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No Evidence Abetment of Suicide, Cruelty or Harassment, clear in Sections 304B and 306, IPC

Supreme Court of India

Bench: N. Santosh Hegde, B.P. Singh.
CASE NO.:Appeal (crl.) 1988 of 1996

PETITIONER:Gurucharan Kumar & Anr.

RESPONDENT:State of Rajasthan

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/01/2003

BENCH:N. SANTOSH HEGDE & B.P. SINGH.

JUDGMENT:J U D G M E N T B.P. SINGH, J.

Deceased Geetu was married to Parvin Kumar on 28.4.1990 during Yamunanagar. Her father Ved Prakash, PW-1 is a counsel of station during Yamunanagar. After a matrimony she started staying with her father and his kin during Sriganganagar. Only 2½ months later, on 13th July, 1990 Geetu committed self-murder by hanging. Her kin were sensitive and they came to Sriganganagar. The post mortem hearing of a upheld physique of Geetu was conducted on a 14th July, 1990, whereafter her physique was cremated in a participation of her kin who had come to Sriganganagar along with other relatives. After a cremation during about 4 p.m., Ved Prakash, PW-1, father of Geetu drafted an FIR, Ex. P-5 and lodged a same during Police Station, Sadar, Sriganganagar during 8.30 p.m. After review a appellants herein who are a kin of Parvin Kumar, a father of a deceased, along with Parvin Kumar were put adult for hearing before a Additional District Sessions Judge No. 2, Sriganganagar in Sessions Case No. 40 of 1991, charged of offences underneath Sections 304B and 306, IPC. By visualisation and sequence antiquated 16th May, 1992 a Trial Court found them guilty of offences punishable underneath Sections 304B and 306, IPC and condemned them to bear 7 years’ elementary seizure underneath Section 304B, IPC and 5 years’ elementary seizure and a excellent of Rs. 1,000/- any for a corruption punishable underneath Section 306, IPC, and in default of remuneration of excellent to bear elementary seizure for 6 months.

2. The interest elite by a appellants and Parvin Kumar (husband of a deceased) was liberated by a High Court by a visualisation and sequence antiquated 21st March, 1996.

3. This interest by special leave has been elite by Gurucharan Kumar and Smt. Sudesh, a kin of Parvin Kumar only. We were sensitive that Parvin Kumar has not elite an interest to this Court given he had already undergone a whole sentence.

4. The charge has examined several witnesses to infer a case, yet substantial faith is placed on a justification of Ved Prakash, PW-1 a father of a deceased, Anju Ahuja PW-3, a sister of a defunct and Yashoda PW-4, a mom of a deceased. The charge has also brought on record several letters created by defunct Geetu to her mother, sister and Minu, a friend, as also several letters created by her mom and sister to her. These letters and some other papers have been noted as Exhibits yet objection. The letters pronounced to have been created by Geetu have been duly valid to be in her handwriting. There is also a self-murder note left behind by a deceased, that has been noted as Ex. P-4 and has been valid to be in her handwriting. These papers have been constructed by a charge and a counterclaim has not objected to a same nor has it challenged a genuineness of those documents. There is usually a plea to Ex. P-33, a minute pronounced to have been created by Yashoda, PW 4 to her daughter on 13.7.90 usually before a incident, that according to a counterclaim was secretly got prepared to support a box of approach of dowry. We shall understanding with these papers after after seeing a verbal testimony of a witnesses examined by a prosecution.

5. The FIR that is a minute news drafted by PW 1, Ved Prakash, father of a deceased, who is a counsel by contention was lodged during 8.30 p.m. on 14th July, 1990 after they had cremated a physique of a deceased. It appears to be a box of a charge that defunct Geetu committed self-murder during about 8.00 or 8.30 p.m. on 13.7.1990.

6. In a FIR, it is settled by PW-1 that they came to know shortly after a matrimony that a appellants as good as Parvin Kumar, her father were not confident with a dowry given by a informant. They felt vexed by a fact that a defunct had not brought sufficient dowry notwithstanding a fact that her father was a moneyed Advocate and could have given some-more income and also a Maruti car, if he so desired. These contribution he came to know 10-12 days after a matrimony when Geetu came to a residence of her parents. According to a informant, Parvin Kumar and his kin regularly told his daughter to get a automobile from her father. In a month of June, 1990 Geetu done a write call to her father and requested him to send a approach breeze for a squeeze of a car, or else she would be uneasy and tormented by her father and his kin and make her life difficult. After receiving a call from his daughter a adviser sent his mom Yashoda, PW 4 to revisit Geetu during Sriganganagar on 27.6.1990. She stayed with her for some time and returned to Yamunanagar on 4.7.1990. While she was during Sriganganagar a father of her daughter and his kin regularly done a approach for a car. Geetu also sensitive her that they have been badgering her for a automobile and were constantly derisive her for disaster to get a automobile from her father. They also complained about a dowry supposing by her father.

7. The adviser mostly talked to his daughter on telephone. On 13th July, 1990 when he gave a call to his daughter he was sensitive by appellant Gurucharan Kumar that Geetu was sleeping in her room. He again rang adult during about 8.30 p.m. when he was told by a appellant, Gurucharan Kumar that Geetu was all right. But shortly afterward he perceived a call from Gurucharan Kumar informing him that she was inside her room for about 2 hours and was not opening a doorway and they were therefore seeking military help. He also requested him to come to Sriganganagar immediately. On removing such information a adviser and others reached Sriganganagar during about 6.30 a.m. on 14.7.1990. The military had already come on a mark by then.

8. With this credentials it was complained that Parvin Kumar, his father, Gurucharan Kumar as also his hermit Sanjeev Kumar had tormented and uneasy his daughter Geetu to such an border that life became formidable for her and she was compelled to dedicate suicide.

9. The adviser was examined as PW-1. In his deposition a adviser narrated a contribution in a same demeanour as purported in a FIR. A ask was done by his daughter in June, 1990 to send a approach breeze for a squeeze of a car, given she was being taunted and tormented by a appellants. He also deposed to a fact that his mom went and stayed during Sriganganagar with Geetu for some time, and even afterwards steady final were done for a car. In his deposition, however, he settled about a call from Geetu to his mom on a 12th July, 1990. Geetu seemed nonplussed and his mom told her that she would speak to her again. When Geetu was articulate to her mom on phone he was sitting nearby. This fact, however, has not been mentioned by a adviser in a FIR. He also deposed to a fact that on 13th July, 1990 his mom had sent a present parcel to Parvin Kumar whose birthday fell on 19th July, 1990. That parcel had not been perceived and was returned to Yamunanagar, where a parcel was perceived by a adviser in a participation of military during a Yamunanagar Post Office. On opening a parcel it was found to enclose a square of gentle cloth for a coat, a banking note of Rs. 100/- description and a minute created by his wife, PW 4. This declare valid a letters Exs. P-17 to P-25 to be in a hand-writing of his daughter, Geetu. He also valid Ex. P-4, a self-murder note that was in a hand-writing of his daughter. He serve settled that Exs. P-26 and P-29 were created by his wife, PW-4 and a minute Ex. P-30 was created by Mini, a crony of his daughter, Geetu.

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10. In a march of his deposition a adviser settled that he had asked his friend, Gulshan Rai to get a approach breeze done for a squeeze of a automobile yet this fact he had not settled presumably in his FIR or in his statements done before a military on 15th July, 1990 and 27th July, 1990. He denied a idea of a charge that a indicted had not done any approach for a automobile nor had they treated his daughter with cruelty and that a fake box has been lodged.

11. PW 3, Anju Ahuja and PW-4, Yashoda have some-more or reduction deposed on a same lines as a informant. According to Anju Ahuja, PW-3 when Geetu came to Yamunanagar 10-12 days after a matrimony she did not tell her anything, yet about a month after she rang her adult and asked her to tell mom to send a approach breeze for a squeeze of a automobile during a earliest. Later she rang adult to tell her not to contend anything to mom and that she would herself speak to her. She has deposed to a fact that whenever she talked to her on phone Geetu sensitive her about a oppressive poise of her in-laws and that she was constantly being taunted for not bringing sufficient dowry. She talked final to Geetu on write on 12th July, 1990 when she found her to be unequivocally perplexed. When she questioned Geetu, she told her that she was all right and it seemed to be so given she had usually got up.

12. PW-4, Yashoda, settled that when Geetu came behind to Yamunanagar 10-12 days after her matrimony she had told her about a nuisance being caused to her by a appellants and her husband. In a center of Jun Geetu rang adult and asked her to send a approach breeze for a squeeze of a car. She, therefore, went to Sriganganagar on 27.6.1990 and returned on 4.7.1990. During her stay during Sriganganagar Geetu told her several times about a approach of automobile done by her in-laws. On lapse from Sriganganagar she told a whole story to her father who talked to Gulshan Kumar, a friend, and it was motionless to give a automobile as demanded by a appellants. Since they had to arrange for income they requested Gulshan Kumar to get a approach breeze prepared. On 12th July, 1990 she talked to her daughter Geetu on phone who seemed to be nonplussed yet she had no eventuality to tell her that they had motionless to give a automobile and that a approach breeze was being prepared, nor had she created to her that they were removing a approach breeze prepared for a squeeze of a car. This declare certified carrying created a letters Ex. P-26 to Ex. P-29.

13. Gulshan Vinayak, a crony of a adviser was examined as PW-5. He was a chairman who was requested to get a approach breeze prepared. According to him in a initial week of Jul he was requested to get a approach breeze prepared for a squeeze of a new car, however, he certified that he did not get any approach breeze prepared nor was any volume paid to him afterwards or later. He was approaching to squeeze a approach breeze from his possess funds.

14. A examination of a verbal justification on record creates an sense that a appellants as good as a father of a defunct were constantly derisive Geetu, (deceased) for a disaster of her father to yield them with a automobile notwithstanding his wealth and status, and eventually this led her to dedicate suicide. However, a documentary justification on record of attendant inlet some of them created by Geetu herself give utterly a opposite picture. They do infer that Geetu was hapless and vexed for some reason, yet they also exhibit that so distant as a appellants are endangered they treated her with adore and adore and there is no censure in any of a letters opposite their conduct. There is not even a wheeze in any of a letters created by a defunct or anyone else about a approach for a car. On a other palm a letters infer that Geetu (deceased) was anticipating some problem in adjusting herself to her new surrounding in her matrmonial home.

15. We shall now ensue to cruise a letters that have been brought on record by a charge itself to support a case. These letters are poignant as they were created during a time when a brawl had not arisen. They are almost attendant given they were created during a time when, according to a prosecution, Geetu was being subjected to nuisance and cruelty and was regularly taunted by her father as good as her father and mother-in-law for a disaster of her father to give a automobile in dowry. These letters, therefore, chuck substantial light on a resources that prevailed during a duration of her stay in her matrimonial home; ensuing eventually in her death. Most of a letters created by a defunct are undated, yet there is unique justification in them to uncover that they were created during a time when she was vital in her matrimonial home. Since a hapless occurrence took place within 2½ months of a matrimony we might safely interpretation that a letters were created between a 28th April, 1990, a date of marriage, and 13th July, 1990 a day on that she committed suicide. While appreciating a essence of these letters one has to keep in mind a categoric box of a charge that shortly after Geetu went to her matrimonial home there was a determined approach for a car, and this fact was narrated by her to her kin 10-12 days after a date of marriage, when she came to her kin along with her husband.

16. Ex. P-17, is a minute created by a defunct to her sister, PW 3. In this minute she has settled that she is confronting a lot of problems and she had no choice yet to disclose in her, as she did not wish to worry her parents. She has settled that she feels suffocated and wanted to feel gentle by articulate to her. She has sought her advice, yet has combined that no one has pronounced anything to her in her matrimonial home. Everyone loves her so much, yet she unsuccessful to know given such a feeling has come in her, so most so that she had started feeling guilty. She has afterwards celebrated that attribute should be confirmed with people of a same standing and if a standing is too high or too low, one has to face sufferings. She, who used to live with her control high, has to keep her control down. She used to sojourn happy yet now she is great continuously. She has requested her sister to tell her what she should do.

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17. From this minute it is apparent that there is no censure of any mal-treatment by her in-laws or by her husband, nor have they pronounced anything to her. There is also no wheeze about any approach being done by her in-laws or her husband. She has talked about a standing of a families and she was vexed and hapless given she was not means to adjust herself.

18. Ex. P-22 is a minute created by a defunct to her mother. In this minute she has created that everybody in her matrimonial home is good to her and that they unequivocally adore her unequivocally much, yet a adore and adore showered by her mom and father was such that she finds problem in her matrimonial home. It appears that a drifting bird from open sky has been detained and put in a cage. How can a giveaway bird be detained in a enclosure possibly a enclosure is of bullion or iron given a enclosure is after all a cage? She has created that a atmosphere in her matrimonial home was such that it compulsory a lot of composition for a lady who had been brought adult in a opposite atmosphere, given one might have to scapegoat his wishes and desires. She remembers her kin all a time and that notwithstanding a fact that there were so many people in her matrimonial home who treated her with adore and affection. In a finish she writes that she will try to adjust herself according to a atmosphere in her matrimonial home. She has resolved by observant that she should not speak to anyone about these things, given she does not wish anyone to get eventuality to contend anything.

19. This minute also does not enclose any indictment opposite her father or in-laws. There is no anxiety to any approach done by anyone. On a discordant there is confirmation of a fact that in her matrimonial home she was a target of abounding adore and affection. However, she was hapless given she was anticipating it formidable to adjust in an atmosphere opposite from a atmosphere that prevailed in her parental home. She had to adjust herself and in doing so she was anticipating difficulty.

20. Ex. 21 is a minute created by a defunct to her crony Minu. In this minute she has created to her crony how she spends her time in her matrimonial home and how she remembers her friends. There is one poignant visualisation in this letter. She has settled that everybody in her matrimonial home is good natured, and all of them adore her.

21. Ex. 18 is a minute created by a defunct to her sister on a 4th July, 1990. In this minute she has settled that she has been feeling unequivocally waste after her departure. The anxiety apparently is to her mother’s departure, who according to a charge returned to Yamunanagar on 4th July, 1990. She has afterwards referred to her other friends and about a present sent by her sister. She has mentioned about her going to her sister’s place during Bikaner along with her mom and her father and how they exchanged gifts. She has requested her sister to come as shortly as possible. She has serve done a ask to her sister to find a good compare for a hermit of her husband, named Sanjeev. There was no approach of any arrange yet they wanted a lady with satisfactory complexion. She has shown her perceptiveness to get her brother-in-law married as shortly as possibly. She has also described Sanjeev as a cooperative person.

22. It will so seem from a essence of this minute as good that she was not being treated in a vicious demeanour or that any approach was being done by her father or her in-laws. There is not even a wheeze about any upsetting event, solely for her observant that she has been feeling waste after her mother’s departure, that was natural. What is poignant is that she has requested her sister to find a good compare for her brother-in-law, Sanjeev and she has serve simplified that a usually condition is that a lady contingency have a satisfactory complexion. Apart from that there was no other approach whatsoever. The fact that she was penetrating to get her brother-in-law married and was requesting her sister to find a good match, if during all, is demonstrative of a fact that she found her husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and other members of a family to be good natured persons, and was therefore penetrating to get her brother-in-law married. If she was unequivocally being tortured and tormented and final were being made, it is doubtful that she would have created such a minute to her sister. The minute also indicates that there is no approach of any arrange for a matrimony of Sanjeev, her brother-in-law.

23. Exs. P-26, P-27, P-28 and P-29 are letters created by Yashoda, a mom of a defunct to her daughter, Geetu and her son-in-law, Parvin Kumar. In zero of these letters is there any denote of a fact that there was any unpleasantness in a family or that there was a approach for a automobile from a in-laws of Geetu. If Geetu was unequivocally being tormented and taunted as alleged, one would have approaching some mention, approach or indirect, of such control of a father or in-laws of Geetu. These letters infer a normal happy relationship.

24. These letters that we have beheld above do not support a box of a charge that Geetu was being subjected to woe and nuisance or was being constantly taunted for not bringing a automobile in dowry. On a contrary, it appears from these letters that she was desired by all members of her matrimonial family who showered adore on her. The usually indication, if during all, is about her anticipating it formidable to adjust in a new vicinity for that she found herself guilty for interesting such feelings. She has referred to a leisure that she enjoyed in her parental home yet now feels suppressed given she can't do all that she used to do in her parental home. As we have celebrated progressing these letters were created during a duration when, according to a prosecution, she was being subjected to cruelty and woe and a unchanging approach for a automobile was being made. These letters, however, do not support a box of a charge and on a other palm are demonstrative of a fact that she was good looked after in her matrimonial home and that all members of her matrimonial family showered on her adore and affection. So most so that she was unequivocally penetrating to get her brother-in-law married to a good lady of satisfactory mettle as there was no other demand.

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25. We might now impute to a self-murder note left behind by a defunct Ex. P-4. The pronounced note reads as underneath :

“Sorry,

I unequivocally meant it.

What we am going to do is by my possess Will and no one else is obliged for it.

Geetu”

26. In a pronounced note also there is no matter to a outcome that she was committing self-murder given she had been tormented or tortured by her father or her in-laws or that she was compelled to finish her life given she was being constantly taunted for carrying not got a automobile in dowry. In fact a note says that no one was obliged for what she was doing, and that what she was doing was wholly of her possess Will. It was sought to be argued before us by Counsel for a State that a pronounced self-murder note usually indicates that she was committing self-murder voluntarily, and did not volume to a vindication of a accused. That might be one approach of reading a self-murder note, yet it is equally presumably to review a self-murder note to meant that she was wholly obliged for what she was doing and no one else was to blame. The self-murder note does not enclose any matter that can be used opposite a accused, as there is zero in a self-murder note that might even remotely advise that she was finale her life given of a mal-treatment meted out to her by a members of her matrimonial family.

27. Much was sought to be done by a Counsel for a State of Ex. P-33, a parcel allegedly sent by PW-4 to her daughter on a 13th July, 1990. That was ostensible to be a present parcel sent to Parvin Kumar, father of a deceased, whose birthday fell on 19th July, 1990. The parcel contained a minute in that there is discuss of a automobile being remade for being sent to a deceased. Nothing most turns on this. It was submitted on interest of a appellants that Geetu might have felt a deficiency of a automobile as she was accustomed to relocating about on her possess in her father’s car. The indicted could not means a automobile and therefore could not yield her with a car. In these resources if a kin of a defunct suspicion of promulgation her an aged automobile after repairs, it does not indispensably follow that automobile was being sent in response to any approach by a father or in-laws of a deceased.

28. Unfortunately, a High Court has not even referred to a aforesaid letters and was calm to strech a end on a basement of a verbal justification on record. We are confident after carrying review a letters placed before us that a box projected by a charge during a hearing about a approach of a automobile can't be accepted. There is no justification on record to advise that a defunct was being mal-treated or tortured, solely that she was constantly being taunted for not bringing a automobile in dowry. Even a story about PW-1 carrying asked PW-5 to get a approach breeze prepared for a squeeze of a automobile appears to be an after-thought given PW-5 certified that he conjunction got a approach breeze done nor was he paid any volume by a father of a defunct for a purpose. Moreover, no one sensitive a defunct that approach breeze was about to be sent for a squeeze of a car. In normal resources one would have approaching that a defunct would have been sensitive of a fact that a approach breeze was being sent for a squeeze of a car, quite when it is a box of a charge that Geetu was underneath a terrible aria and basin on comment of her being consistently taunted for not bringing a automobile in dowry.

29. Moreover, a adviser has not mentioned about a preference to send a approach breeze for squeeze of a automobile presumably in a FIR or in his dual successive statements before a police. Moreover, this story is not unchanging with a chronicle given out in a minute Ex. 33 of 13.7.90 wherein it was settled that a automobile was being remade for being sent to Geetu.

30. The letters that we have beheld are almost contemporaneous, created during a time when it is purported she was being subjected to cruelty during a hands of her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law. Rather than ancillary a box of a prosecution, these letters support a box of a counterclaim that so distant as they were endangered they had showered adore and adore on Geetu and not subjected her to cruelty or nuisance in tie with any approach for dowry. We are of a perspective that Geetu might have committed suicide, as she was incompetent to adjust herself in a altered vicinity of her matrimonial home being a rarely romantic person. The justification on record does not advise that she was subjected to cruelty or nuisance by her father or by her father-in-law and mother-in-law for or in tie with any approach for dowry.

31. We are, therefore, of a deliberate perspective that a charge has unsuccessful to infer a box over reasonable doubt, and that a appellants are entitled to acquittal. Accordingly, we concede a appeal, set aside a visualisation and sequence of a High Court as good as that of a Trial Court and justify a appellants of a charges leveled opposite them. They are on bail. Their bail holds mount discharged.

32. As beheld progressing indicted Parvin Kumar, father of a deceased, Geetu has not elite an interest before this Court, on comment of a fact that he has already served out a visualisation imposed opposite him. However, yet we can't erase a sufferings of Parvin Kumar, we can positively erase a tarnish that attaches to him on comment of his self-assurance for a iniquitous corruption underneath Section 304B of a IPC. This Court has laid down a prudent element that even in a box where one of a indicted has not elite an appeal, or even if his Special Leave Petition is dismissed, in box service is postulated to a remaining indicted and a box of a accused, who has presumably not appealed or whose Special Leave Petition has been dismissed, stands on a same footing, he should not be denied a advantage that is extended to a other accused. This has been in Harbans Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh Ors., (1982) 2 SCC 101; Raja Ram Ors. v. State of M.P., (1994) 2 SCC 568; Dandu Lakshmi Reddy v. State of A.P., VII (1999) SLT 106=III (1999) CCR 190 (SC)=(1999) 7 SCC 69; and Akhil Ali Jehangir Ali Sayyed v. State of Maharashtra, JT 2002 (2) SC 158.

33. In a present box we find that a box of Parvin Kumar, who has not filed an appeal, is not discernible from a box of a appellants. Since we have clear a appellants of a charges leveled opposite them, we also set aside a self-assurance and visualisation upheld opposite a pronounced Parvin Kumar and justify him of a charges leveled opposite him. This interest is accordingly allowed.

Appeal allowed.

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