Smt Meena vs State & Anr on 8 August, 2017

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR
S.B. Criminal Revision No. 51 / 2017
Smt. Meena W/o Shri Prem Prakash Balach, Gadara Road, Tehsil
Gadara Road, Distt. Barmer.

—-Petitioner
Versus

1. State of Rajasthan

2. Bhima Ram S/o Shri Basta Ram Meghwal, Binjasar, Police
Station, Bijrad, Distt. Barmer Presently At Telecom Colony,
Mahaveer Nagar, Barmer.

—-Respondents
__
For Petitioner(s) : Mr.Nishant Bora.

For Respondent(s) : Mr. O.P. Rathi, PP.

Mr. Siddharth Karwasara.

__
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANDEEP MEHTA
Judgment

Date of Judgment: 08/08/2017

By way of this revision petition preferred under Section 397

Cr.P.C., the petitioner herein seeks to assail the order dated

17.08.2016 passed by the learned Additional District and Sessions

Judge No.1, Barmer in Sessions Case No.126/2015 whereby, the

learned trial court directed framing of charge against the

petitioner for the offence under Section 498A IPC.

Facts in brief are that Shri Pradeep, son of the present

petitioner was married to the deceased Smt. Nirmala @ Neha on

23.01.2007 and was working as a District Excise Officer in the

Excise Department. Two sons were born from the wedlock. It is

alleged that after some time of their marriage, Pradeep started
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demanding dowry from the deceased Smt. Nirmala and her

parents. It was further alleged that Pradeep was having a love

affair with another girl for the last about 2 years and owing

thereto, he was harassing and humiliating the deceased and was

threatening that if she did not procure a house and

Rs.10,00,000/- from her father, she would be killed and he would

remarry. On 19.04.2015, Smt.Nirmala @ Neha called her mother

and expressed an apprehension that the petitioner and his brother

Hitesh could kill her. On 19.04.2015 in the night, Pradeep and

Hitesh accompanied with Neha and her son Rajat proceeded to

Barmer by car. On the way, Pradeep and Hitesh assaulted Nirmala

@ Neha and threw her out of the car as a result whereof, she

suffered serious injuries and succumbed thereto. A written report

to this effect was submitted by Bhimaram, father of the deceased

with the District Superintendent of Police, Barmer on 22.04.2015

upon which, an FIR No.21/2015 was registered for the offences

under Sections 302 and 498A read with 201 IPC.

During the course of investigation, the police got conducted

the postmortem of body of the deceased Nirmala @ Neha as per

which, she was found to be having numerous injuries on her

person. The investigation found accused Pradeep Balach

responsible for the offences under Sections 302, 201 and 498A

IPC, Hitesh for the offences under Sections 302, 201 read with

Section 120B IPC and the present petitioner being the mother-in-

law of the deceased for the offence under Section 498A IPC and a

charge-sheet was filed against the accused in the terms indicated

READ  Smt. Memoona & Others vs State Of U.P. on 9 May, 2017

above. Before the trial court, it was contested on behalf of the
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petitioner Smt. Meena urging that there was no material on record

of the case to show that she had ever harassed or humiliated the

deceased Smt. Neha on account of bringing less dowry or that any

such misbehaviour was meted out to her by the present petitioner

which could be treated as cruelty within the meaning of Section

498A IPC and thus a prayer was made to discharge her. The trial

court, however, proceeded to frame charge against the petitioner

for the offence under Section 498A IPC by order dated 17.08.2016

which is under challenge in the instant revision petition.

For coming to a conclusion regarding the petitioner’s

arraignment for the offence under Section 498A, the learned trial

court principally relied upon the call details and recordings of

conversion held between the petitioner and the main accused

Hitesh which was collected by the I.O. during investigation. The

trial court inferred from the said call details and recording and

held that these pieces of evidence indicated towards the guilt of

the petitioner for the above offence and accordingly charge was

framed against her.

Shri Nishant Bora, learned counsel representing the

petitioner vehemently urged that even if the recording of the

conversation held inter-se between the present petitioner and the

main accused Pradeep Balach, husband of the deceased is

accepted as such on its face value then also, no inference can be

drawn that the petitioner ever harassed or humiliated the

deceased at any point of time before her marriage. Referring to

the statement of Smt. Parvati Devi- mother of the deceased,

Hitesh Kumar- her brother and Bhimaram- her father recorded
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under Section 161 Cr.P.C., Shri Bora contended that in all of these

statements, the allegation of harassment meted out to the

deceased on account of demand of dowry is against Pradeep. As

per Shri Bora, these witnesses have conjectured that the

petitioner and her husband were also responsible for the death of

Smt. Nirmala. Referring to the statement of Bhimaram, Shri Bora

pointed out that as per him, Pradeep had taken the deceased Smt.

Nirmala to Gadra Road on 18.04.2015 who called her mother

Parvati Devi and expressed an apprehension that she would be

killed by Pradeep and Hitesh. In this statement, Shri Bhimaram

did not make any allegation whatsoever that the petitioner was

responsible for harassing or humiliating the deceased Smt.

Nirmala on account of demand of dowry or even otherwise. He

urged that all these witnesses being the closest relatives of the

deceased have unanimously alleged that Pradeep was carrying on

with another woman and wanted to get rid of his wife so that he

READ  Gokul & Anr vs State on 1 August, 2017

could remarry and that he killed Smt. Nirmala to fulfill this design.

He thus urged that the revision petition deserves to be accepted

and the impugned order framing charge against the petitioner

should be quashed and set aside.

Per contra, learned Public Prosecutor and Shri Siddharth

Karwasara, learned counsel representing the respondent No.2

complainant vehemently opposed the submissions advanced by

the petitioner’s counsel. They contended that in the FIR as well as

in the statements of Bhimaram- father of the deceased, Parvati

Devi- her mother, Hitesh- her brother, there are specific

allegations that Pradeep was having an extramarital affair with
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another woman and wanted to get rid of Nirmala so that he could

remarry. They further drew the Court’s attention to the recording

of the conversation held between the petitioner and Pradeep soon

before the incident and tried to persuade the court to accept that

the tenor of the conversation establishes the petitioner’s guilt for

the offence under Section 498A IPC. They thus craved rejection of

revision petition.

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.

The highest allegation narrated in the detailed typed FIR

submitted by Bhimaram, father of the deceased, is that Pradeep

Balach, husband of deceased was having love affair with another

girl for the last about 2 years and owing this, he was harassing the

deceased and demanded that she should procure a house and

Rs.10,00,000/- from her father or else she would be killed and

Pradeep would remarry. In the entire FIR, there is not even a

whisper of any kind against anyone apart from Pradeep. Even in

the statements of the star prosecution witnesses, Bhinyaram,

Hitesh and Smt. Parvati Devi, primary allegations of harassment

and humiliation meted out to the deceased for the past two years

are against Pradeep Balach. An omnibus allegation was set out

against two Devars Hitesh and Naresh, mother-in-law, father-in-

law that they were also harassing the deceased for demand of

dowry. As per these witnesses, Pradeep used to physically torture

the deceased because of his extramarital affair. On 15.04.2015,

Nirmala called her mother Smt. Parvati Devi and told her that
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Pradeep was forcing her to go to Gadra Road. Her mother-in-law,

who was at Jodhpur, also presented her to go to Gadra Road and

told Pradeep and Hitesh that they should finish the work for which

they are going. On 16.04.2015, her husband and Hitesh forcibly

boarded her into the car for going to Gadra Road and the

petitioner talked to Pradeep and tried to make him

understand on which Pradeep agreed that he would not

READ  Smt. Jyotsana Nagar Koti And ... vs State Of U.P. And Anr. on 14 July, 2017

repeat the mistake in future. On 17/18.04.2015, Nirmala again

called her mother Parvati Devi and told that she was feeling

uneasy and probably would be killed. The witness did not believe

the deceased. However, in the night intervening 19/20.04.2015,

Pradeep murdered Nirmala. On going through these statements, it

is manifestly clear that there is no such allegation against the

petitioner which can justify framing of charge against her for the

offence under Section 498A IPC. Much water was sought to be

drawn by the learned Public Prosecutor and Shri Kadwasara,

learned counsel representing the complainant from the mobile

conversation held between the main accused Pradeep Balach and

the present petitioner; the transcript whereof is available on

record. In such conversation, Pradeep is heard hurling insinuations

indicating that he would do away with the deceased. However, the

petitioner is heard telling that people would treat him to be at

fault and that it would be a stigma on him:

Þviu dks gh yksx dslh uk uk dyad yx tklhß

Considering the tenor of the conversation, this Court is duly

satisfied that the petitioner was trying hard to convince her son

Pradeep not to go ahead with his evil design of killing the
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deceased. In view of what has been narrated hereinabove, this

Court is of the firm opinion that there is no material worth the

name on the record of the case so as to justify framing of charge

under Section 498A IPC against the present petitioner. Though, it

is true that at the stage of framing of charge, an exhaustive

reappreciation of evidence is not warranted but nevertheless,

there has to be basic material which can convince the Court to

proceed against the accused for the particular charge and then

only, an order can be passed in terms of Section 228 Cr.P.C. As

discussed above, there is absolute lack of material which can

satisfy the court regarding involvement of the accused petitioner

for the offence under Section 498A IPC.

As a consequence of the above discussion, I am of the

opinion that the trial court committed a grave error in framing

charge against the petitioner for the offence under Section 498A

IPC and the impugned order cannot be sustained to the

petitioner’s extent.

Resultantly, the revision petition is accepted. The impugned

order dated 17.08.2016 passed by the learned Additional District

and Sessions Judge No.1, Barmer in Sessions Case No.126/2015

is hereby quashed and set aside to the extent charge was directed

to be framed against the petitioner for the offence under Section

498A IPC. She is discharged from the said offence. The trial court

shall proceed against the other accused persons as per law.

(SANDEEP MEHTA)J.

tikam daiya/

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