The Bombay high court, on Thursday, granted anticipatory bail to self styled godwoman Sukhvinder Kaur alias Radhe Maa in a dowry harassment case.
A single bench of justice Revati Mohitedere was hearing the anticipatory bail application filed by her in a cheating and dowry harassment case.
The court has granted a pre-arrest bail to her for two weeks, for which she has to be submit Rs 25,000 as bond and not contact the complainant.
On August 14, the court had granted Radhe Maa interim protection from arrest while hearing her plea.
The Mumbai Police had filed a case against her on August 5 for allegedly instigating the in-laws of a 32-year-old woman to harass her for dowry.
The case was filed after a Borivali magistrate had ordered a probe by police under section 156(3) of CrPc into allegations of dowry harassment against her on a complaint filed by a housewife.
Girish Kulkarni, counsel for the housewife, and intervenor Ramesh Joshi, argued that the in-laws of the complainant were disciples of Radhe Maa.
The godwoman had complete control over the family and at her instance they had allegedly taken dowry from the housewife, he argued.
Referring to a police complaint filed by the housewife, the lawyer said that the complainant was told by her in-laws that Radhe Maa was god and she would have to perform puja for which money and jewellery were required.
Accordingly, she had parted with her valuables which were lying with the in-laws of the complainant and Radhe Maa, Kulkarni alleged.
Radhe Maa’s counsel Abad Ponda argued in the high court that all the six accused in the dowry case, including the husband of the complainant (housewife), had been given protection by the trial court, except Radhe Maa. He also argued that the allegation against Radhe Maa of instigating the family to extract dowry from the complainant was an ‘after-thought’ and an improvement in the case because such an accusation was not made during the proceedings filed in the family court two years ago.
In her petition, Radhe Maa denied all the allegations, saying she had never instigated the family members and that she was being dragged into the case only because the complainant’s in-laws were her devotees.
The self-styled godwoman further alleged that the complainant had levelled allegations against her only to secure a favourable order from the family court in the dowry case filed by her against in-laws. She alleged that she was being “framed up” by the complainant.
She has been charged with section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 406 ( punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
(With inputs from PTI)