Bombay HC reprieve for woman, her parents in harassment, death case

Coming to the rescue of a woman and her parents, accused of causing mental harassment and death of her father-in-law, the Bombay High Court has quashed notices issued by a lower court against the three after observing that the deceased died due to natural reasons.

Justice K U Chandiwal was hearing a petition filed by Deeksha Bhandari (27) and her parents Meenakshi and Rameshkumar Sethi challenging the order passed by a court in Pune in September issuing process against the trio for culpable homicide of Pradeepkumar Bhandari, father of Deeksha's estranged husband Amit.

Amit and Deeksha had tied the knot in June 2009. However, a year later Deeksha returned to her parents' house in Delhi and filed a dowry harassment case against Amit and his family.

Pursuant to this, in June 2010, Deeksha, accompanied by two police officials from the North Rohini police station in Delhi visited Amit's residence in Pune to search the house.

According to Amit, the police officers and Deeksha misbehaved with his family members, including his father. Amit told the high court that the police insisted on searching and questioning his family without a search warrant.

He alleged that a day after the police officials visited his place his father suffered a heart attack and died on July 1, 2010. Amit then registered a case of culpable homicide against Deeksha, her parents and the police officials alleging that the police in connivance with Deeksha threatened his family with dire consequences if they did not agree to pay Deeksha monetary compensation.

Justice K U Chandiwal, however, said, "Even if the search was illegal there is nothing to suggest that any act of the petitioners was irregular, dangerous in nature and thus inviting culpable homicide. The deceased had suffered from hyper-tension and hyper-sensitivity after he argued with the police authorities."

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