Dharam Chand vs State on 27 July, 2017

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR
S.B. Criminal Revision No. 326 / 2017
Dharam Chand S/o Shri Ishwar Ram, By Caste Soni, Resident of
Village Sinjguru, Tehsil Nokha, District Bikaner.

—-Petitioner
Versus
State of Rajasthan

—-Respondent
__
For Petitioner(s) : Mr.Chandraveer Singh.

For Respondent(s) : Mr.R.K.Bohra, P.P.

__
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANDEEP MEHTA
Judgment / Order
Date of Pronouncement : 27/07/2017

By way of the instant revision petition, the petitioner

Dharamchand has approached this Court in order to assail the

order dated 2.12.2016 passed by the learned Additional Sessions

Judge (Women Atrocities Cases), Bikaner in Sessions Case

No.25/2016 directing framing of charges against the petitioner for

the offences under Section 498A and 304B I.P.C.

The petitioner was married to the deceased Smt.Nirma in

August 2013 with the relationship being in the nature of a love

marriage. Smt.Nirma committed suicide by hanging herself in the

matrimonial home on 2.12.2016. Her father, Bhagirath lodged a

written report at the Police Station Nokha on the very same day

alleging inter-alia that the petitioner had lured the deceased into

marrying him against the family’s desire. However, after the

marriage, the deceased was being harassed and humiliated on
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account of demand of dowry. Lately, she was being threatened

that in case her father did not meet the dowry demand, she would

be turned out of the matrimonial home and the petitioner would

remarry. Owing to this harassment, the deceased ended her own

life by hanging herself. On the basis of this report, F.I.R.

No.80/2016 was registered at the Police Station Nokha and

investigation commenced. During the course of investigation, the

Investigating Officer recorded statements of numerous witnesses

and concluded that the relationship between the petitioner and

deceased Smt.Nirma his wife, was the outcome of a love affair.

The matrimonial relatives of the deceased became annoyed

because of the elopement of the deceased and her marriage with

the petitioner without their consent and consequently, they broke

off the relations and did not interact with her. Dharamchand took

his wife the deceased to Ambasar village and started living there

in a rented house. It was further concluded that Nirma used to

secretly talk to one Pawan Brahman who used to live in the

neighbourhood. Dharamchand came to know of this fact on which

he shifted to the village Sindhguru. He had gone to a temple to

attend a Jagaran. Nirma talked to some boy during the night and

a small girl Suman who was sleeping with her complained about

this to Dharamchand on which he assaulted Nirma, who became

perturbed and ended her own life by hanging herself. With this

conclusion, the Investigating Officer proceeded to charge-sheet

the accused for the offences under Section 498A and 304B I.P.C.

The accused contested the charges before the trial court raising a

plea that ex-facie, the charge under Section 304B I.P.C. was not
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made out because there was no occasion for the accused to have

demanded dowry from the matrimonial relatives of the deceased

as there was no contact whatsoever of the deceased with her

parents after her love marriage with the petitioner. The trial court

however repelled the arguments advanced on behalf of the

accused and proceeded to pass the order impugned dated

2.12.2016 to the effect that the accused should be charged and

tried for the above offences. Being aggrieved, the instant revision

has been preferred before this Court.

Learned counsel for the petitioner accused contended that

ex-facie, the charge under Section 304B I.P.C. is not made out

because there was no occasion for the petitioner to have

demanded dowry from the matrimonial relatives of the deceased

as admittedly there was no contact whatsoever of the deceased

with her parents after her love marriage with the petitioner. He

thus, urged that ex-facie, the impugned order is bad in the eye of

law and should be set aside.

Per contra, the learned Public Prosecutor urged that there is

ample material available on record to show that right from the

date of her marriage with the petitioner, the deceased Smt.Nirma

was being harassed and humiliated in the matrimonial home. As

per him, even if the defence evidence is seen, evidently, the

deceased was assaulted by the petitioner simply because she had

talked to Pawan Brahman on phone. He urged that there was no

occasion for the petitioner to have assaulted his wife simply

because she talked to someone on phone against his wishes. The

petitioner could have simply request to her to stop calling Pawan
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Brahman rather than straight off assaulting her. As per learned

Public Prosecutor, the fact regarding the petitioner having

assaulted the deceased just before her death being admitted, no

error was committed by the trial court by framing charges against

the accused petitioner for the above offences. He thus craved

rejection of the revision.

I have given my thoughtful consideration to the arguments

advanced by the learned counsel for the parties and have gone

through the material available on record.

It is an admitted position from record that the deceased

Nirma had eloped with the petitioner and had married him against

her parents’ desire. As a result, her parents became annoyed and

were not maintaining relations with her. Of course, Bhagirath the

father of the deceased, has mentioned in the F.I.R. as well as in

his statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. that the accused

used to demand a sum of Rs.2 lacs from Nirma and used to harass

and humiliate her on that account but this Court cannot loose

sight of the fact that Bhagirath also admitted in his statement that

after the marriage, Nirma and his son in law Dharamchand never

talked to him or any of his family members and that the family

had severed relations with Nirma. In this background, apparently,

the allegation levelled by the first informant regarding the

deceased having been harassed and humiliated by the accused for

bringing less dowry is nothing but a conjecture and a cooked up

story. On the contrary, the Investigating Officer collected evidence

in the form of statements of witnesses viz. Sunil, Deepak, Suman

etc. who clearly stated that on the fateful night, the petitioner had
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gone to attend Jagaran and in his absence, the deceased

contacted Pawan Brahman on phone. A tussle was already going

on between the petitioner and the deceased owing to this conduct

of herself. The petitioner had even shifted to another village so

that the deceased could be prevented from contacting Pawan

Kumar. Be that as it may. When the petitioner returned from the

Jagaran, the girl Suman, who was sleeping with the deceased

Smt.Nirma, told him that his wife had contacted Pawan Brahman

and immediately thereupon, the petitioner assaulted Smt.Nirma

who became perturbed and ended her own life. Smt.Pushpa,

mother of the deceased, was also examined during investigation.

In her statement, she alleged that the deceased used to talk to

her on phone and told her that her Jethani used to harass and

humiliate her on account of demand of dowry. Thus apparently,

the theory projected by the first informant Bhagirath father of the

deceased that the petitioner used to harass and humiliate Nirma

on account of bringing less dowry is per-se unacceptable and

accordingly, there is no material so as to prosecute the petitioner

for the offence under Section 304B I.P.C. However, there is ample

evidence available on record to conclude that the petitioner

unnecessarily assaulted the deceased soon before her death

because he came to know that she was talking to Pawan Brahman.

Even if this was true, there was no occasion for the petitioner to

assault his own wife. The petitioner rather could have reasoned

with her and should have made an attempt by mutual discussion

to persuade her to discontinue her contact with the said Pawan.

Instead, the deceased was assaulted and immediately thereafter,
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she ended her life by hanging herself leaving behind a small child.

In this background, this Court is of the firm opinion that

rather than the charge under Section 304B I.P.C., the petitioner

should be charged and tried for the offences under Sections 306

and 498A I.P.C.

The revision thus deserves to be and is hereby accepted in

part. The order impugned dated 2.12.2016 passed by the learned

Additional Sessions Judge (Women Atrocities Cases), Bikaner is

set aside to the extent, charge was framed against the petitioner

for the offence under Section 304B and instead, the trial court is

directed to frame charge against the petitioner and try him for the

offences under Sections 498A and 306 I.P.C.

It is made clear that none of the observations made in this

order shall prejudice the case of either of the parties at the tiral.

The revision is partly allowed in these terms.

(SANDEEP MEHTA)J.

/tarun goyal/

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