the petitioner. But it is a bailable offence. The offences under sections 201 and 506 of the IPC are also bailable ones.” The Court, while looking at the reason as to why the deceased had tried to escape from the balcony, once again referred to the FIS, where the defacto complainant had told the deceased that if she didn’t return to her home immediately, he would commit suicide. The Court expressed that prima facie, it was the defacto complainant’s suicide threat that had led the deceased into trying to escape from the balcony, which had ultimately, led to her demise. Lastly, it observed that even though the Petitioner had been accused in a similar case of exploitation of house help in the past, he was proved innocent therein and was acquitted by the competent court. The Court cited the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Chidabaram P.v. Directorate of Enforcement, where it was stated that bail is the rule, jail is the exception. The Court also quoted the Supreme Court’s decision in Re-Contagionof Covid-19 Virus in Prison case where the Apex Court had issued directions for minimising the number of inmates in prison. Keeping all this in mind, the Sessions Court granted a pre-arrest bail to the petitioner and stated that in the event of his arrest, the Petitioner shall execute a bond of Rs. 50,000/- with two solvent sureties for the like sum each to the satisfaction of the Arresting Officer/Investigating Officer as the case may be. ClickHere To Download Order [Read Order]Next Storylast_img read more