The State Of Maharashtra vs Ramesh Damodar More & Anr on 11 May, 2017

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 12 OF 2003

The State of Maharashtra … Appellant

V/s.

1. Ramesh Damodar More
Age 30 years.
2. Sou Jyoti Ramesh More
Age 26 years … Respondents
Both Residing At Village Lonare,
Tal. Alibag, Dist. Raigad.
——

Mr Deepak Thakare, with Mr P.H. Gaikwad, APP for the State /
Appellant
None for the Respondents.
—–

Coram : P.N.DESHMUKH, J.

Date : 11 May 2017

ORAL JUDGMENT

1. This Appeal is preferred by the State of Maharashtra against

judgment in Sessions Case No. 35 of 2002 passed by IInd Adhoc

Additional Sessions Judge, Raigad, at Alibag thereby acquitting

both the Respondents for the offence punishable under Section 306

read with 34 of Indian Penal Code.

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2. In brief case of the prosecution is that both Respondents being

referred as accused since provided ill-treatment to the deceased

Priya, wife of brother of accused No.1 Ramesh at her matrimonial

house. On 19th November 2001 at around 9.30 a.m. she committed

suicide by drowning into the well.

3. After the incident of commission of suicide by Priya,

intimation of incident was given by Dwarkanath Janu Patil, PW

No.3, Police Patil of village Lonare as per Exhibit 24 on the

strength of this AD was registered and crime No. 50 of 2001 and

during the course of investigation spot panchnama and inquest

panchnama came to be drawn and body was sent for post-mortem.

Statements of witnesses were recorded and statement of mother of

deceased also recorded. The matters was sent to Senior Public

Prosecutor for opinion before registration of crime. On obtaining

further opinion from Sr. P.P. Mother of complainant was called in

Police Station and her statement was recorded. On the strength of

which offence came to be registered vide C.R No. 1 of 2002 and

was further investigated. On completion of investigation charge-

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sheet came to be filed for the offence punishable under Section 306

read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code before the competent Court

of Magistrate.

4. In due course of time case came to be committed to learned

Sessions Court for trial. Charge is framed against accused to which

accused pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. To establish the

charge against the accused, the prosecution has examined in all five

witnesses and commenced its evidence by examining Bharati, PW

No.1, complainant, the mother of deceased, Bhaskar, PW No.2 the

father of deceased Dwarkanath Patil, PW No.3, Police Patil of

village Lonare, Vaman, PW No.4, Head Constable, Investigating

Officer, who had investigated AD No.50 of 2001 and concluded

evidence by examining Mukund Bhosle, PW No.5, API.

Prosecution has proved Spot Panchnama Exhibit 14, Inquest

Panchnama Exhibit 15, cause of death certificate Exhibit 16,

postmortem report Exhibit 17 and FIR Exhibit 24. Accused did not

examine any witness on their behalf nor examining themselves on

oath.

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5. Learned Trial Judge considered the evidence as above

acquitted both the accused. Hence this Appeal.

6. Heard learned APP for the State. None present for the

Respondents-Accused. It is submitted by the learned APP that from

the evidence of Bharti, the complainant it has come on record that

immediately prior to the incident of suicide committed by Priya by

drowning into the well, she was subjected to ill-treatment and thus

was abetted by both the accused to commit suicide. Prosecution has,

therefore, heavily relied upon evidence of PW No.1, the mother of

deceased and has submitted that since she is also an eyewitness to

incident of quarrel which has taken place between accused and

deceased immediately prior to her committing suicide. Prosecution

READ  M.C. Mehta vs Union Of India & Ors on 27 November, 2006

has established charges levelled against the accused and had

therefore, submitted that Appeal be allowed.

7. In the background of submissions advanced as aforesaid, I

have perused the entire evidence on record with the assistance of

learned APP and has also gone through documents.

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8. From the evidence of PW No.1 it has come on record that

deceased was residing with her husband, who is elder brother of

accused No.1 Ramesh in same house but separately since three to

four years prior to incident. It has further come in her evidence that

about one and half years prior to incident when deceased had

visited her parental home at Pen, as she was scolded by accused

No.2 Jyoti and therefore, she as well as her husband, son and her

daughter went to the house of deceased situated at Lonare. At that

time she enquired accused No.2 about reason to scold Priya when

quarrel took place between them. She has stated that at that time

due to intervention of parents of accused No.2 Jyoti, the quarrel

passified. She also stated that at that time due to intervention of

Police Patil of village Lonare, as assurance was given to thereafter

not to provide ill-treatment to deceased, she returned back and did

not lodge complaint.

9. PW No.1 Bharti has further stated that one and half years

thereafter on 16th November 2001 deceased had come to her

parents home at Pen. However on the next day she himself brought

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her deceased daughter to her matrimonial home at Lonare along

with her children. On that night since Priya was not keeping good

health. She was referred to Doctor Sabu on that night. It is further

the case of the complainant that on 19th November 2001 at 9.00

a.m. when she was to return back to her house at Pen, both the

accused quarreled with deceased and had manhandled her and in

that course of said transaction accused No.1 Ramesh had stated to

deceased to go and commit suicide and die and thus Priya rushed to

the well situated to the back side of the house and committed

suicide by drowning.

10. In view of evidence of complainant as aforesaid it is material

to point out that deceased was residing with her husband who is

brother of accused No.1 Ramesh separately though in the same

house since three to four years prior to incident. Further evidence of

complainant is about earlier incident which took place about more

than one year before when quarrel had taken place between

deceased and accused No.2 Jyoti and was passifed due to

intervention of parents of accused No.2. Admittedly no reports in

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this respect of any of these earlier incidents are lodged.

11. As per further evidence of Bharti, Priya had visited her house

on 16th November 2001 and on the following day she took Priya to

her matrimonial home and on 19th November 2001 when she was

about to leave house to come back to Pen quarrel took place

between accused and deceased when accused No.1 stated to

deceased that she should commit suicide and die. Considering this

evidence as aforesaid same appears to be material improvement as

PW No.1 Bharti has admitted that though she has stated as aforesaid

to Police she is unable to to put forth any reason as to why same is

not recorded in her statement. This omission therefore goes to the

root of the case thereby dislodging case of prosecution of accused

No.1 saying to deceased to commit suicide and die. Further

READ  Sri, Girisha @ Halappa vs The State Of Karnataka on 25 April, 2017

evidence of PW No.1 complainant is also not worthy to be relied

upon when she admitted that there was some dispute between Priya

and her husband prior to incident and he has also issued legal notice

to her and has admitted that after the marriage of accused, they were

residing separately from deceased and her husband. Though PW

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No.1 Bharti, the mother of deceased had denied that Priya was

suffering from fits and she was continuously under treatment of Dr

Sabu. From evidence of PW No.4 Head Constable Mr Mhatre who

has investigated accidental death has admitted that during the

course of investigation it revealed to him that deceased was

epileptic patient and on the day of incident she had an attack of

epileptic in her house.

12. Having admitted as aforesaid, it cannot be said that deceased

committed suicide due to any ill-treatment / abatement alleged to

have been caused to her by the accused as there is every possibility

of deceased committing suicide due to her ill-health.

13. Evidence of PW No.2 Bhaskar, father of the deceased is also

similar when he has stated above incident of alleged ill-treatment

provided to deceased Priya about one and half hears before and has

further deposed about the indulgence by parents of accused No.2

Jyoti due to which matter was at that time settled and thus no report

was lodged. He has thereafter deposed about the incident dated 16th

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November 2001 when Priya had come to her parents home and had

complained about ill-treatment provided to her and his wife had

reached her to her house on 17th November 2001. He has further

stated that on 19th November 2001, at about 9.30 a.m. Puja, the

daughter of deceased telephonically intimated about quarrel which

has arrived between accused, deceased and her mother and

therefore states that he started to go to Lonare and on reaching there

in noon learnt about suicide committed by Priya. It is material to

note that Puja who is daughter of deceased and who is stated to

have informed PW No.2 Bhaskar about the quarrel alleged to have

occurred on 19th November 2001 is not examined. Even otherwise

evidence of PW No.2 Bhaskar also appears to be with material

omissions when he claims to have stated in the police statement

about incident of quarrel which took place one and half years before

and further claims to have stated in his statement of indulgence by

Police Patil and due to his intervention quarrel was passifed and has

further claims to have stated in his statement recorded by police that

Puja, the daughter of deceased has telephonically informed about

quarrel which was in progress at 9.30 a.m. on 19th November 2001,

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has shown his inability as to why all these facts are not mentioned

in his statement. The omissions are found to be duly proved. In that

view of the matter evidence of PW No.2 also is not convincing at

all having full of material omission going to the root of the case and

as such do not establish involvement of accused for the charge

levelled against them.

14. Learned Trial Judge has thus rightly disbelieved evidence of

PW No.1 and PW No.2 Bhaskar the parents of deceased who are

interested witnesses and their evidence even otherwise do not

inspire confidence.

15. Admittedly there are no other witness whose evidence needs

to be considered. In fact from the evidence of Bhaskar it has come

on record that on the day of incident, he reached to the matrimonial

home of deceased where PW No.1 Bharati informed that there was

READ  Manoj Narain Agrawal Vs. Shahshi Agrawal & Ors. on 15 April, 2009

quarrel between deceased and accused in which she was

manhandled and therefore, she committed suicide. Inspite of that

neither of these witnesses being parents of deceased thought

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necessary to lodge a report with police. In fact it has also come in

the evidence of Bhaskar that in his presence police were drawing

panchnama after taking out dead body from the well. However in

the cross examination Bhaskar has admitted that on the day of

incident itself they wanted to lodge report however police told to

lodge report after the funeral and was thus lodged on 21st

November 2001 by his wife PW No.1 Bharti. Similarly in the

evidence of PW No.1 Bharti proved her report Exhibit 20 dated 21st

November 2001. Prior to that on the basis of report lodged by PW

No.3 Dwarkanath Patil, Police Patil, AD report Exhibit 24 was

registered and was investigated by PW No.4 Waman Mhatre who

further drawn spot panchnama, inquest panchnama and after

recording statement of complainant sent case paper for obtaining

Senior Public Prosecutor’s opinion. Further investigation is carried

out by PW No.5 Mukund Bhosle, API who has stated that after

receipt of opinion from the office of Government Pleader, sought by

Head Constable Mr Mhatre, on 2nd January 2002 he called PW

No.1 Bharti and had recorded her statement and registered offence

against the accused. Above peace of evidence thus also goes to

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establish that as there was no material to register offence against the

accused persons, no offence was registered immediately but such a

long delay is caused to register offence on obtaining a legal opinion.

16. In that view of the matter since case of prosecution of quarrel

between deceased and accused immediately prior to incident of

deceased causing suicide is itself not reliable to be acted upon. It

cannot be said that accused in any manner had abated the decesed to

commit suicide. By now law on the point of offence punishable

under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code is well established. For

invoking the provisions of Section 306 of Indian Penal Code it is

necessary for prosecution to establish that deceased committed

suicide as a result of cruelty provided to her within the meaning of

Section 498A of Indian Penal Code and that the act of commission

of suicide is abated by the accused. In the case in hand on

considering evidence as aforesaid there is no material to establish

that accused abated commission of suicide much less immediately

prior to deceased committing suicide.

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17. Hence the Appeal is liable to be dismissed as according to the

settled law while considering appeal against acquittal when two

views are possible on the basis of evidence on record, one in favour

of accused taken by the Trial Court should not be disturbed by the

Appellate Court unless there are compelling circumstances such as

non consideration of evidence on record by the Trial Judge. Even

otherwise the scope of interference of Appellate Court in an Appeal

is by now well established that unless view taken by the Trial Judge

is either impossible or perverse, it is not permissible to interfere

therein. Upon perusal of the impugned judgment and material

placed on record it is found that accused came to be acquitted by the

Trail Court by passing well reasoned order.

18. In that view of the matter since prosecution has failed to

establish charge levelled against the accused persons beyond

reasonable doubt. Appeal is liable to be dismissed.

19. Hence Appeal is dismissed.

(P.N.DESHMUKH, J.)

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