IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1097/2012
JAGDISH & ORS…Appellants
STATE OF UTTARANCHAL ..Respondent
J U D G M E N T
R. BANUMATHI, J.
This interest arises out of visualisation antiquated 29.12.2011 upheld by High Court of Uttarakhand in Criminal Appeal No. 215/2002, in and by which, a High Court arguable a self-assurance of a appellants underneath Sections 304B, 498A and 201, IPC and a visualisation of life seizure imposed on any of them.
2. Briefly stated, box of a assign is that matrimony between complainant–Meharchand’s daughter Seema (deceased) and accused-Late Chandrahas was solemnized in a month of May 1991. As per his ability and status, PW-1-complainant gave sufficient dowry and articles. But within few days of marriage, Chandrahas along with his kin and relatives, started badgering Seema on comment of non-fulfilment of approach of dowry. PW-1-father of a deceased, carrying bad resources, was incompetent to accommodate these ever augmenting demands. PW-1, regularly requested Chandrahas and his family members not to harass his daughter, yet they remained organisation in their final of motorcycle and dowry amount. PW-1 could collect usually small volume of Rs. 2,000/- and gave it to a family of Chandrahas and requested them not to betray his daughter.
3. Thereafter, in Aug 1994, a defunct after being exceedingly beaten, was suspended from her matrimonial home and she was told that she should usually lapse with Rs. 20,000/- income and a Hero Honda motorcycle and Seema came to her father’s house. On saying her condition, PW-1 took a defunct to Saharanpur District Hospital, where she was medically examined and treated for her injuries. On 4.9.1994, with a impasse of a Panchayat and assurances on a partial of Chandrahas (husband) and his family, a parties arrived during a allotment and it was motionless that Seema was to be taken behind to her matrimonial residence and that they will not woe Seema. Based on a allotment and a declaration thereon, PW-1 left Seema in her matrimonial house. However, after one month, a defunct again wrote a minute to her father describing a nuisance meted out to her. PW-1 was incompetent to revisit his daughter immediately on comment of a afterwards ongoing work of mount cutting. On 12.5.1995, Subhash Chandra (PW-4) came to a residence of PW-1–Meharchand and sensitive him that Seema had been killed by her in-laws and burnt to death. Hearing this, PW-1–Meharchand along with some villagers went to Churiyala–Chandrahas’s village; yet there was zero during a house. On being sensitive of a occurrence by a villagers, PW-1 reached a cremation belligerent and found a inferno still burning.
4. PW-1–Meharchand lodged a censure during Police Station, Bhagwanpur, Village Churiyala, District Haridwar, on a basement of that FIR No. 42/95 for a offences underneath Sections 498A, 304B, IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of a Dowry Prohibition Act was purebred opposite all a persons namely Chandrahas–Husband, Sukhbir-father-in-law, Jagdish-elder hermit of Sukhbir, Yogendra (Jeth)-elder hermit of Chandrahas, Chandraprakash-Dewar (brother-in-law), Pushpa-mother-in-law and Savita (Jethani)-wife of Yogendra. After due investigation, charge-sheet was filed opposite all of them.
5. To move home a shame of a accused, assign has examined 8 witnesses and exhibited papers and element objects. Sessions Court found all a indicted persons guilty underneath Sections 304B, 498A and 201, IPC and condemned any of a indicted to bear life seizure underneath Section 304B, dual years severe seizure underneath Section 498A and dual years severe seizure underneath Section 201, IPC. Being aggrieved, appellants Jagdish–elder hermit of Sukhbir, Yogendra–elder hermit of Chandrahas, and Savita–wife of Yogendra filed an interest before a High Court of Uttarakhand. Husband of a deceased-Chandrahas and his parents, namely, Sukhbir and Pushpa have all upheld divided and a box opposite them abated. High Court arguable a self-assurance and visualisation imposed on a accused-appellants and liberated a appeal. This interest assails a exactness of a visualisation of a High Court affirming appellants’ self-assurance and a visualisation of seizure imposed on them.
6. Mr. V. Giri schooled Senior Counsel for a appellants contended that to lift hypothesis underneath Section 113B of a Evidence Act, assign has to infer that there was approach of dowry and that cruelty and nuisance was meted out to a defunct ‘soon before her death’. It was submitted that zero of a witnesses deposed about a impasse of a appellants and there is no arguable justification to settle a essential mixture of Section 304B, IPC or to clear invoking hypothesis underneath Section 113B of a Evidence Act. It was contended that a appellants are vital alone and they were usually witnesses to a concede Ex A-3 and are in no approach connected with a day-to-day family life of Seema and Chandrahas and a Courts next erred in convicting a appellants underneath Sections 304B, 498A and 201, IPC.
7. Mr. Pankaj Bhatia, schooled Counsel for a respondent submitted that a assign has adduced strenuous justification to infer that Seema was subjected to nuisance and cruelty ‘soon before her death’ and on appreciation of evidence, Courts next by point commentary righteously convicted a appellants and a impugned visualisation does not humour from any infirmity.
8. We have delicately deliberate a submissions and left by a impugned visualisation and a justification and materials on record.
9. Where a genocide of a lady caused by browns or corporeal injuries occurs differently than underneath normal resources within 7 years of her matrimony and justification reveals that ‘soon before her death’ she was subjected to cruelty or nuisance by her father or any of his kin for or in tie with any approach for dowry, such genocide is described as ‘dowry death’ underneath Section 304B, IPC for that a punishment extends to seizure for life yet not reduction than seizure for 7 years. By trait of Section 113B of a Evidence Act, a Court has to lift a hypothesis of ‘dowry death’ if a same has taken place within 7 years of matrimony and there is justification of a lady carrying been subjected to cruelty and/or harassment. It contingency be remembered that cruelty and nuisance on a married lady and approach of dowry are generally committed within a 4 walls of residential houses and in secrecy, thereby creation it formidable to get approach evidence. That is because a Legislature by introducing Section 113B in a Evidence Act attempted to strengthen a assign box by enabling a Court to lift a hypothesis if certain simple contribution are determined and that genocide has taken place within 7 years of marriage. Considering a range of Section 304B, IPC and hypothesis underneath Section 113B of a Evidence Act, due weightage is to be given to a justification of a father, brother, sister and other kin of a defunct with courtesy to a box put onward relating to approach of dowry.
10. In a present case, defunct Seema was married to Chandrahas in a month of May 1991. From a pronounced wedlock, a masculine child was innate in 1993. Seema died in a month of May 1995. PW-1-the father of a deceased, Meharchand, during a time of his daughter’s matrimony had given a dowry and other articles as per his ability and status. As per a justification of PW-1 someday after a marriage, Chandrahas and his family members started perfectionist motorcycle and dowry and tormented Seema. The approach of dowry and nuisance was communicated by Seema to her father. PW-1, Meharchand had taken his kin to a residence of Chandrahas and sensitive them about his bad resources and that he will not be means to give motorcycle. After that, complainant-PW-1 perceived a minute from his daughter Seema to move income or differently her father and in-laws would kill her. Again PW-1 Meharchand took his kin to a Village Churiyala and requested Chandrahas and his family members not to harass his daughter. In his justification PW-1 settled that a indicted Jagdish, Yogendra and Savita demanded motorcycle and persisted in their demands. PW-1 could usually arrange Rs. 2,000/- and requested Chandrahas and other indicted not to harass Seema; yet it was of no avail. In 1993, Seema was physically beaten and she was taken to a District Hospital Saharanpur. PW-6-Dr. R.K. Verma had beheld 3 injuries on a physique of Seema viz., on a left side of head, on behind of a chest reduce partial and protest of pain on front of chest of stomach and released Wound Certificate Ex A-8. PW-6–Dr. R.K. Verma opined that a injuries could have been caused by blunt object.
11. The approach for motorcycle and Rs. 20,000/- continued and in 1994, PW-1 lodged a censure opposite all a indicted alleging approach of dowry and that Seema was subjected to cruelty. In 1994, a Panchayat was convened in Churiyala Village and Ex A-3 concede help was executed and all a indicted sealed in a same. Ex A-3, concede help refers to censure lodged by PW-1-Meharchand for beating, torturing and badgering Seema per dowry approach and distribution of notice by family of Chandrahas opposite Meharchand. As per a terms of a compromise, Chandrahas and his family has to deposition Rs. 50,000/- in a name of Seema as confidence volume and after so depositing a volume in her name, indicted can take behind Seema and all a indicted concluded and had undertaken that Seema would not be tormented or tortured. The appellants and all a indicted have sealed Ex A-3, concede deed. In terms of Ex A-3, Rs. 50,000/- was to be deposited in a name of Seema and after depositing a same, she was taken behind to a matrimonial house. Ex A-3, concede help antiquated 4.9.1994 is a element justification substantiating assign case. Inspite of Ex A-3, concede help and a assurance, a cruelty and nuisance for dowry approach continued.
12. PW-2 Rikhiram, proprietor of Village Beherki and a neighbour of PW-1 advanced a chronicle of PW-1 in all a essential details as to approach of motorcycle and dowry. PW2 settled about approach of dowry by a indicted and a minute created by Seema alleging cruelty by a indicted and also about a convening of Panchayat and Ex A-3–compromise deed. There is zero in interrogate of PWs 1 and 2 to reason that they are not arguable witnesses, there is no reason to mistrust them.
13. There is strenuous justification that there was approach of dowry and that Seema was subjected to earthy assault and cruelty. When a essential part that a plant was subjected to cruelty or nuisance in tie with approach for dowry ‘soon before her death’ is proved, hypothesis underneath Section 113B of a Evidence Act has to be invoked. When such hypothesis is raised, it is for a indicted to plead a hypothesis by adducing reasoning evidence. In his matter underneath Section 313, Cr.P.C., late Chandrahas (husband of a deceased) settled that on 12.5.1995 fume was entrance out from a room where firewood was kept and a doorway had been sealed from inside, roof was cut, entered inside a room and they non-stop a doorway and that a genocide of Seema was possibly an collision or suicide. The speculation of collision put onward by a counterclaim totally falls by on clever research of a justification and a attendant circumstances. Had it been an collision or in a demeanour as purported by a defence, a indicted would not have brisk with cremation but informing PW-1– Meharchand about a genocide of Seema or to a police? There was no reason for a indicted to hurriedly control a cremation but even watchful for a victim’s father and similarly but camp a complaint.
14. As righteously forked out by a Courts below, conducting cremation hurriedly and blazing a passed physique of Seema but informing PW-1–Meharchand and his kin is a clever militating business opposite a accused. It has come on justification that a stretch between Beherki and Churiyala is about 20-25 kms. As forked out by a Courts below, a inferno was illuminated even before a father and kin of a plant arrived. Trial Court as good as a High Court on appreciation of verbal and documentary justification supposed a chronicle of a assign that Seema was tormented and subjected to cruelty in tie with non-fulfillment of approach of dowry done by a father and in-laws.
15. First appellant–Jagdish is Taya i.e. elder hermit of father-in-law of Seema. To infer a shame of a appellant–Jagdish assign relied upon: (i) a justification of PWs 1 and 2 that Jagdish also demanded dowry; (ii) Jagdish also sealed in a memo of compromise. To attract a supplies of Section 304B, IPC, a defunct contingency have been subjected to cruelty or nuisance for or in tie with dowry ‘soon before her death’. Going by a justification of PWs 1 and 2, appellant-Jagdish along with other indicted also demanded dowry. A small approach of dowry during one or dual instances competence not attract a supplies of Section 304B, IPC yet such approach competence be an corruption punishable underneath Section 498A, IPC. There is no element to uncover that there was determined approach of dowry by appellant–Jagdish.
16. In his matter underneath Section 313, Cr.P.C., initial appellant–Jagdish has settled that he has no mother or child and that he is vital alone in Village Churiyala and that his hermit Sukhbir was vital with his mother and children. First appellant has serve settled that he has been vital alone even before to a matrimony of Chandrahas and that he has his possess food prepared. We find no reason to mistrust a matter of a initial appellant-Jagdish. Insofar as signature of initial appellant–Jagdish in Ex A-3 concede help is concerned, being elder member of a family and to safeguard pacific married life of Chandrahas, initial appellant maybe competence have sealed in a concede deed. The initial appellant who is settled to be vital alone could not have steadfastly subjected Seema to dowry nuisance and cruelty and a initial appellant is to be clear of a assign of 304B, IPC. For a purported approach of dowry by a initial appellant as oral by PWs 1 and 2, a initial appellant is to be convicted underneath Section 498A, IPC. As seen from a materials on record, initial appellant-Jagdish was about 70 years of age in a year 1996. Considering his age, kindly perspective has to be taken in commanding a visualisation for a corruption underneath Section 498A, IPC.
17. Insofar as appellants 2 and 3 (Yogenda-Jeth and Savita-Jethani), during their doubt underneath Section 313, Cr.P.C. yet they have settled that they are vital alone they have not constructed any allotment label or other request to uncover that they are vital separately. In his statement, initial appellant–Jagdish has settled that Sukhbir was vital with his mother and children thereby indicating that a second and third appellants were vital with Sukhbir as a corner family. Upon correct appreciation of evidence, a Courts next convicted appellants 2 and 3 underneath Section 304B, IPC and we find no feebleness in a point commentary available by a Courts below.
18. So distant as a visualisation of appellants 2 and 3, it was settled that appellants 2 and 3 are carrying a physically disabled child and they are also holding caring of a son of deceased–Seema. Considering a thoroughfare of time and a contribution and resources of a case, in a view, impassioned chastisement of life seizure is not fit and ends of probity would be met by shortening a visualisation of seizure awarded opposite appellants 2 and 3 to 7 years severe imprisonment.
19. In a result, self-assurance of initial appellant–Jagdish underneath Section 304B, IPC is set aside and he is convicted underneath Section 498A, IPC and is condemned to a duration already undergone by him. While progressing a self-assurance of appellants 2 and 3 (Yogendra Savita) underneath Section 304B, IPC, visualisation of life seizure awarded to them is reduced to 7 years severe imprisonment. The interest is partly authorised to a border indicated above. Bail holds executed by initial appellant–Jagdish mount discharged. Appellants Yogendra and Savita be taken into control forthwith for portion out a remaining visualisation awarded to them.
Appeal partly authorised — High Court visualisation reversed.