New Delhi: An Indian Revenue Service officer has got a "lifeline" from a Delhi court which gave him a chance to reform by not cancelling his bail for allegedly threatening his third wife in a harassment case, with whom he fraudulently got married during subsistence of his earlier marriage.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau gave an opportunity to Pramod Kumar Bajaj, who is posted in Uttar Pradesh, observing that in case it cancelled his bail, his former wife would have to face hardships as she is getting maintenance from him and it would be stopped if he goes to jail.
The court, however, imposed several conditions on Bajaj, a senior bureaucrat, and violation of any of them would could lead to cancellation of his bail.
"The accused (Bajaj) shall not contact any of the witnesses in the case, including his ex-wife, and any attempt to create pressure on any of the witnesses shall be immediately reported to the police who shall register a case under appropriate provisions under intimation to the trial court which shall be a ground for cancellation of bail," the judge said, adding he should not seek any exemption or delay the proceedings going on before the trial court.
"Needless to say, it is time that the accused realizes that this opportunity being given to him by this court is in the nature of a `life?line` for him.
"In case if despite this opportunity it is found that there is no change in the state of affairs, then under no circumstances will the court hesitate for a moment to cancel the liberty given to the accused," the court said.
The court was dealing with a plea for cancellation of bail of Bajaj in a harassment case filed by his third wife whom he had married after meeting on an Internet matrimonial website.
The woman has alleged Bajaj approached her through his profile on the matrimonial site and to obtain her consent, he intentionally misrepresented his age and marital status.
She alleged she got married to the man on December 28, 2008 in Delhi and heavy gifts and cash were given to him by her family. After a few days of their marriage, the man and his family members started harassing her for more dowry.
She said when she came to know that Bajaj was already married twice and has children, she confronted him after which he manhandled her and threw her out of the house.
When the families of the harassed women used to seek justice, he used to get raids by income tax department conducted to silence them and lodged a number of false cases against them, the woman alleged, adding Bajaj has filed 35 cases against her and her family members.
The court said laws meant to protect women from any kind of harassment, torture, fraud, exploitation and destitution cannot be rendered useless and ineffective by men who are socially and financially influential.
"It is said `once bitten, twice shy` but the case of accused Bajaj is a unique exception. Three marriages in a row and all in shambles. It is this which makes me believe that perhaps not all is well with the accused, an educated well- settled gentleman duly aware of the law of this land.
"What is it that made him to madly rush into a third relationship with a young lady with whom he interacted on a matrimonial site by concealing his marital status," it said.
A case was registered against Bajaj at Bharat Nagar Police Station here and he was arrested on December 16, 2009 and granted bail by the court on January 4, 2010.
Bajaj, in his defence, claimed he never harassed or threatened the woman who had filed the case against her in conspiracy with his former wife to extract money from him.
The court noted that there was an allegation of tampering of evidence and extending threats to witnesses against the man and said any attempt by the accused, direct or indirect, to pressurize any of the witnesses including his ex-wife, tantamounts to interference in administration of justice.
It also said what the accused has done was both a legal and moral wrong and cannot be condoned and the miseries of the woman did not end here and pursuant to her complaint against him, she has been attacked with counter litigations.
"When I think about the complainant, I feel dismayed to see what her life has come to. A young woman who had her dreams of a good marriage shattered within days of her marriage when she realized that the person whom she had trusted and married was already into an existing matrimonial relationship with another and there existed a big question mark on the legality of her own marriage with the accused. It must have been completely shattering and rude shock for her," the judge said.