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Framing of charges requires a Prima facie case against the accused; Evaluation of Materials to assess conviction not required

HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
AT JAMMU

CRMC No. 281/2017, IA Nos. 01/2017, 03/2017 and 02/2017
CRMC No. 325/2017 and IA No. 01/2017
CRMC No. 607/2017 and IA No. 01/2017

Date of order:- 14.09.2018

Nisha Devi Vs. State of J&K.
Narinder Singh Vs. State of J&K.
Rohit Singh and ors. Vs. State of J&K.

Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Judge

Appearing counsel:
For the Petitioner(s) : Mr. Anil Sethi, Advocate for
complainant/petitioner.
Mr. P.N. Raina, Sr. Advocate with
Mr. J.A. Hamal, Advocate &
Mr. J. Singh Jasrotia, Advocate for
petitioners/accused.

For the Respondents(s) : Mr. F.A. Natnoo, AAG.
i/ Whether to be reported in : Yes/No
Press/Media
ii/ Whether to be reported in : Yes/No
Digest/Journal

1. In the instant three petitions filed under Section 561-A Cr.P.C, the petitioners seek quashing of common impugned order dated 08th April, 2017, passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Kathua, wherein the Additional Sessions Judge, Kathua has refused to frame charge under Section 302 RPC against the accused persons in case titled, “State Vs. Rohit Singh and ors.” and has framed charges under section 304-B/498-A RPC in FIR NO. 27/2016 of P/S Hiranagar, Kathua. Two petitions have been filed by accused persons for quashing of charges and one petition has been filed by complainant for altering the charges from 304-B RPC to 302 RPC.

2. The grievance projected by the petitioner/Narinder Singh accused, the brother of accused Rohit Singh (husband of deceased), in the instant petition is that the marriage of the elder brother of the petitioner, namely, Rohit Singh was solemnized with one-Radha Sharma on 07th March, 2014 at Hiranagar according to Hindu rites and ceremonies. The marriage was love marriage. At the time of the marriage, the elder brother of the petitioner, namely, Rohit Singh was serving in Indian Army. The said Radha Sharma left the matrimonial house on 15th February, 2015 and started living in her parental home at Hiranagar. The brother of the petitioner made various efforts for restitution of conjugal rights, but said Radha Sharma refused to cohabit with Rohit Singh. The peaceful atmosphere of the house was damaged because of their matrimonial disputes. Consequent thereupon, the father of the petitioner got annoyed and in order to maintain the peaceful atmosphere of the house, he executed a Deed of Disinheritance (Annexure-C) dated 11th June, 2015 at Kathua, whereby he disinherited his son, i.e., Rohit Singh and the said deceased from his all movable and immovable property. Since then the petitioner along with his parents have been residing separately from the deceased Radha Sharma and Rohit Singh at their village Londi, Tehsil Hiranagar, District Kathua.

3. It is stated in the instant petition that as per the prosecution case, on 18th March, 2016 at about 11:30 P.M, the grandfather of the deceased-Radha Sharma lodged a report with police that the victim has committed suicide by hanging herself in her in-law‟s house situated at Ward No. 13, Hiranagar, Kathua. It has also come in the statement of the prosecution witnesses that the dead body of Radha Sharma was recovered from the house of the accused persons, but the accused persons were residing in another house and not in the house, where the dead body was recovered. It is the admitted case of the prosecution that the deceased was living separately from the accused persons since long; therefore, there is no proximity between the demand of dowry and cause of death of the deceased. The evidence assembled against the petitioner did not disclose the commission of any offence. There is no material evidence available in the record to show that the petitioner/accused No.3 was being benefitted from the demand of dowry, if any, made by the accused No.1. The petitioner/accused No.3 was only 17 years old at the time of the said marriage and he was nothing to do with the demand of dowry. The deceased left the matrimonial house in February, 2015. Besides this, the father of the petitioner executed the aforesaid deed of disinheritance, by which he has disinherited the deceased and her husband.

4. It is further submitted in the instant petition that the petitioner, by dint of his hard work, got selected in Indian Army and presently undergoing training at JAKLI Training Centre, Srinagar. In order to harass the petitioner, the father of the deceased filed one complaint before the Commanding Officer (C.O), JAKLI, Training Centre, Srinagar, so that the petitioner be restrained from undergoing training. During the time of investigation, the prosecution has collected various letters, written by the deceased-Radha Sharma in her own writing communicated to the Commanding Officer of her husband, in which she had specifically mentioned the names of the persons, who were harassing her and demanding dowry. In para-29 in one of the letters (Annexure-G), she had mentioned the names of the persons, who used to harass her, but the name of the petitioner is nowhere mentioned in that letter. Thus, it is a clear case that the petitioner was falsely implicated in the case only because he is the brother of the deceased‟s husband and in order to take vengeance, the parents of the deceased involved him also. Material does not show any involvement of the petitioner in the offence, for which he has been charged with. Thus, the charges framed against the petitioner, by the trial Court are liable to be quashed. In view of the aforesaid factual backdrop, the petitioner has approached this Court by way of instant petition. CRMC No. 607/2017

5. This petition has been filed by three accused namely Rohit Singh (husband of deceased), Neena Kumari (mother-in- law) and one Kudeep Singh for quashing of charges framed against them under section 304-B/498-A RPC. The factual matrix of the instant case is that the marriage of the petitioner No.1, namely, Rohit Singh was solemnized with one-Radha Sharma on 07th March, 2014 at Hiranagar according to Hindu rites and ceremonies. At the time of the marriage, Rohit Singh was serving in Indian Army. The said Radha Sharma left the matrimonial house on 15 th February, 2015 because of the matrimonial disputes between them and started living in her parental home at Hiranagar. The petitioner No. 1 made various efforts for restitution of conjugal rights, but said Radha Sharma refused to cohabit with him. Since, 15th Feb., 2015, the deceased-Radha Sharma had been residing with her parents in her parental house and thereafter, the deceased-Radha Sharma never resided with the petitioners.

6. It is stated in the instant petition that as per the prosecution case, on 18.03.2016 at about 11:30 P.M, the grandfather of the deceased-Radha Sharma lodged a report with police that the victim has committed suicide by hanging herself in her in-law‟s house situated at Ward No. 13, Hiranagar, Kathua. It has also come in the statement of the prosecution witnesses that the dead body of Radha Sharma was recovered from the house of the accused persons, but the accused persons were residing in another house and not in the house, where the dead body was recovered. It is the admitted case of the prosecution that the deceased was living separately from the accused persons since long, therefore, there is no proximity between the demand of dowry and cause of death of the deceased. The evidence assembled against the petitioners did not disclose the commission of any offence. There is no material evidence available in the record to show that the petitioner/accused No.4 was being benefitted from the demand of dowry, if any, made by the accused No.1. The deceased left the matrimonial house on 15th February, 2015 and thereafter, never lived together with the petitioners. Petitioner No.3, namely, Kuldeep Singh, who is the real uncle (Chacha) of petitioner No.1 had been residing separately at his village with his own family including his wife and children much before the above said marriage of the deceased-Radha Sharma. There was no occasion when the petitioner No.3 lived with the deceased-Radha Sharma at her matrimonial house and he has nothing to do with the demand of dowry. The deceased left the matrimonial house in February, 2015. Besides this, the father of the petitioner executed the aforesaid deed of disinheritance, by which he has disinherited the deceased and her husband. So, in such situation, there is no proximity between the demand of dowry and cause of death.

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7. It is further stated in the instant petition that the petitioners were falsely implicated in the case only because they are the relatives of the deceased and in order to take vengeance, the parents of the deceased involved the petitioner also. Material does not show any involvement of the petitioners in offence, for which they have been charged with. Thus, charges framed by the trial Court against the petitioners are liable to be quashed. In view of the aforesaid factual backdrop, the petitioners have approached this Court by way of instant petition. CRMC No. 281/2017

8. The grievance projected by the petitioner/ complainant in the instant petition is that the her daughter, i.e., deceased (Radha Sharma) got married to one Rohit Singh S/o Malkeet Singh, resident of Ward No. 13 Hiranagar. The said Radha Sharma was found dead at the residence of her in-laws and the proceedings under Section 175 Cr. P.C were initiated by the Hiranagar Police. Consequent upon the statement of eye witnesses, an FIR bearing No. 27/2016 was lodged by the Police Station, Hiranagar against the accused persons, i.e. Rohit Singh and rest of his family members. The Hiranagar Police initiated the investigation and consequently filed charge-sheet under Sections 304- B/306/498 RPC against the accused persons. The family members of the deceased Radha Sharma were not satisfied at all with the manner and mode of the investigation done by the Investigating Officer of the case. Consequently, numbers of RTI applications and representations, appended as Annexure-A to the writ petition, were made to IGP, Jammu Zone, SSP Kathua etc.

9. It is further stated in the instant petition that in spite of all the efforts and testimony of the eye witnesses present, the I.O. of the case did not incorporate Section 302 RPC against the accused persons despite the fact that ample material was available to incorporate Section 302 RPC against the accused persons. The statement recorded by the police, post-mortem report and other substantial evidence available on the file are sufficient to satisfy the inclusion of Section 302 RPC against the accused persons. The letters written by the deceased Radha Sharma to the officers and superiors of her husband are sufficient to reveal the grotesque fact about how the deceased was subjugated to rape and how her pictures in compromising position were captured by the accused-Rohit Singh. The letters also reveal the fact that she was subjected to physical relation when she was just about 12-13 years old by the accused- Rohit Singh. The letters also justify that she was pressurized to undergo marriage ceremony and was blackmailed & threatened that otherwise her nude pictures will be exposed on the internet and social media. The said Rohit Singh has filed a Divorce Petition, which reveals that the said Rohit Singh was bitterly humiliated and exposed before his superior army officials by the letters sent by the deceased-Radha Sharma.

10. Learned counsel for the petitioner/complainant has placed reliance upon the judgments of Hon‟ble Supreme Court in cases titled, “(i) “Rajbir alias Raju & anr. Vs. State of Haryana, reported in 2011 AIR (SC) 568” and (ii) “Jasvinder Saini and others. Vs. State, reported in 2014 AIR (SC) 841”. He states that after filing of the charge- sheet, the argument of the Public Prosecutor was to include the offence 302 RPC in the charge-sheet and the order dated 08th April, 2017 specifically revolves around the aforesaid two judgments. The Trial Court has relied upon Jasvinder Singh‟s judgment for not charge-sheeting the accused persons under Section 302 RPC. But even in Jasvinder Singh‟s judgment, the Hon‟ble Supreme Court states that even in dowry death, the charge under 302 RPC can be framed, if there is evidence/material available on record. The plethora of material available on the file does justify inclusion of Section 302 RPC against all the accused persons. The material available on record to justify inclusion of Section 302 RPC against the accused. The post-mortem report, which is appended as Annexure-B to the writ petition shows that there were abrasion over little and ring fingers on the dorsal aspect of right hand, which as per medical jurisprudence is a definite sign of struggle. The pattern of ligature mark: starting from right mandibular region covering the whole anterior of neck below chin and extending upto left nape of neck back side along with the colour of ligature mark being dark violet colour and hyoidbone and hyoid cartilage being intact, but Haemorrhages and ecchymosis present are the glaring aspects, which are present when a person is strangulated.

11. Heard counsel for parties and gone through the trial court file.

12. From the perusal of file, the facts emerging are that on 18.3.2016 an oral complaint was lodged by one Thoru Ram grandfather of the deceased Radha Sharma stating that his granddaughter was married to accused Rohit Singh since two years ago; she has died by hanging with „Dupata‟ in her husband‟s house; her dead body was lying in house; no persons from her in-laws was present in the house; she has died in suspicion circumstances. This report was entered in daily register vide report no.27 dated 18.3.2016. Proceeding under section 174 Cr.P.C. was commenced. The police at the first instance started inquest proceedings in terms of Section 174 Cr.P.C and during inquest proceedings the dead body of the deceased Radha Sharma was seized, post mortem was conducted and the statement of witnesses came to be recorded and inquest proceedings resulted into the registration of FIR. Statement of the prosecution witnesses in terms of Section 164-A Cr.P.C. also came to be recorded. The prosecution witnesses have stated that the marriage of the petitioner and accused No.1 was solemnized about two years back from the date of her death which occurred under mysterious circumstances. The body of the deceased stand recovered from the house of accused persons.

The death had occurred under mysterious circumstances within two years of marriage of accused No.1 with deceased. It has also come in the statement of prosecution witnesses that dead body of Radha Sharma was recovered from the house of accused persons but the accused persons were residing in another house and not in the house from where dead body was recovered. It has also come in the statement of prosecution witnesses that the relation between the parties remained cordial for a period of 6/7 months after marriage but thereafter, the accused persons started demanding dowry. The accused No.1 with the aid and abetment of accused No.2 to 4 was demanding dowry in the shape of plot and other articles from deceased which resulted in mental torture to her and disturbance in her married life and dragged into matrimonial litigation for not fulfilling demand of dowry. Unable to bear torture and harassment due to demand of dowry and conduct of accused person she ended her life as her dead body was found hanging with a dupata in the house of accused persons.

13. After completion of investigation, challan was produced and court after hearing the PP and counsel for accused passed a detail order framing the charges under section 304-B / 498-A RPC against all the accused persons vide impugned order on 08.04.2017.

14. Counsel for accused persons, who have been charge sheeted, has reiterated all grounds taken in memo of petitions; similarly counsel for complainant has reiterated the grounds taken in the memo of petition.

15. I have given my thoughtful consideration to whole aspects of matter and law on the point. The relevant laws, for quashing of charge/s and framing of charge, delivered by Apex Court reads as under:-

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In AIR 2014 SC 1106 in case titled Umesh Kumar v State of Andhra Pradesh, it held as under:-

“Code of criminal procedure -section 482 -instead of considering prima facie case-High court appreciating and weighing the materials on record -concluding that charge sheet could not have been filed against accused and further ,no charges could have been framed -virtually acting as an appellant court -approach illegal and erroneous.
A Constitution Bench of this Court reiterated a similar view in CBI & Ors. v. Keshub Mahindraetc., AIR 2011 SC 2037 observing that when the charges are framed, the court makes an endorsement till that stage. So charges are framed on the materials produced by the prosecution for framing the charges ―at that stage‖. Such indication is necessary otherwise the provisions containedin Sections216, 323, 386, 397, 399, 401 etc. Cr.P .C., would be rendered nugatory and denuded a competent court of the powers under those provisions.
The court cannot be restrained from exercising its powers either under Section 323 or Section 216 Cr.P.C.‖ In 2015 (3) CRIMES (SC) 89 in case titled The State rep. by the Inspector of Police Vs. Mariya Anton Vijay, it is held as under:-

“The question as to how, in what manner and to what extent, the inherent powers of the High Court under section 482 of the Code are exercised for quashing the registration of FIR/final report/charge sheet/complaint etc. are no more res integra and settled by several decisions of this Court.
One leading case on this question is Bhajan Lal’s case (supra) and the other is S.B.Johari’s case (supra) apart from many others.
So far as the case of Bhajan Lal (supra) is concerned, following proposition of law is laid down:

“102. In the backdrop of the interpretation of the various relevant provisions of the Code under Chapter XIV and of the principles of law enunciated by this Court in a series of decisions relating to the exercise of the extraordinary power under Article 226 or the inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code which we have extracted and reproduced above, we give the following categories of cases by way of illustration wherein such power could be exercised either to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, though it may not be possible to lay down any precise, clearly defined and sufficiently channelised and inflexible guidelines or rigid formulae and to give an exhaustive list of myriad kinds of cases wherein such power should be exercised.

(1) Where the allegations made in the first information report or the complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the accused.

(2) Where the allegations in the first information report and other materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable offence, justifying an investigation by police officers under Section 156(1) of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of Section 155(2) of the Code.
(3) Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused. (4) Where, the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted by a police officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under Section 155(2) of the Code.

(5) Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.

(6) Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions of the Code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is instituted) to the institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or where there is a specific provision in the Code or the concerned Act, providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party. (7) Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.

103. We also give a note of caution to the effect that the power of quashing a criminal proceeding should be exercised very sparingly and with circumspection and that too in the rarest of rare cases; that the court will not be justified in embarking upon an enquiry as to the reliability or genuineness or otherwise of the allegations made in the FIR or the complaint and that the extraordinary or inherent powers do not confer an arbitrary jurisdiction on the court to act according to its whim or caprice.”

As far as S.B. Johari (Supra) case is concerned, following proposition of law is laid down:

“4. In our view, it is apparent that the entire approach of the High Court is illegal and erroneous. From the reasons recorded by the High Court, it appears that instead of considering the prima facie case, the High Court has appreciated and weighed the materials on record for coming to the conclusion that charge against the respondents could not have been framed. It is settled law that at the stage of framing the charge, the court has to prima facie consider whether there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. The court is not required to appreciate the evidence and arrive at the conclusion that the materials produced are sufficient or not for convicting the accused. If the court is satisfied that a prima facie case is made out for proceeding further then a charge has to be framed. The charge can be quashed if the evidence which the prosecutor proposes to adduce to prove the guilt of the accused, even if fully accepted before it is challenged by cross-examination or rebutted by defence evidence, if any, cannot show that the accused committed the particular offence. In such case, there would be no sufficient ground for proceeding with the trial. In Niranjan Singh Karam Singh Punjabi v. Jitendra Bhimraj Bijjayya, (1990) 4 SCC 76, after considering the provisions of Sections 227 and 228 CrPC, the Court posed a question, whether at the stage of framing the charge, the trial court should marshal the materials on the record of the case as he would do on the conclusion of the trial. The Court held that at the stage of framing the charge inquiry must necessarily be limited to deciding if the facts emerging from such materials constitute the [pic]offence with which the accused could be charged. The court may peruse the records for that limited purpose, but it is not required to marshal it with a view to decide the reliability thereof. The Court referred to earlier decisions in State of Bihar v. Ramesh Singh, (1977) 4 SCC 39, Union of India vs. Prafulla Kumar Samal,(1979) 3 SCC 4 and Supdt. & Remembrancer of Legal Affairs, W.B. v. Anil Kumar Bhunja,(1979) 4 SCC 274 and held thus: (SCC p. 85, para 7)

“From the above discussion it seems well settled that at the Sections 227- 228 stage the court is required to evaluate the material and documents on record with a view to finding out if the facts emerging there from taken at their face value disclose the existence of all the ingredients constituting the alleged offence. The court may for this limited purpose sift the evidence as it cannot be expected even at the initial stage to accept all that the prosecution states as gospel truth even if it is opposed to common sense or the broad probabilities of the case.”
(emphasis supplied)
5…………………………………………………………..

13. In our view the aforesaid exercise of appreciating the materials produced by the prosecution at the stage of framing of the charge is wholly unjustified. The entire approach of the High Court appears to be as if the Court was deciding the case as to whether the accused are guilty or not………………..”

16. Keeping the aforementioned principles of law in mind and applying the same to the facts of the case in hand, I am of considered opinion that Sessions Judge, while framing charge under section 269 of Cr.P.C. is obliged to scan the evidence collected during investigation for limited purpose for satisfying himself as to whether there are sufficient grounds to presume that accused has committed offence as is alleged. For the purpose of framing of charge, therefore, the Judge has to consider judicially whether on consideration of the materials on record, it can be said that the accused has been reasonably connected with the offence alleged to have been committed and that on the basis of said materials there is a reasonable probability of accused being found guilty of the offence as alleged. If the answer is in affirmative, the judge will be at liberty to presume “that the accused has committed an offence”. Charge is first notice to the accused of an accusation made against him. It should be conveyed to him in sufficient clearness and certainty as to what the prosecution intends to prove and with which case the accused is to meet.

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17. Section 4(c) of Code of Criminal Procedure defines a “charge” includes any head of charge when the charge contains more heads than one. As per Law a charge may be a precise formulation of a specific accusation made against a person of offence alleged to have been committed by him. The main purpose of framing charge is to give intimation to the accused of clear, unambiguous and precise notice of the nature of accusation that the accused is called upon to meet in the course of trial.

18. At the time of framing charge, the Court has to prima facie consider whether there is sufficient ground to proceed against the accused and Court is not required to appreciate whether the material produced is sufficient or not for convicting the accused.

19. From bare perusal of file and order of trial court with regard to framing of charge, I find that court below has carefully scanned the evidence collected by investigating agency during investigation. He has considered all the arguments of counsel for parties.

20. Section 304-B RPC reads as under:-

―[304B. Dowry death.–
(1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called ―dowry death‖, and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death. Explanation.–For the purpose of this sub- section, ―dowry‖ shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961). (2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.]

21. This section defines and punishes dowry death. The first subsection which defines the offence states that where a woman‟s death is caused by either any burns or bodily injury or occurs under such circumstances which are not normal within a period of seven years from the date she was married and the prosecution proves beyond reasonable doubt that soon before she died either her husband or any of his relatives had subjected her to cruelty or harassment either for or in connection with any dowry demand, such a death is a „dowry death‟, and her death shall be deemed to have been caused by such husband or relative. The second sub-section which prescribes punishment for this offence says that whoever commits this offence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than seven years but which may be extended up to imprisonment for life. The section requires that a woman must have died within seven years of her marriage and she must have died of bums or bodily injury or otherwise than under normal circumstances. It must also be established that soon before her death her husband or any relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty or harassment for or in connection with any demand for dowry.

22. The death in present case has taken place otherwise than under normal circumstances within two years of marriage at her in-laws house; there is also evidence that all accused were demanding dowry in the shape of plot and other articles from deceased which resulted in mental torture leading to suicide; dead body was found hanging with dupata; all the accused persons were seen by witnesses coming and leaving the house where dead body was found. The post-mortem report of deceased also suggests that deceased died due to asphyxia due to hanging, ligature mark around the neck has been found. These are certain incriminating circumstances, which trial court finds, immediately before death for framing of charges against the accused u/s 304-B RPC. From going through the evidence on record, there is perceptible nexus between the death of the deceased and harassment and cruelty on her by accused persons. There is sufficient evidence to show that deceased was subjected to cruelty soon before committing of suicide by hanging.

23. Counsel for petitioners/accused, who have sought quashing of charges, during the course of argument, has brought certain facts as narrated by prosecution witnesses, thereby stating that there is no evidence against the petitioners; he has also argued that incriminating facts spoken by prosecution witnesses against, are real relatives of deceased. I have considered these aspects of the matter; in dowry death case, the parents, brother and sister of deceased are best witnesses to narrate the facts of demand of dowry; the statements of relative witnesses cannot be discarded at initial stage of framing of charges on the ground that they are related to deceased; further detail appreciation of evidence cannot be done at the stage of framing of charges. From bare perusal of order of court below and evidence on record, it is evident that there is enough material collected by investigation agency, which lead trial court to frame the charges under section 304- B/498-A RPC against accused.

24. In view of above, I do not find any infirmity of law and facts in order of trial Court framing charges against accused/petitioners under section 304-B/498-A RPC.

25. So far as argument of counsel for complainant is concerned that, additional offence under section 302 RPC would have been added along with 304-B RPC against accused, that argument is not tenable at this stage. Because, for framing of additional charge under section 302RPC, there should be some sufficient material, which in the present case, is missing. The argument of counsel for petitioner/complainant that ligature mark starting from right mandibular region covering the whole anterior of neck below chin and extending upto left nape of neck back side along with the colour of ligature mark being dark violet colour and Haemorrhages and Ecchymosis were present, so there was a clear case of murder by strangulation. This argument does not hold good at this stage, because post-mortem report is not a substantial piece of evidence; it requires detail appreciation during trial. The laws cited by counsel for petitioner/complainant has already been taken note of by court below in its right perspective. Further it is settled law that charges can be modified/amended at any stage of the trial.

26. Resultantly, these three petitions are dismissed.

(Sanjay Kumar Gupta) Judge Jammu 14.09.2018

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