CRA No. 283 of 2014
The State of West Bengal
The Hon’ble Justice Siddhartha Chattopadhyay
For the Appellant : Mr. Mritunjoy Chatterjee,
For the State : Mr. Saswata Gopal Mukherjee, Ld.
Mr. Sourav Chatterjee
Heard on : 07/09/2017.
Judgment on : 08/09/2017.
Doubting the correctness of the judgment and order of
conviction dated 30/1/2014 and 31/1/2014 passed by the learned
Sessions Judge, 2nd Court, Purulia in S.T. no. 10 of 2013, the
appellant preferred this appeal with a prayer to set aside the finding
of the learned Court below mainly on the ground that the learned
Court below failed to appreciate the evidence of the prosecution
witnesses in its proper perspectives.
Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State disputed the
same and contended that the learned trial Court has taken care of
all the material aspects and has come to a correct finding, which
does not call for any interference.
In the interest of effective adjudication, factual scenario needs
to be revisited.
The prosecution case, in a capsulated form, is such that the
marriage of the victim was held with the accused/appellant nearly
twenty-seven years back. After the said marriage,
husband/appellant began to put torture upon her physically and
mentally. In one occasion, the appellant had assaulted the victim in
such a way for which her hand was broken. After giving consolation
to the victim, the parents of the victim sent her back. On 07/4/2013
the accused assaulted the victim severely and thereafter set fire
upon her. The victim was initially taken to Bansgarh Health Centre
and thereafter she was removed to Purulia Sadar Hospital for
medical treatment. Disclosing these facts the de facto complainant
set the law into motion.
After registration of FIR the prosecution agency came into
operation. In course of investigation the I.O. examined available
witnesses under Section161 Cr. P.C., collected injury report and
thereafter submitted charge sheet under Sections 498A/307 IPC.
To come to a finding, we should have a look upon the evidence
of the prosecution witnesses.
P.W. 1 is the father of the victim. He has corroborated the
story of FIR almost in the same tone and tune.
In course of cross-examination, he admitted that the appellant
is a day labourer by profession and could not earn more for which he
could not afford proper fooding and lodging to the victim. He also
contended that he did not see any incident of assault on victim.
From his evidence, we do not find any ingredient of Section 498A
IPC. There was no demand of dowry nor the victim was assaulted on
the ground of dowry. The cruelty, which is most essential for
constituting an offence under Section 498A IPC is lacking.
P.W. 2 is the nephew of de facto complainant. He did not tell
anything regarding the alleged incident of assault by which the
victim’s hand was broken. Regarding the fateful incident he has
stated that after getting an information about the victim, he along
with others went to Balarampur Hospital. According to him, one
Jamal and two others reported them that the victim was tied with
rope in her hands and legs and thereafter the appellant set fire on
In course of cross-examination, initially he stated that he was
interrogated by the I.O. It was suggested to him that he did not tell
the police that he got information and went to Balarampur Hospital
and therefrom he came to know about the incident from one Jamal
P.W. 3 is also another nephew of the de facto complainant. He
has stated that nearly four years back, the appellant assaulted the
victim for which her hand was broken. He further stated that the
appellant had given an undertaking in writing that he would not
assault the victim further. Upon his such undertaking, they sent
back the victim to her matrimonial home. On 07/4/2013 he learnt
about the burn injury sustained by the victim and thereafter he went
P.W. 4 is the uncle of the victim. He has narrated the story of
assault and burn injury sustained by the victim.
In course of cross-examination, he has stated that he did not
tell the police that he got information that the victim was admitted in
Evidence of P.W. 5 is not relevant because he has been
P.W. 6 is the victim, who has corroborated the story of FIR
and it was suggested to her that whether there is any lock system in
her room and, in reply, she stated that there is no provision for
bolting the house from inside.
P.W. 7 is not much relevant because he is a hearsay witness.
P.W. 8 is the scribe, who has proved the FIR.
P.W. 9 is the constable, who is witness to the seizure list
including the wearing apparels of the victim.
P.W. 10 is the doctor, who has given medical treatment to the
victim. He candidly stated that the victim was set fire by her
husband. Injury report speaks so. The statement of the victim was
recorded in that injury report. He opined that after examining the
victim, he found 9 per cent burn injury at face and neck region, 18
per cent burn injury at chest and abdomen, 9 per cent burn injury
at backside, 9 per cent burn injury at both arms, 9 per cent burn
injury at both legs lower part.
Defence could not shake his evidence. Therefore, it stands for
reason that the victim suffered burn injury and that the victim told
about the incident of burn injury to him.
P.W. 11 is the I.O., who had conducted the investigation of the
prosecution case. He has categorically stated the manner in which
he conducted the investigation.
However, in course of cross-examination, he has stated that
the victim did not tell him that on the relevant day, the appellant
assaulted her at 4 p.m. and thereafter he put kerosene oil on her
person at 7 p.m.
On perusal of the entire evidence, I find that the prosecution
has been able to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt and
Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant
contended that since 08/04/2013, the accused is in jail i.e. for
nearly four years and six months. He prays for reduction of
It appears from the records as well as it is admitted that the
marital tie is still there and the marital tie of victim and the
appellant is about twenty-seven years.
It is also established that the appellant is a poor labourer and
does not have enough financial capacity to look after his wife and
children. On the other hand, the de facto complainant’s financial
status is much more than the accused. If there was persisting
torture upon the victim, in that case, they could not have continued
their marital life for about twenty-seven years.
Since the appellant is in custody for about four and half years,
and there is no antecedent of his blemished character prior to such
incident, I am of the view that the sentence can be reduced to some
Therefore, instead of imprisonment for seven years, I am of the
view that the rigorous imprisonment for five years and also to pay
fine of Rs.1000/-, in default to suffer simple imprisonment for one
month, shall meet the demand of justice. The period of detention
already undergone shall be set off accordingly.
Therefore, the criminal appeal is allowed in part. Sentence
awarded by the learned trial Court hereby reduced to the extent, as
The department is directed to send a copy of this judgment
along with the lower Court records at once.
Urgent photostat certified copy of this order, if applied for, be
given to the parties.