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Not helping in household is not abetting suicide, Acquitted for offence u/s 498A/306/34 IPC

IN THE COURT OF SH. O.P.GUPTA, ASJ/ROHINI COURTS,
DELHI

SC No. 105/2007

State

Versus

1. Satnam Singh (Expired)
S/o Sh. Ujagar Singh
R/o C-1/75, Rama Vihar,Sultanpuri, Delhi.

2. Rajesh Gulati
S/o Satnam singh
R/o C-1/75, Rama Vihar,Sultanpuri, Delhi.

3. Shashi Bala (P.O.)
W/o Satnam Singh
R/o C-1/75, Rama Vihar,Sultanpuri, Delhi.

FIR No. 993/2003
P.S. Sultanpuri
U/s. 498A/306/34 IPC

JUDGMENT
1. The case arises out of report lodged by Babu Ram Sharma father of the deceased to the effect that on 17.7.1995 his daughter Kanta Sharma entered into love marriage with accused Rajesh Gulati in Arya Samaj Mandir, Jangpura, Bhogal. She did not visit his house for 1½ year after marriage. Afterward his daughter, accused Rajesh Gulati and his parents along with others sought pardon, he forgot the incident of love marriage and called his daughter at his house. Six months thereafter his daughter told her mother and him that her mother in law Shashi Bala and father in law Satnam Singh used to taunt her on small things and used to harass her, whenever she used to complain for the said conduct to her husband, the husband used to beat her instead of listening her. He tried to make his daughter understand that small quarrel go on in the family. When he used to ask about the quarrel from Rajesh, he used to complain about Kanta. In laws of Kanta sold their house in Laxmi Nagar and started living in rented house. At this moment at the asking of his daughter, her husband and mother in law and father in law, he purchased a house in the name of his daughter and husband. Four years before when his daughter gave birth to daughter Himanshi, he gave one golden chain and one fridge. About three years before when Rajesh purchased a vehicle he gave Rs. 50,000/-. On 12.8.2003 when Kanta came to his house on the occasion of Rakhi she complained against her husband and in laws about beating. On 18.8.2003 he learnt about death of his daughter by hanging.

2. During investigation a suicide note was recovered. A diary was also given containing the incident of atrocities on Kanta. Postmortem was got done. Statements of witnesses were recorded.

3. After completing the investigation challan was filed.

Copies were supplied. The case was committed to the court of sessions. A prima facie case for offence u/s 498A/34 and 306/34 IPC was found. Charge was framed against all the three accused to which all the three accused pleaded not guilty.

4. During the course of trial accused Shashi Bala started absenting. She has been declared Proclaimed Offender vide order dated 19.10.2006. Accused Satnam Singh expired in jail on 14.7.2007.

5. In support of its case the prosecution examined eight witnesses. PW-1 Babu Ram Sharma is the complainant. He is father of the victim. He proved his report to the police as Ex. PW1/C and corroborated the avernments made therein. He proved the suicide note as Ex. PW1/A, identification memo thereof as Ex. PW1/B. He further proved the identification memo of dead body as Ex. PW1/D and handing over memo of dead body as Ex. PW1/E, arrest memos as Ex. PW1/F, G and J. The personal search memos have been proved as Ex. PW1/H, I and K. He handed over diary written by her daughter containing atrocities committed by accused which is Ex. P-1. In cross examination he admitted that accused Rajesh used to come to their house very often and used to respect him. He inquired from the neighbourer about the death of his daughter and came to know that there had been quarrel between his daughter and Rajesh for three days. He denied that accused Shashi Bala was mentally ill. Accused Satnam Singh used to live with his son Rajesh and his daughter occasionally. He did not know whether accused Satnam Singh was living on the pavement of Chandni Chowk as destitute. He denied that his daughter was kept lovingly by the accused and with care.

6. He was recalled for further cross examination. This time roving questions about the income of the witness, his expenditure, his source for giving the money to victim, giving Rs. 50,000/- to accused Rajesh were asked. The witness replied that he had borrowed the said amount and Rs. 60,000/- remained to be paid out of the loan.

7. PW-2 Dr. V.K. Jha conducted post mortem on the body of Kanta Sharma and proved his report Ex. PW2/A. According to the same the cause of death is asphyxia as a result of constricting force over neck by hanging.

8. PW-3 Sanjay is neighbourer of the accused. He used to treat Kanta as his sister. He received information about quarrel between accused Rajesh and Kanta, he reached the house of accused Rajesh and found him standing outside the house. Rajesh told him that door was bolted from inside by Kanta and she was not opening the same. Meanwhile one Prakash reached there, accused Rajesh and Prakash broke the door and it was seen that Kanta was hanging with ceiling fan. He deposed that when Kanta gave birth to daughter, her parents gave her one fridge, one gold neckless and her father had given Rs. 50,000/- to accused Rajesh to purchase Phatphat sewa. In the month of June kerosene oil was sprinkled on the body of Kanta by her father in law. He proved the seizure memo of the suicide note as Ex. PW3/A.

9. In cross examination he denied that he gave beatings to accused to such an extent that accused Rajesh received injuries all over his body and he was bleeding. Accused Satnam Singh was not living in the same house where Kanta was living as he was living two lanes away from the house of Kanta. He denied that major cause of tension was his visit to the house of Kanta.
10. PW-4 Chetan Sharma is brother of the deceased. He made a statement similar to that of PW-1. He proved the photographs of marriage as Ex. PW4/A and Ex. PW4/B. In re-examination he stated that money was paid to accused Rajesh by the father of this witness for buying his house. He was cross examined at length but nothing came to shake his testimony.

11. PW-5 H. Ct. Bhagirath, Duty Officer proved copy of FIR as Ex. PW5/A, endorsement regarding registration of FIR on the rukka as Ex. PW5/B and copy of DD No. 17A regarding registration of FIR Ex. PW5/C.

12. PW-6 Ct. Shiv Charan accompanied the IO to the spot. He proved seizure memo of the documents of marriage as Ex. PW6/A.

13. PW-7 Prakash is another neighbourer of the accused. He made a statement similar to that of PW-3. In cross examination he was confronted with his statement u/s 161 Cr. P. C. which is Ex. PW7/DA in which there is no mention about his telling the police that accused Rajesh told him that he had a quarrel with his wife. He admitted that PW Sanjay gave beatings to accused Rajesh out of anger. He did not remember as to how long Sanjay kept on beating accused Rajesh. He denied that he had deposed at the instance of Sanjay since he was employed by him.

14. PW-8 ASI Satbir Singh is IO. He proved rukka as Ex. PW8/A, site plan as Ex. PW8/B and inquest proceedings as Ex. PW8/C. In cross examination he stated that he required the father and brother of the deceased to give him any other writing of the deceased for the purpose of comparison of the suicide note but they told that they did not have any such writing.

15. In his statements u/s 313 Cr. P.C. the accused Rajesh Gulati admitted marriage but denied the allegations of beating and harassment. He denied that father of the deceased gave fridge or gold neckless or Rs. 50,000/-. He denied that father of the deceased purchased a house in the name of accused Rajesh and Kanta. He denied recovery of suicide note or diary. He pleaded innocence and stated that Pws have deposed falsely being interested witnesses. According to them major cause of tension was visit of house of Kanta by PW-3 Sanjay. They did not want to lead D.E.

16. I have gone through the material on record and heard the arguments. The counsel for the accused submitted that admittedly it was a case of love marriage and it is a matter of common knowledge that in love marriage nothing has given in dowry. To that extent he appears to be correct. But it has come in evidence that 1½ year after marriage the parents of the deceased forgave their daughter and in laws after the in-laws tendered apology. So the love marriage lost significance. Once a daughter starts visiting her parental house, it is natural for the parents to give one thing or the other. This is more so when daughter makes complaint about taunting on account of not bringing anything in dowry. However parents try to settle the life of his daughter by doing maximum according to their capacity. Simply because PW- 1 could not give a detailed account of the sources from where he arranged the amount, is no ground to dis-believe him. The suicide note Ex. PW1/A contains detailed account why she was finishing her life. The father of the deceased identified the suicide note to be in the hand writing of his daughter. It goes without saying that the parent is the best person to identify the writing of his child. It is noteworthy that accused has not disputed in the cross examination of PW-1 that suicide note was not in the hand writing of deceased. Moreover the FSL has found the suicide note to be in the hand writing of a person who wrote the diary. It is true that the said report has not been exhibited but the report is persee admissible u/s 293 Cr. P.C.. Again simply because the IO admitted that the parents of the deceased told him that they did not have any other admitted writing, does not detract the value of report of FSL. This is nothing but negligence on the part of the IO in answering the questions. He forgot that he had seized the admitted writing and sent the same to FSL and positive report was received.

17. The counsel for the accused stressed much on the cross of PW-1 where he admitted that accused Rajesh used to respect PW-1. But this does not mean that he was absolved from the cruelties.

18. PW-3 and PW-7 who are independent witnesses have categorically deposed about the beatings given by accused persons. PW-3 specifically deposed that in June kerosene oil was sprinkled on the body of Kanta by her father in law. There can be no worst cruelty than this.

19. Simply because PW-3 denied that he gave beatings to accused to accused Rajesh at the time he saw Kanta hanging and the said fact has been admitted by PW-7 does not mean that the whole statement of PW-3 becomes unreliable. The rule of one lie whole lie does not apply in criminal cases.

20. The suggestion that PW-3 gave beatings to accused Rajesh goes to show the presence of PW-3 at the spot. The same makes the statement more probable.
21. It is strange that the accused persons gave a suggestion to PW-3 that the major cause of tension was visit of PW-3 to the house of Kanta. This suggestion has not been given to any other PW. The suggestion is quite unswallowable. It is not the case of the accused persons that PW-3 had any illicit relation with Kanta.

22. Statement of PW-4 brother of deceased adds to the probative value of statement of PW-1, PW-3 and PW-7. At this juncture it may be mentioned that there is difference between related witness and interested witness. Every related witness cannot be termed as interested witness. Sometimes only the relatives are the most natural witness. The present case is amongst one of said cases. At the most it can be said that statement of related witness has to be scrutinised with caution.

23. Omission by PW-7 to tell in his statement u/s 161 Cr. P.C. that accused Rajesh told that he had quarreled with his Kanta is immaterial. The same does not amount to contradictions within the meaning of section162 Cr. P. C.

24. From the material on record I am satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case of cruelty by the accused person beyond reasonable doubt. Accused Rajesh Gulati is convicted u/s 498A/34 IPC.

25. As regard section 306 IPC the counsel for the accused relied upon Mahendra Singh and another Versus State 1996 Cr. L. J. 894 SC in which it was held that mere allegation of harassment made by the deceased in her dying declaration is not sufficient to constitute abetment of suicide. He also relied upon Ramesh Kumar Versus State 2001 (4) Crimes 360 SC in which it was held that what constitutes instigation must necessarily and specifically be suggestive of consequences. A word uttered in the fit of anger or emotion without intending the consequences to actually follow cannot be said to be instigation.

26. In Nagesh Tyagi Versus State 2000 (2) JCC 518 ( Delhi) Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari as his lordship then was held that suicide note shows constant dispute and differences on trivial issues. The same does not lead to conclusion that the accused is guilty of cruelty to the extent which drive the deceased to commit suicide. The same squarely applies to the case in hand.

27. The counsel for the accused also drew my attention towards decision in Mrs. Taposhi Chakervarti Versus State 2000 (2) JCC 466 Delhi in which it was held that statements of husband and son of the deceased at the most show that the deceased was sensitive, religious and devoted who was finding normal wear and tear of life difficult to cope with. The same does not in any way satisfy the ingredients essential to attract section 306 IPC.

28. Reliance has also been placed on Sanju Versus State AIR 2002 Supreme Court 1998 in which it was held that quarrel between accused and deceased, accused telling deceased to go and die would not constitute ingredient of instigation. Presence of meansrea is necessary concomitant of instigation. Fact that deceased committed suicide after two days of quarrel during which said words were uttered by the accused show that suicide was not direct result of quarrel.

29. In Devender Kumar Mathur Versus State 2002 (2) Crimes 12 our own Hon’ble High Court held that mere taunts to the deceased for not working and for not bringing the mixie and for not doing any house hold work, would not amount to drive or compel a woman to commit suicide. Taunts could not be said to be abetment as defined u/s 107 IPC.

30. Mamta Sahu Versus State 2005 (3) JCC 1749 lays down that when deceased and accused had a fight on the evening preceding, incident taking place at around 8.30 PM and around 1.00 AM accused hearing some noise found that the deceased was vomiting, there is no evidence with the prosecution to show that anything had happened in these two hours which caused the consumption of poison by the deceased. Simply because consumption of poison was preceded by fight between accused and the deceased, it cannot be said that suicide had been instigated or abetted by the deceased.

31. In view of the said case law the accused Rajesh Gulati is acquitted for offence u/s 306/34 IPC. File against accused Shashi Bala be sent to Record Room u/s 299 Cr. P.C. with liberty to revive the same after her apprehension.

Announced in the Open Court (O.P.GUPTA)
On 25.07.2007 ASJ/ROHINI COURTS
DELHI.

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