Allahabad HC grants anticipatory bail to man who disowned woman after allegedly marrying her via Facebook call [Read Order]

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The Allahabad High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a man who allegedly performed nikah with a woman through Facebook call and later disowned her.

Single-judge Justice Chandra Dhari Singh granted anticipatory bail to one, Mohammad Ali (applicant) while noting that allegations of blackmailing were not proved against him and he had no previous criminal history.

“The allegation of blackmailing is also not proved against the applicant. The applicant has no previous criminal history. Considering the nature of accusation and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the applicant is entitled to be released on anticipatory bail in this case,” the Court ordered.

The prosecution had alleged that Ali performed nikhah with the complainant through Facebook call in 2019 while he was in Mozambique, Africa and the same is recognised under Shia Islamic laws.

After returning to India, he disowned the complainant, blocked her on Facebook and threatened her with dire consequences.

A case was registered against him under Sections 67- A, 66-E of the Information Technology Act 2008 and Section 507 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code.

The counsel for applicant submitted that he had never met the complainant and the entire prosecution story was false and fake.

Further, it was argued that the First Information Report (FIR) was lodged with the intent to blackmail the applicant and extort money as the applicant is working abroad and is financially well off.

With regard to the Nikah, he submitted that “no nikah or marriage took place and he had connected with the complainant through the mobile game PUBG. Initially, her name was ‘Anaya’ and thereafter she changed her identity as ‘Husna Abidi’ and finally as ‘Iram Abbas’.

On the other hand, Additional Government Advocate submitted that there were serious allegations against the applicant and since the applicant is working abroad, there is great chance that he will abscond and will not cooperate with the probe and trial.

Further, it was submitted that during the investigation the allegations under Section 67-A was not found proved and was, therefore, dropped.

The Court in its order explained when anticipatory bail can be granted.

“Anticipatory bail may be granted when there is material on record to show that prosecution was inherently doubtful or where there is material on record to show that there is a possibility of false implication. The concept of anticipatory bail gained momentum when the tendency to falsely implicate an individual in order to injure their reputation was recognized,” the order said.

Besides this, there are instances where an accused is not likely to abscond to avoid trial, does not have criminal antecedents and is not likely to tamper with evidence, the Court added.

In the instant case, the Court after examining the material on record and the criminal history of the applicant, proceeded to allow the plea.

“In the investigation section 67-A of the I.T. Act has been dropped and sections 420, 500, 507 IPC and section 66-E are found against the applicant and the charge-sheet has been filed in the court concerned on 19.05.2019. The allegation of blackmailing is also not proved against the applicant. The applicant has no previous criminal history,” the Court noted while ordering that the accused be granted anticipatory bail.

Read order here

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