Pulwama, Kashmir: In a case that has gripped the attention of many, a groom from Pulwama who became known for skipping his wedding reception, found himself in legal turmoil as a Jammu and Kashmir court denied his bail plea. The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint filed by the bride alleging that the wedding reception, fixed on September 16, was called off after the groom skipped out at the last moment.
Taking cognizance of the incident, Awantipora police filed a case FIR no 182 of 2023 under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), and arrested the accused groom and his father, Kashmir Observer reported on September 19, 2023.
The report added that Fayaz Ahmad Dar, the groom, and his father, Mohammad Shaban of Kandizal, Awantipora, faced arrest based on a complaint filed by the bride. The bride alleged that the wedding reception, scheduled for September 16, was called off when Fayaz Ahmad Dar failed to appear at the last moment. The reception marks the final step in the custom, where the groom takes his bride home.
The bride’s father, Mohammad Shaban Dar, a fisherman with seven daughters, had meticulously prepared for this important day. However, the abrupt absence of the groom left the family shocked and shattered.
Bar and Bench reported on October 10, 2023 that the groom’s bail plea was denied by a Jammu and Kashmir court. Additional Special Mobile Magistrate at Awantipora, Shahber Ayaz while denying bail to the groom as well as his father, opined that the case has the potential of tearing the social fabric into pieces.
As quoted in the Bar and Bench report, the judge stated, “The alleged incident has the potential of tearing the social fabric into pieces and stay as a dagger, thrust deep, into the institution of morality. I do not see an iota of cause which can tilt my opinion towards the arrest of the accused being unnecessary specifically in a situation where there is hue and cry in the society and serious chances of law and order problem exist.“
As per the police and the bride (complainant), the wedding reception (referred to as the “departure ceremony” in the order) was slated to be held in September 2023 in Kashmir’s Awantipora, four years after the nikah between the bride and the groom took place.
As per The Bar and Bench report, The bride alleged that before the wedding reception was fixed, the groom had persuaded her to have a physical relationship as well since the nikah was over. She used to meet him and also believed him to be her husband, the Court was told
However, On the day of the wedding reception, the bride’s family was told that the groom and his family wouldn’t attend unless they received ₹20 lakh in cash and a car as dowry. This led the bride to file a police complaint. The police registered a case against the groom and his father, citing violations of Sections 420 (cheating) and 498-A (cruelty to women) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with offenses under the Dowry Prohibition Act.
The groom and his family countered the allegations, as quoted in the Bar and Bench report, claiming that a false complaint had been lodged against them. They asserted that the alleged offenses only carried a maximum prison term of seven years. They contended that they should be released on bail in view of the Supreme Court’s guidelines outlined in the Arnesh Kumar judgment.
While acknowledging that bail is the norm and jail is the exception, the judge concluded that this was an exceptional case where bail was not justifiable. The court believed that the arrest of the accused was essential in maintaining peace in the area, especially considering the public outcry over the incident.
“In my opinion, the (Arnesh Kumar) judgment cannot and is not to be treated as a bail order or a magic wand which would be waved at the pleasure of an accused to earn his release on bail,” the Court added.
The court also observed that the investigation of the case was at its infancy and that more heinous offences could be added against the accused.
On a related note, the complainant’s lawyer had argued that the offence of rape would be attracted in this case since the groom had persuaded the complainant to have physical relations on a “fake promise of marriage.”
Having taken note of these aspects as well, the Court proceeded to dismiss the bail application of the groom and his father.
Advocates Sheikh Mudasir, Irfan Javid and Adil Nabi appeared for the bail applicants.
Additional Public Prosecutor Romisa Rasool appeared for the Jammu and Kashmir government.
Advocates Zahid Hussain Dar, and Syed Irfan Muhammad appeared for the complainant.