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Revision vs By Adv.Sri.C.B.Sreekumar on 25 May, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

PRESENT:

THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.UBAID

FRIDAY, THE 25TH DAY OF MAY 2018 / 4TH JYAISHTA, 1940

Crl.Rev.Pet.No. 155 of 2006

AGAINST THE JUDGMENT IN CRA 17/2003 of ADDL.SESSIONS COURT
(ADHOC)-II, PATHANAMTHITTA
AGAINST THE JUDGMENT IN CC 364/2000 of C.J.M COURT, PATHANAMTHITTA

REVISION PETITIONER(S)/APPELLANT/ACCUSED:

RAVEENDRAN, S/O. CHANDRASEKHARAN NAIR,
THEKKADETH KIZHAKETHIL VEEDU, PANGAD,, KULANADA
VILLAGE, KOZHENCHERRY TALUK,, PATHANAMTHITTA DISTRICT.

BY ADV.SRI.C.B.SREEKUMAR

RESPONDENT(S)/COMPLAINANT STATE::

1. STATE OF KERALA REPRESENTED BY
THE SUB INSPECTOR OF POLICE,, PATHANAMTHITTA.

2. THE STATE OF KERALA REPRESENTED BY
PUBLIC PROSECUTOR, HIGH COURT OF KERALA.

BY PUBLIC PROSECUTOR SMT.SREEJA.V.

THIS CRIMINAL REVISION PETITION HAVING BEEN FINALLY HEARD ON
25-05-2018, THE COURT ON THE SAME DAY PASSED THE FOLLOWING:

P.UBAID, J.
~~~~~~~~~~
Crl.R.P No.155 of 2006
~~~~~~~~~~~
Dated this the 25th May, 2018

ORDER

The revision petitioner herein challenges the

conviction and sentence against him under Sections 323

and 498A I.P.C in C.C 364 of the Judicial First Class

Magistrate Court, Pathanamthitta. His legally wedded wife

is the de facto complainant in this case. She filed a

complaint in court alleging matrimonial cruelty that she

had been mentally and physically harassed by her

husband. She was married by him on 13.5.1999 and she

was driven out from the matrimonial home on 12.6.2000.

The complaint was forwarded to the Police for investigation

under Section 156 (3) Cr.P.C. After investigation, the Police

submitted final report in court.

2. The accused appeared before the learned

Magistrate and pleaded not guilty to the charge framed

against him. The prosecution examined eight witnesses in

the trial court and proved Exts.P1 to P5 documents. The

accused denied the incriminating circumstances when

examined under Section 313 Cr.P.C. He did not adduce
Crl.R.P No.155 of 2006
2

any evidence in defence.

3. On an appreciation of the evidence, the trial

court found the accused guilty under Sections 323 and 498A

I.P.C. On conviction, he was sentenced to undergo simple

imprisonment for six months and to pay a fine of b925,000/-

under Section 498A I.P.C by judgment dated 21.12.2002. No

separate sentence was imposed under Section 323 I.P.C.

Aggrieved by the judgment of conviction, the accused

approached the Court of Session, Pathanamthitta with Crl.A

No.17/2003. In appeal, the learned Additional Sessions

Judge (Adhoc-II) confirmed the conviction and sentence and

accordingly dismissed the appeal. Now the accused is

before this Court in revision challenging the legality and

propriety of the conviction and sentence.

4. On a perusal of the entire materials, I find that

there is no legal evidence in this case to prove the

essentials of the offence under Section 498A I.P.C, and that

the accused was wrongly convicted by the courts below.

The case of the complainant in the Ext.P1 complaint is that

a few months after the marriage, her husband went to Goa
Crl.R.P No.155 of 2006
3

for employment and till then she had been mentally and

physically harassed by her husband. After returning from

Goa, he continued his cruel habits demanding for more

dowry and ornaments, and such a demand was made on

11.6.2000. She was also assaulted by him on that day. As

informed by her, her father came on the next day and

talked to the husband. When the husband repeated the

demand and assaulted her, it was resisted by the father. On

the same day, she was driven out from the matrimonial

home.

5. PW1 is the de facto complainant, PW2 is her

father and PW3 is a neighbour. On an examination of the

evidence given by PW2, I find that his evidence is practically

regarding an instance of assault on 12.6.2000. The

evidence of PW3 is that he had seen the accused beating

his wife at the house of PW2. According to the complainant

and her father, the alleged assault was on 12.6.2000, but

the case of PW3 is that he saw the assault in December.

This means that PW3 has no idea as to what exactly is the

dispute between PW1 and her husband, and his evidence
Crl.R.P No.155 of 2006
4

that he had seen the accused beating his wife must be

false.

6. The evidence given by PW2 is that on getting

information from his daughter, he went to the husband’s

house on 12.6.2000, and talked about the demand made by

the husband. During the wordy altercation, the husband

assaulted his daughter, and in such a circumstance, she

was brought home by him. When he says that he took his

daughter to the house when assaulted by the husband, the

complaint in Ext.P1 is that she was driven out from the

matrimonial home. Anyway, PW2 has no case regarding

any instance of cruelty prior to June, 2006. Practically, his

evidence is only regarding a single instance of assault on

12.6.2000. This will not be sufficient for a prosecution

under Section 498A I.P.C.

7. The case of PW1 in evidence is that she had

been physically and mentally harassed by her husband till

he went to Goa for employment. When cross-examined,

she stated that her husband went to Goa after six months

from the date of marriage, and till then, everything was
Crl.R.P No.155 of 2006
5

alright. Her cross-examination shows that the husband

started demanding dowry and ornaments after he returned

from Goa, and on 12.6.2000, she was beaten by him. Thus,

practically what is revealed by the cross-examination of

PW1 is that her complaint is only regarding a single instance

of assault on 12.6.2000, as her father would also say, and

that till the husband went to Goa for employment, the

relationship was quite alright. Thus, the evidence given by

PW1 in cross-examination is contradictory to the versions in

the complaint. Her statements in cross-examination would

reveal that till the husband went to Goa, the matrimony was

quite smooth, peaceful and happy, and trouble started when

he came back. After he returned from Goa, what happened

is only an instance of assault on 12.6.2000.

8. For a prosecution under Section 498A I.P.C, there

must be evidence to prove mental or physical harassment

by a course of cruel conduct. Ordinary wear and tear in

matrimony, or ordinary discord in matrimony, or isolated

instances of assault or dispute once or twice, will not be

sufficient for a prosecution under Section 498A I.P.C. In this
Crl.R.P No.155 of 2006
6

case, I do not find any satisfactory and convincing

evidence to prove mental or physical harassment by a

course of cruel conduct as defined and meant under Section

498A I.P.C. Just because there occurred a quarrel between

the complainant and the accused on 12.6.2000, or just

because he assaulted her on that day in connection with

some dispute between them or with the father, the

husband cannot be convicted under Section 498A I.P.C.

In the result, this revision petition is allowed. The

revision petitioner is found not guilty of the offences alleged

against him under Sections 498A and 323 I.P.C and he is

acquitted of the said offences in revision. Accordingly, the

conviction and sentence against him in C.C 364/2000 of the

court below, and confirmed in appeal, will stand set aside,

and the revision petitioner will stand released from

prosecution.

Sd/-

P.UBAID
JUDGE
ma /True copy/ P.S to Judge

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