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498A Conviction set aside. Courts have to be clever to see either a accusations are loyal or directed during fake implication

Orissa High Court

Babaji Charan Barik
State on 8 October, 1993

Equivalent citations: 1994 we OLR 66
Author: A Pasayat
Bench: A Pasayat, D Patnaik


A. Pasayat, J.

1. Was a emptied dowry explain of a appellant Babaji Charan Barik (hereinafter referred to as a ‘accused’) means of genocide of his mother Gitanjali (hereinafter referred to as a . ‘deceased’) ? The indicted pleads ignorance and terms a allegations done by a assign to be unfounded. He was hold guilty for savage genocide of deceased.

2. Scenario as portrayed by a assign is as follows:

The defunct and a indicted were married someday in June, 1980, during a temple, and were sanctified with two. On 12-6-1986 a defunct was found upheld with bake injuries. The indicted lodged information during Sector 3 Police Station saying that his mother had committed suicide. But Kaibalya Charan Barik (PW 12), a hermit of a defunct lodged another information during a pronounced Police Station alleging that his sister had postulated bake injuries on her person, had not committed self-murder and her genocide was homicidal. During review it came to a light that a indicted had designedly assaulted and ill- treated a defunct for that she committed suicide. Charge piece was so placed for elect of offences punishable underneath Sections 498-A and 306 of a Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short, ‘IPC‘). The indicted was primarily attempted by a warranted Judicial Magistrate, initial class, Panposh. After recording of justification a schooled Magistrate was of a perspective that a corruption was one of murder and therefore, took knowledge of an corruption punishable Under Section 302, IPC and committed a box to a Court of Session for trial. The indicted was charged for elect of offences punishable Under Section 498-A and 302, IPC, The indicted pleaded ignorance and settled that he had conjunction demanded dowry, nor ill-treated a deceased. According to him, a defunct committed suicide.

3. In sequence to serve a case, assign examined twelve witnesses, Nanda Barik (PW 1), Gouri Barik (PW 10), and Kaibalya Charan Bank (PW 12) highlighted a assign box so distant as a direct of dowry is concerned. ‘Additionally PW 12 claimed to have seen a upheld physique of a defunct tied with a cycle sequence to a spotless siren inside a latrine in a chair-sitting position, an gritty pot was placed directly underneath her private bold and fume entrance out from that pot. Her thighs, bum and private partial were burnt and a apportionment of her hair was also burnt, and there was a symbol of damage on her neck. She had been probably roasted with fire, and was already dead. The schooled hearing Judge was of a perspective that a justification clearly determined a charges opposite a accused. He referred to Section 113-A of a Indian Evidence Act, 1372 (in short, ‘Evidence Act‘) to interpretation that it was a avocation of a indicted to infer that a genocide was not due to his cruelty. Referring to Section 113-8 of a Evidence Act it was celebrated that Court has to assume that a genocide was a dowry death. He found a indicted guilty and condemned him to seizure for life for a corruption punishable Under Section 302, IPC, though no apart visualisation was upheld in honour of a corruption punishable underneath Section 498-A.

4. Mr. R. N. Biswal, schooled warn for a indicted heartily urged that a substructure of a assign box is so unsure that no faith is to be. put on it ; justification of PW 12 is implausible and so is justification of PWs 1 and 10. So distant as Section 438-A, IPC is concerned, a essential mixture of Section 498-A are precisely absent.

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The schooled warn for State on a other palm upheld a visualisation of self-assurance and sentence.

5. We shall initial understanding with a justification of PW 12 since his justification is a focus for a assign case. A created news was lodged by PW 12 on 13-8-1986. Therein there is no stress to a indicted In Court PW 12 settled to have seen a defunct in a chaw sitting, position, and also to have seen a pot from that fume was entrance out. In a news there is no stress to a injuries claimed to have been beheld by PW 12. His serve matter was that when he went to a residence of a indicted he found it closed, he jumped over a embankment and went to a behind side of a residence where the. indicted and his family ware raiding. On a recommendation of a neighbours, when he non-stop a tin doorway there was smell of blazing mobile and there was also fume inside a house. Ha called some neighbours. When they all gathered, a accused, his elder hermit and some military crew came. They entered inside a residence and found a defunct tied with a cycle sequence to a spotless siren inside a latrine in a chair sitting position and an gritty pot was there directly underneath her private partial and smoke- was entrance out from a pot. She was already dead. According to this witness, he went to a residence of a indicted in a afternoon of 13-6-1986. From a justification of PW 9 we find that on 12-6-1986 during about 2 p.m. a indicted lodged a created news relating to genocide of his mother that was purebred as Sector U. D. Case No. 9 of 1986, while PW 12 lodged a news on 13-6-1986 during 4 pm. Inquest news (Ext, 2) was prepared on 12-6-1986 as is clear from a news itself finish justification of Binakar Ghadei (PW 6). Unfortunately a central who had investigated on a basement of a news lodged by a indicted has not been examined. It his matter in Court that he learnt about a occurrence on 13-6-1986 is scold a uncover in a created news (Ext. 3) that he learnt about a occurrence on 12-6-1986 can't be true.

6. Further engaging is that PW 12 got Information about his sister’s injuries during about 2 p.m. on 12-6-1986 and lodged information during a military hire after about twenty-four hours. No reason whatsoever has been offering for a behind action. Further a repudiation to state about a defunct being tied to a cycle sequence or sitting in a chair like position or existence of an gritty pot next her private partial from that fume was entrance is really critical gripping in perspective a fact that a initial information news was lodged after twenty- 4 hours. The fact that PW 12 wanting to state a sum before a questioning Officer on 13-6-1986 that he did in Court also shows that his justification is sinister with falsehood. Though FIR is not dictated to be an elaborate catalog of a credentials events, a extended design and extended facilities have to be indicated. It is sufficient if a extended design is given, But omissions that tend to uncover that design as creatively given was altered during hearing to plan a opposite chronicle are to be deliberate while contrast a credit of justification of builder of a report.

7. This is not a finish of a matter. The schooled hearing Judge has referred to Section 113-A and Section 113-8 of a Evidence Act to come to a finish that a responsibility was on a indicted to infer his innocence. Section 113 A of a Evidence Act deals with hypothesis as to abemant of self-murder by a married woman. Sac. 113-B deals with hypothesis as to dowry death. The countenance “dowry death” has been tangible in Section 304-B, IPC. It reads as follows :

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“304-B. Dowry death. (1) Where a genocide of a lady is caused by any browns or corporeal damage or occurs differently than underneath normal resources within 7 years of her matrimony and it is shown that shortly before her genocide she was subjected to cruelty or nuisance by her father or any relations of her father for, or in tie with, any direct for dowry, such genocide shall be called ‘dowry death’, and such father or relations shall be deemed to have caused her death.

Explanation.-For a purpose of this sub-section, ‘dowry’ shall have same definition as in Section 2 of a Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

(2) Whoever commits dowry genocide shall be punished with seizure for a tenure that shall not be reduction than 7 years though that might extend to seizure for life.”

The sustenance has focus when genocide of a lady is caused by any browns or corporeal damage or occurs differently than underneath normal resources within 7 years of her matrimony and it is shown that shortly before her genocide she was subjected to cruelty or nuisance by her father or any relations of her father for, or in tie with, any direct for dowry. This sustenance has focus where shortly before her death, a plant was subjected to cruelty or harassment. In sequence to attract focus of Section 304-B, a essential mixture are as follows :

(i) The genocide of a lady should be caused by browns or corporeal damage or differently than underneath normal resources ;

(ii) Such genocide should have occurred within 7 years of her matrimony ;

(iii) She contingency have been theme to cruelty or nuisance by her father or any relations of her father ;

(iv) Such cruelty or nuisance should be for or in tie with direct for dowry.

A total reading of Sec 113-B of a Evidence Act. and Section 304-B, IPC shows that there contingency be element to uncover that shortly before her genocide a plant contingency have been subjected to cruelty or harassment. The countenance ‘soon before’ is really relevant. The assign is thankful to uncover that shortly before a occurrence there was cruelty or harassment, and usually in that box a hypothesis operates. The justification in that honour in a box during palm is precisely lacking. ‘Soon before’ is a relations term. It would count on a resources of any box and no bound duration can be indicated in that regard. The schooled hearing Judge appears to have committed mistake pas by referring to Section 113-A of a Evidence Act in support of his conclusion. That sustenance has no focus to this case, as it relates to abetment of suicide. Homicide and self-murder are conceptually different. We are, therefore, of a perspective that assign has unsuccessful to move home a accusations so distant as they describe to corruption punishable Under Section 302, IPC.

8. Coming to a doubt either Section 498-A, IPC has focus a schooled warn for State placed faith on a justification of P.Ws 1, 10 and 12 to contention that there is element to uncover that a plant was subjected to cruelty and nuisance and it is relatable to a direct of dowry. Section 498-A, IPC and Section 113-A of a Evidence Act also embody in their width a past events of cruelty before to a entrance into force of these dual sections. The duration of 7 years Under Section 113 of a Evidence Act is itself revealing of a care of past duration before a introduction of a provision. The word ‘cruelty’ is good tangible and a import is good known. The definition of word ‘harassment’ is also really obvious and there can't be any doubt as to what it relates to and means.

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9. The initial information news lodged by PW 12 is poignant since it does not impute privately to a indicted as being a chairman creation direct of dwory, and it refers to his elder brother, sister-in-law, and another member of a family named Rina. The . justification of PW 10 is also to a outcome that a speak of dowry was between a defender of a indicted and PWs 1 and 12. PW 1 also settled that a direct of dowry was done by ‘Gani, i. e., a accused’s elder brother. Therefore, a assign has not been means to move home a assign underneath Section 498-A, IPC opposite a accused.

10. In conclusion, a self-assurance and consequentially visualisation as awarded by a schooled hearing Judge are set aside. The indicted be set during autocracy forthwith unless he is compulsory to be in custody. In tie with any other case.

The rapist interest is allowed.

Before we partial with a case, a word of counsel is to be given. Courts are called on to arbitrate a formidable doubt either “in-laws” have turn “out-laws” and have directly or indirectly contributed to tinge out a life of a woman. Dowry deaths are formula of their infamous acts. 8ut a Courts have to be clever in changeable a justification to see either a accusations are loyal or are directed during fake implication. In a benefaction day formidable world, it is intensely formidable to sign a machinations of a mischievous mind. The Courts have to step on really sleazy drift while traffic with such cases, since infrequently emotions overshoot realities. The box during palm belongs to this category. Chapter XX-A of a Indian Penal Code (containing Section 498-A) was introduced by a Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 1983, (Act 46 of 1988). The territory was introduced to fight a threat of dowry deaths. It reflects a stress of a law makers to extend insurance to women, deliberate weaker spouses. Drudgery in marital life, memorable cracks in marital relations infrequently led women to finish their lives. Life was undoubted ruin for them, withdrawal them with no choice than to take this impassioned step. Short of earthy cruelty, mental cruelty was perpetuated, being unwavering that a latter form of cruelty was not punishable. The territory was introduced to fill adult a lacuna in law. The supplies relating to dowry genocide are laudable, being directed during safeguarding women whom Manu lifted to standing of worship, and consecrated that they be celebrated and ornate with attire and wealth by their masculine kin if they preferred abounding and continued prosperity. But, a Courts shall be unwell to do their duties, if they act with overzealousness to retaliate an indicted merely on ungrounded allegations.

D.M. Patnaik, J.

I agree.

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