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Bench: JUSTICE K.T. Thomas & M.B. Shah


Law Point:
Impounding of passport of Father in Law who has to return is cruelty. Passport to be returned on execution of bond.





1. Leave granted.

2. This is a peculiar case where the appellant has acquired British citizenship and has settled down in England. His son married an Indian girl but the marriage passed through rough weather and eventually fell through. According to the appellant a decree of divorce has been passed by a Court in England. Now the appellant is facing a criminal prosecution launched by the father of the erstwhile daughter-in-law under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code before a Magistrate’s Court in Rajasthan. He made an attempt to get the prosecution quashed but the High Court declined to do so. We are not disposed to disturb the said order of the High Court.

3. But something more has to be granted to the appellant or else he will be put to irreparable sufferings as his passport has now been kept by the ACJM, Rai Singh Nagar, Rajasthan. If his passport is not released to him he will be compelled to remain in India which unfortunately is not his present home, and continue to remain here until the final end of the criminal proceedings now launched. Nobody knows when the trial will commence and end. But the respondent’s Counsel expressed apprehension that if the appellant is allowed to go back to England or to leave India he might not make himself available for the trial. The situation is not therefore free from difficulty. On the one side the legal process has to reach its normal culmination and on the other side the agony of the appellant that he cannot go home is genuine. We think a solution has to be worked out in the interest of justice.

4. After hearing both sides we direct the ACJM, Rai Singh Nagar, Rajasthan to return the passport of the appellant on his executing a bond for a sum of Rs. 3,00,000/- with two solvent sureties to the satisfaction of the said Court.

5. To ensure his attendance in the Court when trial begins, we may make a provision. We agree that it would be difficult for the appellant to be present on all posting dates in the Trial Court. Therefore, we permit him to appear through Counsel except on days when his presence is imperatively needed. He must file an application before the Trial Court through Counsel and seek dispensation of his personal presence and ensure that his Counsel would be present on his behalf on days except when his presence is indispensable. If he makes such an application the Trial Court shall dispense with his physical presence in Court.

6. With the above reliefs we dispose of these appeals.

Appeals disposed of.

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