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Demand of Dowry by itself is not an corruption underneath Sec 498A or 304B.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL
APPEAL No. 854 of 2004

Amar Singh …… Appellant
Versus
State of Rajasthan …… Respondent

WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL No.1411 of 2010 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 4389 of 2004)

State of Rajasthan …… Appellant
Versus
Jagdish Anr. …… Respondents

JUDGMENT
A.K. PATNAIK, J.
CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 854 of 2004

This is an interest opposite a visualisation antiquated 07.10.2003 of a High Court of Rajasthan, Jaipur Bench, in D.B. Criminal Appeal No.816 of 1998.

2. The contribution really quickly are that on 05.05.1992 Santosh (the deceased) was married to a appellant and on 08.03.1993 she was found passed in her in-laws house. On a same day, a created news was lodged with a military during a Shivaji Park Police Station during Alwar, by a uncle of a appellant, Ganga Sahai Saini, observant that while a defunct was hot a H2O she got engulfed in abandon and died. On a same day, another created news was lodged with a military by a father of a deceased, Babu Lal, that a defunct used to be tormented and flustered in tie with direct of dowry and on receiving a information that she has died in an electric stream accident, he rushed to a mark and found a physique of Santosh in charred condition. On a basement of such information given by Babu Lal, a military purebred FIR No.53 of 1993 for a offences underneath Sections 498A and 304B of a Indian Penal Code (for brief `IPC‘). The review was carried out and charge-sheet was filed by a military in a Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate No.2, Alwar, opposite a appellant, Jagdish (younger hermit of a appellant), Smt. Gordhani (mother of a appellant), Khem Chand (sister’s father of a appellant), Gyatri Devi (wife of Khem Chand) and Girdhari Lal (father of Khem Chand). The box was committed to a Sessions Court and attempted by a Additional Sessions Judge No.2, Alwar, as Sessions Case No.32 of 1998. The Additional Sessions Judge framed charges underneath Section 147, 304B and 498A IPC opposite all a indicted persons. At a trial, a charge examined 16 witnesses and exhibited 31 documents. After matter of a indicted underneath Section 313 of a Code of Criminal Procedure (for brief `Cr.P.C.’), no counterclaim declare was examined. The Additional Sessions Judge convicted a appellant, Jagdish and Gordhani underneath Sections 498A and 304B IPC and imposed a visualisation of 3 years severe seizure and a excellent of Rs.1,000/-, in default to humour offer 3 months’ elementary seizure for a corruption underneath Section 498A IPC and imposed a visualisation of seizure for life and a excellent of Rs.5,000/-, in default offer 6 months’ elementary seizure for a corruption underneath Section 304B IPC. On appeal, a High Court transparent Jagdish and Gordhani yet reliable a self-assurance of a appellant underneath Section 498A and 304B IPC.

3. Mr. Tara Chandra Sharma, schooled warn for a appellant, submitted that a appellant has already served out a visualisation underneath Section 498A IPC and, therefore, his plea in this interest is cramped to a self-assurance and visualisation underneath Section 304B IPC. He submitted that a categorical partial of a corruption underneath Section 304B IPC is that a defunct contingency have been subjected to cruelty or nuisance in tie with any “demand for dowry” and in this box a charge has not determined that a defunct was subjected to cruelty or nuisance by a appellant in tie with any direct for dowry. In support of his submission, he relied on a decisions of this Court in Biswajit Halder alias Babu Halder and Others v. State of West Bengal [(2008)1 SCC 202] and Durga Prasad and Another v. The State of M.P. [2010(6) SCALE 18]. He referred to a justification of PW-2 (father of a deceased), PW-4 (mother of a deceased) and PW-5 (brother of a deceased) to uncover that there was no direct for dowry done by a appellant and that a appellant usually wanted Rs.10,000/- to start a emporium and this ask for a sum of Rs.10,000/- can't be hold to be a direct for dowry.

4. He offer submitted that there were, in fact, element contradictions in a testimony of PW-2, PW-4 and PW-5 with courtesy to a direct for dowry and, therefore, their justification can't be relied on to means a self-assurance of a appellant. He submitted that in any box a justification of PW- 2, PW-4 and PW-5 on whatever was settled to them by a defunct per direct for dowry and nuisance or cruelty were during best scuttle-butt justification and not accessible possibly underneath Section 60 of a Indian Evidence Act, 1872 or underneath Section 32 of a Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In support of his submission, he cited Rattan Singh v. State of H.P. [(1997) 4 SCC 161].

5. He finally submitted that a probity while recording a matter of a appellant underneath Section 313 Cr.P.C. did not put any doubt to capacitate a appellant to explain any resources appearing in a justification opposite him. He relied on Latu Mahto and Another v. State of Bihar (Now Jharkhand) [(2008) 8 SCC 395] to contend that resources about that a indicted was not asked to explain can't be used opposite him. According to schooled warn Mr. Sharma, this is not a box where a charge has been means to settle a corruption underneath Section 304B IPC opposite a appellant and hence a visualisation of a High Court should be set aside.

6. Dr. Manish Singhvi, schooled warn appearing for a State of Rajasthan, in respond submitted that a contribution of this box would uncover that a defunct did not die underneath normal circumstances. He referred to a autopsy news (Ex.P- 21) that indicated that a defunct suffered 100% burns. He submitted that Dr. Mahendra Kr. Gupta (PW-9), who achieved a autopsy, has opined that a browns on a defunct were after strangulation and throttling inasmuch as there were fractures of larynx and trachea and a larynx was found congested. He submitted that a defunct got married on 05.05.1992 and died on 08.03.1993 within 10 months of a matrimony and there was sufficient justification to uncover that she was subjected to cruelty and nuisance by a appellant and other members of his family.

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7. He submitted that a justification of PW-2, PW-4 and PW-5 establishes that there was direct for dowry of a Scooter or Rs.25,000-/. He referred to a justification of PW-4 and PW-5 to uncover that a appellant used to taunt a defunct observant that she has come from a inspired residence and that a appellant had himself visited a residence of PW-4 and demanded a sum of Rs.10,000/-. He vehemently submitted that this is a transparent box of continual nuisance of a defunct in tie with direct of dowry not usually by a appellant yet also by his other family members. He cited Pawan Kumar and Others v. State of Haryana [(1998) 3 SCC 309] to contend that such derisive and teasing of a bride for not bringing dowry volume to nuisance or cruelty within a definition of Section 304B IPC.

8. In respond to a acquiescence of Mr. Sharma that statements done by a defunct before PW-2, PW-4 and PW-5 per nuisance and direct of dowry were not accessible possibly underneath Section 60 or underneath Section 32 of a Evidence Act, he submitted that this Court in Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharashtra [(1984) 4 SCC 116] has hold that Section 32 of a Indian Evidence Act is an disproportion to a sequence of scuttle-butt and creates accessible a matter of a chairman who dies, supposing a matter associated to a means of genocide or exhibits resources heading to a death. He submitted that in a benefaction box a statements done by a defunct to PW-2, PW-4 and PW-5 associated to a means of her death, namely, direct for dowry and therefore would be accessible underneath Section 32 of a Indian Evidence Act, even if a defunct while creation a matter was not awaiting a death. He submitted that in a benefaction box a charge has resolutely determined that shortly before her genocide a defunct has been subjected to cruelty or nuisance by a appellant in tie with direct for dowry and therefore a Court has to assume underneath Section 113B of a Indian Evidence Act that a appellant has caused a dowry genocide and this hypothesis has not been rebutted by a appellant by heading any evidence.

9. Dr. Singhvi finally submitted that given there were point commentary of fact rendered by a hearing probity and a High Court that a defunct died due to asphyxia and was burnt after strangulation so as to make out a box of collision and a browns on a physique of a defunct were found to be 100%, this was a box of pale murder and therefore not a fit box in that this Court should possibly set aside a self-assurance of a appellant or revoke a visualisation imposed on him by a High Court.

10. We find that a justification of PW-4 (mother of a deceased) is that after marriage, a defunct came several times and she also came about one month before to her genocide and she used to protest about a direct of a Scooter and nuisance by her mother-in-law Gordhani and that she had also told that a appellant used to taunt her that she has come from a inspired residence and brought zero and a final time when she came she stayed for dual days and returned and one month afterward she was murdered. Similar is a justification of PW-5 (brother of a deceased) that whenever a defunct used to come home she used to protest that her in-laws have been teasing her and she had also settled that they demanded Scooter or Rs.25,000/- for a emporium and that one month before to her genocide she came home and complained that her mother-in-law and all other in-laws used to woe her and taunt her that she did not move anything and that a appellant also used to provoke her. It is so transparent from a justification of PW-4, as advanced by a justification of PW-5, that a defunct has done statements before them that her in-laws as good as a appellant have been perfectionist a Scooter or Rs.25,000/- for a emporium and have been derisive and teasing her for not assembly a direct of dowry within a integrate of months before her death. Such justification of PW-4 and PW-5 with courtesy to a statements done by a defunct is no doubt scuttle-butt yet is accessible underneath proviso (1) of Section 32 of a Indian Evidence Act.

11. Clause (1) of Section 32 of a Indian Evidence Act provides that statements done by a chairman as to a means of his death, or as to any of a resources of a transaction that resulted in his death, in cases in that a means of that person’s genocide comes into question, are themselves applicable facts. In a benefaction case, a means of genocide of a defunct was a doubt to be motionless and a statements done by a defunct before PW-4 and PW-5 that a appellant used to taunt a defunct in tie with direct of a Scooter or Rs.25,000/- within a integrate of months before a genocide of a defunct are statements as to “the resources of a transaction that resulted in her death” within a definition of Section 32(1) of a Indian Evidence Act.

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12. In Pakala Narayana Swami v. Emperor [AIR 1939 PC 47] Lord Atkin hold that resources of a transaction that resulted in a genocide of a declarant will be accessible if such resources have some benefaction propinquity to a tangible occurrence. The exam laid down by Lord Atkin has been quoted in a visualisation of Fazal Ali, J. in Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharashtra (supra) and His Lordship has hold that Section 32 of a Indian Evidence Act is an disproportion to a sequence of scuttle-butt justification and in perspective of a rare conditions in a Indian Society has dilate a globe to equivocate injustice. His Lordship has hold that where a categorical justification consists of statements and letters created by a defunct that are directly connected with or associated to her genocide and that exhibit a tell-tale story, a pronounced statements would clearly tumble within a 4 corners of Section 32 and, therefore, accessible and a stretch of time alone in such cases would not make a statements irrelevant. The disproportion in a English Law and a Indian Law has been reiterated in Rattan Singh v. State of H. P. (supra) and it has been hold therein that even if a defunct was nowhere nearby expectancy of death, still her matter would turn accessible underneath Section 32 (1) of a Indian Evidence Act, yet not as a failing stipulation as such, supposing it satisfies one of a dual conditions set onward in this sub-section. The justification of Mr. Sharma, therefore, that a justification of PW-4 and PW-5 per a statements done by a defunct before them are scuttle-butt and are not accessible is misconceived.

13. The prosecution, therefore, has been means to uncover that shortly before her genocide a defunct has been subjected by a appellant to taunt in tie with direct for dowry. This Court has hold in Pawan Kumar and Others v. State of Haryana (supra) that a lady dreams of good days forward with wish and end when entering into a marriage, and if from a really subsequent day a father starts derisive her for not bringing dowry and job her ugly, there can't be larger mental torture, nuisance or cruelty for any bride and such acts of derisive by a father would consecrate cruelty both within a definition of Section 498A and Section 304B IPC.

14. Once it is determined by a charge that shortly before her genocide a defunct was subjected by a appellant to nuisance or cruelty in tie with direct for dowry, a Court has to assume that a appellant has committed a corruption underneath Section 304B IPC. This will be transparent from Section 113B of a Indian Evidence Act that states that when a doubt is either a chairman has committed a dowry genocide of a lady and it is shown that shortly before her genocide such lady has been subjected by such chairman to cruelty or nuisance for, or in tie with, any direct for dowry, a Court shall assume that such chairman had caused a dowry death. The charge in this box had led sufficient justification before a Court to lift a hypothesis that a appellant had caused a dowry genocide of a defunct and it was, therefore, for a appellant to plead this presumption.

15. Mr. Sharma has, however, argued that a appellant was not given such opportunities to privately explain any resources appearing in a justification opposite him. But we find from a matter of a appellant accessible underneath Section 313 Cr.P.C. that a justification of PW-4 that a defunct came to her residence many times after matrimony and lastly came to her residence before to her genocide observant that Girdhari and Khem Chand demanded a Scooter and that a appellant pronounced that she came from a bad family, was brought to a notice of a appellant yet a appellant simply denied a same. The appellant has also selected not to inspect any counterclaim declare to plead a hypothesis of dowry genocide opposite him underneath Section 113B of a Indian Evidence Act. The hearing probity and a High Court were so right in holding that a appellant was guilty of a corruption underneath Section 304B IPC.

16. For a corruption underneath Section 304B IPC, a hearing probity has imposed a limit punishment of life seizure observant that a appellant has sacrificed a newly-wed bride with cruelty and rudeness to prove his lust of dowry illegally and hence he does not merit any forgiveness and deliberation a inlet of a corruption committed by him and his conduct, he deserves a limit punishment of life imprisonment. The High Court has usually postulated a self-assurance and punishment of life seizure imposed on a appellant underneath Section 304B IPC. Dr. Singhvi, however, suggested that this was a box of strangulation of a bride before she was burnt and for this reason, a High Court postulated a limit punishment of life imprisonment.

17. The fact stays that a appellant was not charged for a corruption of murder underneath Section 302 IPC presumably given during review no materials were accessible to settle a corruption underneath Section 302 IPC opposite a appellant. In Smt. Shanti and Another v. State of Haryana [(1991) 1 SCC 371] cited by Mr. Sharma, this Court has hold that where there is no justification as to a tangible partial played by a accused, a smallest visualisation of 7 years would offer a ends of justice. In a benefaction case, given there is no justification as to a tangible purpose played by a appellant in a genocide of a deceased, a punishment of 10 years’ seizure would sufficient in a ends of justice.

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18. In a result, a interest is partly authorised and a visualisation of life seizure imposed on a appellant underneath Section 304B IPC is reduced to 10 years and a impugned visualisation of a High Court is mutated accordingly. In box a appellant has undergone a duration of 10 years imprisonment, he shall be expelled forthwith unless he is wanted in any other case.

CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 1411 of 2010 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 4389 of 2004) Leave granted.

2. This is an interest filed by a State of Rajasthan opposite a visualisation antiquated 07.10.2003 of a High Court of Rajasthan, Jaipur Bench, in D.B. Criminal Appeal No.816 of 1998 acquitting Jagdish and Gordhani of a charges underneath Sections 498A and 304B IPC.

3. The usually row lifted by Dr. Manish Singhvi, schooled warn for a State of Rajasthan, is that nonetheless a justification on record opposite Amar Singh, Jagdish and Gordhani was a same, a High Court took a perspective that Jagdish and Gordhani have been concerned given they were members of Amar Singh’s family and that a charges opposite them are not valid over reasonable doubt. He vehemently submitted that no reasons whatsoever have been indicated by a High Court in a impugned visualisation to uncover how a cases of Jagdish and Gordhani were opposite from that of Amar Singh. According to him, a High Court should have postulated a sequence of a hearing probity convicting Jagdish and Gordhani.

4. We are incompetent to accept this acquiescence of Dr. Singhvi. The justification of PW-2, PW-4 and PW-5 shows that Jagdish and Gordhani played a purpose in a direct of dowry of a Scooter or Rs.25,000/- for Amar Singh, yet direct of dowry by itself is not an corruption underneath Section 498A or Section 304B IPC. What is punishable underneath Section 498A or Section 304B IPC is a act of cruelty or nuisance by a father or a family of a father on a woman. It will be also transparent from Section 113B of a Indian Evidence Act that usually when it is shown that shortly before her genocide a lady has been subjected by any chairman to cruelty or nuisance for, or in tie with, any direct for dowry, a Court shall assume that such chairman had caused a dowry genocide within a definition of Section 304B IPC. The act of subjecting a lady to cruelty or nuisance for, or in tie with, any direct for dowry by a accused, therefore, contingency be determined by a charge for a Court to assume that a indicted has caused a dowry death.

5. PW-2 (father of a deceased) has not settled in his justification before a Court that Jagdish and Gordhani, in any way, subjected a defunct to any nuisance or cruelty. PW-4 (mother of a deceased), however, has settled that a defunct used to protest about a direct of a Scooter by Girdhari and nuisance by her mother-in-law Gordhani, yet PW-4 has not settled what was a accurate act of Gordhani by that a defunct felt harassed. The justification of PW-5 (brother of a deceased) is that whenever a defunct used to come home she used to protest that her in-laws have been teasing her and they were perfectionist a Scooter or Rs.25,000/- for a emporium and that when a defunct came home one month before to her death, she complained that her mother-in-law and all other in-laws used to woe her and taunt her that she did not move anything, yet PW-5 has not described a accurate control of a mother-in-law and other in- laws on comment of that a defunct felt tortured and taunted. On a other hand, a justification of PW-4 is transparent that Amar Singh used to taunt her that she has come from a inspired house. Thus, there was justification in a box of Amar Singh about his accurate control that caused nuisance to a defunct yet there was no such justification in a box of Jagdish and Gordhani. A charge declare who merely uses a word “harassed” or “tortured” and does not report a accurate control of a indicted which, according to him, amounted to nuisance or woe might not be believed by a Court in cases underneath Section 498A and 304B IPC. For this reason, a High Court has taken a perspective that a charges opposite Jagdish and Gordhani have not been determined over reasonable doubt and that their box is discernible from that of Amar Singh and that Jagdish and Gordhani seem to have been concerned given they were members of Amar Singh’s family.

6. In Kans Raj v. State of Punjab and Others [(2000) 5 SCC 207], this Court cautioned that in cases where accusations of dowry deaths are made, a sincere acts attributed to persons other than a father are compulsory to be valid over reasonable doubt and by small conjectures and implications such family can't be hold guilty for a corruption relating to dowry deaths. In a aforesaid case, this Court offer celebrated that a bent has grown for roping in all family of a in-laws of a defunct wives in a matters of dowry deaths which, if not discouraged, is expected to impact a box of a charge even opposite a genuine culprits.

7. We, therefore, do not find any piece in a row of Dr. Singhvi that a High Court should have postulated a self-assurance of Jagdish and Gordhani and we accordingly boot this appeal.

(R. M. Lodha)
(A. K. Patnaik) New Delhi, Aug 03, 2010.

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