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4 Whether This Case Involves A … vs Amitkumar Punamchand Shah & … on 21 December, 2017

R/CR.A/1078/1994 CAV JUDGMENT

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1078 of 1994

FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE:

HONOURABLE SMT. JUSTICE ABHILASHA KUMARI
and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE B.N. KARIA

1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed No
to see the judgment ?

2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ? No

3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of No
the judgment ?

4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of No
law as to the interpretation of the Constitution of
India or any order made thereunder ?

STATE OF GUJARAT….Appellant(s)
Versus
AMITKUMAR PUNAMCHAND SHAH 3….Opponent(s)/Respondent(s)

Appearance:

MS JIRGA D JHAVERI, ADDITIONAL PUBLIC PROSECUTOR for the
Appellant(s) No. 1
MR AD SHAH, ADVOCATE for the Opponent(s)/Respondent(s) No. 1 – 4

CORAM: HONOURABLE SMT. JUSTICE ABHILASHA KUMARI
and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE B.N. KARIA
Date :21/12/2017
CAV JUDGMENT
(PER : HONOURABLE SMT. JUSTICE ABHILASHA KUMARI)

1. The   appellant   –   State   of   Gujarat   has   preferred 

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this appeal being aggrieved by the judgment and order 

of acquittal dated 17.08.1994, passed by the learned 

Additional Sessions Judge, Vadodara, in Sessions Case 

No.172 of 1994, whereby all four respondents­ original 

accused   have   been   acquitted   of   the   offences   under 

Sections   120B,   498A,   302,   201   and   34   of   the   Indian 

Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’ for short). Respondent No.1 is 

the   husband   of   deceased   Jagruti.   Respondent   No.2   is 

her   mother­in­law.   Respondent   No.3   is   the   unmarried 

sister­in­law of the deceased and respondent No.4 is 

her married sister­in­law who, at the relevant point 

of time, had come to stay at her paternal house for 

her delivery.

2. The   case   of   the   prosecution,   in   brief,   is   that 

during   the   night   of   14/15.11.1993,   the   respondents 

hatched a conspiracy to commit the murder of deceased 

Jagruti by throwing her from the fifth floor of Usha 

Kiran   Building   situated   at   Raopura,   Vadodara   and, 

thereafter, cremated the dead body at Village Eral, 80 

kms   from   Vadodara,   thereby   destroying   the   evidence 

pertaining to her murder. It is further the case of 

the prosecution that the respondents were subjecting 

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Jagruti   to   cruelty   and   had   thereby   committed   the 

offence   under   Section   498A  of  the   IPC.  Further,  all 

the   accused   persons,   in   pursuance   of   the   above 

conspiracy, had thrown the deceased Jagruti from the 

window   of   the   fifth   floor   and   as   a   result   of   this, 

Jagruti had died. Further, the accused persons knowing 

or   having   reason   to   believe   that   the   offence   under 

Section   302   IPC   has   been   committed,   destroyed   the 

clothes worn by Jagruti with an intention to destroy 

the   evidence.   They   had   cremated   the   dead   body   at 

Village Eral without conducting a Postmortem with the 

intent to screen the offenders from punishment.

3. The facts of the case that can be pieced together 

from the evidence on record are as below:

3.1 The   deceased   Jagruti,   aged   about   twenty­two 

years,   was   married   to   respondent   No.1   Amitkumar 

Punamchand Shah on 13.02.1993 at Village Eral, Taluka 

Kalol, District Panchmahals, according to Hindu rites. 

After  the   marriage,   she  resided   at   Village   Eral  for 

about four to five months with her husband, respondent 

No.1,   Lilaben,   respondent   No.2,   mother­in­law   and 

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respondent   No.3­   Sejalben,   her   sister­in­law. 

Respondent No.1 was serving in I.P.C.L and residing at 

Vadodara,   from   where   he   used   to   go   to   see   deceased 

Jagruti   at   Village   Eral   during   holidays.   In   July, 

1993, respondent No.1 hired Flat No.508 in Usha Kiran 

Building,   Vadodara,   where   he   and   Jagruti   started 

residing.   At   the   relevant   point   of   time   respondent 

No.4 Hinaben, sister of respondent No.1, came to her 

paternal   house   for   the   purpose   of   delivery. 

Respondents   Nos.2,   3   and   4   were   residing   with 

respondent No.1 in the said flat for a month before 

the   incident.   Jagruti   used   to   speak   to   her   father, 

Bipinchandra Amrutlal Shah, on the telephone informing 

him   that   she   was   pregnant   and   the   respondents   were 

insisting that an abortion be done. On 13.11.1993, at 

about   3:00   AM,   Hinaben   telephoned   the   complainant 

asking   him   to   come   to   Village   Eral   immediately   as 

Jagruti’s   condition   had   become   serious   all   of   a 

sudden. She did not divulge any further information on 

the   telephone.   The   complainant   telephoned   respondent 

No.1 but respondent No.4 came on the line and informed 

him that Jagruti had vomited and had been given milk. 

At   about   1:30   AM,   she   was   found   lying   near   the 

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bathroom. Respondent No.4 again asked the complainant 

to come to Village Eral immediately. The complainant, 

his wife, daughter and other relatives reached Village 

Eral   at   about   9:15   AM   on   15.11.1993.   They   saw   that 

Jagruti’s   funeral   bier   was   ready   and   relatives   and 

people   from   the   village   had   assembled   there.   The 

complainant could see Jagruti’s face but the rest of 

her body was covered with a Saree. The complainant and 

his   family   members   were   not   permitted   to   go   to   the 

cremation ground and after the cremation, he and his 

daughter Kaushika left for Bombay. On 20.11.2013, his 

nephew Vijaybhai informed the complainant on telephone 

that   the   Police   had   apprehended   respondent   No.1   and 

his mother was insisting that the complainant give a 

statement   before   the   Police   so   that   respondent   No.1 

could   be   released.   Thereafter,   the   complainant   also 

came   to   know   that   a   news   item   was   published   in   the 

newspaper to the effect that the deceased Jagruti had 

not   died   a   natural   death.   The   complainant   again 

visited   Vadodara   and   made   inquiries   from   persons 

residing in the vicinity of respondent No.1. He came 

to   know   regarding   physical   and   mental   ill­treatment 

being   meted   out   to   Jagruti   by   her   in­laws   and   that 

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they   had  conspired   to   commit   her  murder   by   throwing 

her   from  the   fifth   floor   without   taking   her   to   the 

hospital for treatment and had straightaway taken the 

dead body to Village Eral, where they cremated it.

4. After the charge­sheet was filed and the case was 

committed   to   the   Court   of   Sessions,   the   learned 

Sessions Judge framed the charge at Exh.6, which was 

read out and explained to the respondents. They denied 

the charge and claimed they were innocent. In support 

of   its   case,   the   prosecution   examined   fifteen 

witnesses   and   led   documentary   evidence.   After 

appreciation of the oral and documentary evidence on 

record,   the   Trial   Court   found   that   there   was 

absolutely   no   evidence   on   record   to   establish   that 

Jagruti had died a homicidal death or that her death 

was   caused   by   throwing   her   from   the   window   of   the 

fifth floor, as alleged by the prosecution. The Trial 

Court further found that the prosecution had failed to 

establish that the respondents had conspired to murder 

Jagruti or had cremated her body in order to destroy 

the   evidence.   According  to  the   Trial   Court,   none   of 

the circumstances pointed out by the prosecution could 

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lead to the hypothesis that the respondents alone are 

responsible   for   causing   Jagruti’s   death.   The   Trial 

Court also found that there was no material on record 

to   indicate   that   the   deceased   was   subjected   to 

physical and mental cruelty by the respondents at any 

point   of   time.   Under   the   circumstances,   the   Trial 

Court acquitted the respondents by way of the judgment 

under challenge.

5. Ms.Jirga   D.   Jhaveri,   learned   Additional   Public 

Prosecutor, has submitted that the impugned judgment 

and   order   of   acquittal   is   illegal,   incorrect   and 

contrary to law, proved facts and evidence on record 

and hence, it deserves to be quashed and set aside.

5.1 That   the   learned   Judge   has   clearly   erred   in 

coming   to   the   conclusion   that   the   prosecution   has 

failed to bring home the charge levelled against the 

respondents.   On   the   contrary,   overwhelming   evidence 

against   the   respondents   has   been   adduced   by   the 

prosecution, on the basis of which they ought to have 

been convicted.

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5.2 That   the   learned   Judge   has   erred   in   not 

considering the circumstance that the conduct of the 

respondents was not natural. They moved the dead body 

from   Vadodara   to   Eral   Village   so   that   the   near 

relatives   of   the   complainant   would   not   suspect   a 

homicidal   death.   They   got   the   dead   body   cremated 

without   conducting   a   Postmortem,   which   circumstance 

points towards their guilt.

5.3 That   the   incident   took   place   in   the   house   of 

Jagruti’s in­laws, where only the four accused persons 

were present. The conspiracy to cause Jagruti’s death 

could   be   hatched   at   any   time   before   the   incident, 

therefore, it is not important to prove it. The motive 

is also not required to be proved by the prosecution. 

The time selected by the respondents to throw Jagruti 

from   the   fifth   floor   window   is   crucial   in   showing 

their intention. Jagruti was thrown out of the window 

of   the   fifth   floor   at   2:00   AM,   at   which   time, 

normally, no one would be present on the street and 

the   event   would   go   unnoticed   till   morning.   This 

circumstance has been incorrectly brushed aside by the 

learned Sessions Judge.

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5.4 That   the   learned   Sessions   Judge   has   failed   to 

appreciate the circumstance regarding the conduct of 

the   respondents   in   taking   the   dead   body   of   the 

deceased   to   the   hospital.   Had   the   deceased   died   a 

natural death, it would have been natural on the part 

of the accused to have called the family doctor first. 

In   the   present   case,   neighbours   were   informed   only 

after Jagruti died, which also creates serious doubt.

5.5 That   the   learned   Judge   erred   in   observing   that 

there were no visible marks of injury on the person of 

the deceased. If she was thrown from the fifth floor 

there would have been visible marks of injury, on her 

person. The complainant has stated that when he went 

to Village Eral he could only see Jagruti’s face as 

her body was covered by a Saree. As the neighbours had 

informed him that Jagruti died a natural death, none 

of them was suspicious. Had the Postmortem been done, 

the truth would have emerged.

5.6 That the learned Judge has failed to appreciate 

the   fact   that   the   deceased   was   not   cremated   at   the 

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cremation ground at Vadodara but was taken to Village 

Eral,   which   is   80   Kms   away.   This   was   done   with   an 

intention to destroy the evidence regarding the crime.

5.7 That the Trial Court has erred in observing that 

the chain of circumstances against the accused is not 

complete. As the judgment under challenge is illegal 

and perverse, it may be quashed and set aside and the 

appeal allowed.

6. Opposing   the   above   submissions,   Mr.A.D.   Shah, 

learned   counsel   for   the   respondents,   has   submitted 

that the learned Judge has, on an overall appreciation 

of   evidence,   rightly   arrived   at   the   conclusion   that 

there is absolutely no evidence showing that Jagruti 

died an unnatural death and that the accused committed 

her   murder.   No   evidence   was   found   against   the 

respondents   regarding   the   charge   of   conspiracy   to 

commit   the   murder,   therefore,   the   Trial   Court   has 

rightly acquitted the respondents by giving clear and 

cogent reasons.

6.1 That   the   learned   Judge   has   arrived   at   the 

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conclusion   that   the   medical   evidence   does   not 

establish that the deceased Jagruti died a homicidal 

death. The evidence of Dr.Bharatkumar Mahida, PW­10, 

has been considered. This doctor has examined the body 

of the deceased and did not find any injury or mark 

rousing suspicion. Upon consideration of the evidence, 

the   learned   Judge   has   found   that   the   case   of   the 

prosecution that Jagruti was thrown out from the fifth 

floor   of   Usha   Kiran   Building,   is   not   at   all 

believable.   The   conclusion   arrived   at   is   absolutely 

correct in light of the evidence on record. The doctor 

is   an   independent   person   having   no   reason   to   state 

anything but the truth. The theory of throwing Jagruti 

out   of   the   window   from   the   fifth   floor,   therefore, 

stands   demolished   as   no   injuries   were   found   on   her 

body by this witness.

6.2 That though the S.R.P. Constable Mohammadhussain 

M. Saiyed (PW­2) has claimed in examination­in­chief 

that he witnessed the incident of a woman falling from 

the   fifth   floor.   However,   he   has   himself   demolished 

this statement in his cross­examination where he has 

stated that he had seen the woman lying on the road.

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6.3 That as the prosecution has failed to establish 

that Jagruti died an unnatural death on account of her 

being thrown from the window of the fifth floor, the 

charge of murder against the respondents cannot stand.

6.4 Learned   counsel   for   the   respondents   has   further 

submitted that the evidence of the Senior Scientific 

Assistant (PW­15) regarding the experiment of throwing 

cement   bags   filled   with   sand   from   the   fifth   floor 

window is not helpful to the case of the prosecution 

as,   from   the   Report   of   this   witness,   it   is   not 

possible to arrive at the conclusion that Jagruti was 

thrown out of the window while she was alive or she 

was thrown after her death.

6.5 That   the   place   of   offence   where   Jagruti   is 

supposed to have fallen does not reveal any presence 

of blood stains. Hence, the theory of the fall from 

the fifth floor is totally ruled out.

6.6 That   the   judgment   under   challenge   is   clear, 

cogent and a result of a proper appreciation of the 

evidence   in   minute   detail.   The   view   taken   by   the 

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learned Judge is a possible and probable view. Where 

two views are possible, as per the settled principles 

of law, the view taken by the Trial Court may not be 

disturbed.

7. In   the   background   of   the   above   submissions,   it 

would be fruitful to briefly advert to the oral and 

documentary evidence on record.

8. PW­1, Dr.Neeraj Navinchandra Shah, is the Medical 

Officer   at   Narhari   Health   Centre   where   the   deceased 

was taken by the respondents, first in point of time. 

This doctor admits, in his testimony, that the patient 

was brought to the hospital between 1:30 to 2:00 AM. 

He was informed that she had fallen down, therefore, 

he  informed  them   that   being   a  medico­legal   case,   he 

would not accept it. He, therefore, told them to take 

her to Bhailal Amin Hospital. PW­1 admits, in cross­

examination,   that   he   did   not   examine   the   deceased, 

check   her   pulse   or   even   ascertain   whether   she   was 

alive or dead. He did not even see her face.

9. PW­2,   Mohammadhussain   Motimiya   Saiyed,   is   an 

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S.R.P.   Constable.   He   states   that   on   the   day   of   the 

incident   when   he   was   on   duty   at   about   2:00   AM   near 

Usha Kiran Building, a woman had fallen from the fifth 

floor   of   the   said   building,   which   incident   he   had 

witnessed.   He   started   blowing  his   whistle  and   saw   a 

man with spectacles looking down from the window. He 

gestured   to   the   man   to   come   down.   After   about   ten 

minutes, the man came down, accompanied by an elderly 

lady and two young ladies, one of whom was pregnant. 

The man and the three ladies saw the woman lying on 

the road, called an autorickshaw and made her sit in 

it. They took her to the hospital. Blood was oozing 

out from both sides of the woman’s mouth. Gurusharan, 

the Police Constable on duty with him, came there on 

hearing   his   whistle   but   he   did   not   have   any 

conversation   with   him.   In   cross­examination,   this 

witness states that when he reached the spot, he found 

that a woman was lying on the road.

10. PW­3,   Firoz   Barjoji   Munshi,   is   the   next   door 

neighbour of the respondents. He states that he was at 

home   on   the   night   of   the   incident.   Between   2:00   to 

2:30 AM, the door­bell of his house rang. He opened 

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the door and respondent No.4 Hinaben told him to come 

as something had happened to the deceased. He went to 

the   house   of   the   respondents   with   his   wife   and   saw 

Jagruti lying in the front room. She was covered with 

a sheet. Respondent No.4 then came to his house along 

with him, to inform Jagruti’s parents by telephone.

11. Another neighbour of the respondents, Vallabhbhai 

Kadvabhai Morani, has been examined as PW­4. He states 

that on the night of the incident he was woken up by 

PW­3 and informed that Jagruti had died. He went to 

the house of the respondents with his wife. Jagruti’s 

body was lying in the front room. The respondents were 

also there. On asking what had happened to Jagruti, he 

was   informed   that   she   was   ill   and   had   vomitted   and 

thereafter   died.   On   asking  whether   she  was   taken   to 

the hospital, he was informed that she was taken to 

Narhari Health Centre, where they were told to go to 

Bhailalbhai Hospital.

11.1 In   cross­examination,   this   witness   states 

that   during   the   period   when   respondent   No.1   and 

Jagruti   stayed   together,   he   did   not   notice   any 

grievance   between   them.   He   states   that   when   he   saw 

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Jagruti’s   body,   he   did   not  see   anything   abnormal   on 

her   face   or   body.   Nor   did   he   find   any   injury 

suggesting physical ill­treatment.

12. Another neighbour of the respondents, Jashodaben 

Chimanbhai   Patel,   has   been   examined   as   PW­5.   Her 

evidence does not come to the aid of the prosecution 

in any manner.

13. PW­6 is Gurusharan Chandulal, the Unarmed Police 

Constable who arrived at the spot where Jagruti’s body 

was lying on the road, after hearing the whistle blown 

by PW­2. He was on duty on the night of the incident. 

He   heard   the   sound   of   the   whistle   coming   from   Usha 

Kiran   Building   and   went   there.   He   saw   the   S.R.P. 

Constable Mohammadhusain standing there. He also saw 

three   ladies   and   one   man   sitting   in   a   rickshaw.   In 

cross­examination, he states that when he reached the 

spot,   the   respondents   were   about   to   move   in   the 

rickshaw and he had no conversation with them.

14. The Sarpanch of Village Eral has been examined as 

PW­7. Nothing turns upon his evidence. The Talati­cum­

Mantri of the said Village has been examined as PW­8. 

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He has issued the Death Certificate of Jagruti.

15. PW­9   is   Dr.Pravinaben   Arvindchandra   Thaker.   She 

was   on   duty   as   Medical   Officer   at   SSG   Hospital, 

Vadodara, on 23.11.1993. As per her testimony, Lilaben 

(respondent  No.2)  was   examined   by   her   on   that   date. 

She had a scratch on her right arm extending from the 

wrist to the elbow, which was about seven to fourteen 

days   old.   According   to   this   witness,   Lilaben   had 

informed her that she had received this injury in a 

fight with her daughter­in­law. This witness, however, 

admits   that   she   has   not   produced   any   record   of   the 

medical   papers   or   case   history   given   by   respondent 

No.2.

16. Dr.Bharatkumar   Ramsing   Mahida   has   been   examined 

as   PW­10.   He   states   that   when   he   was   on   duty   at 

Bhailal Amin Hospital in November, 1993 at about 2:00 

AM, he received an emergency call in response to which 

he came down from the ICU. He saw a young lady lying 

there   with   two   attendants.   When   he   examined   her   he 

found  that   she  was   dead.   He   informed   the   attendants 

accordingly.

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16.1 In   cross­examination,   this   doctor   states 

that the pulse, pupils and heartbeat of the lady were 

examined. Her entire body was examined externally by 

him and no injuries were found. There were no marks on 

the   body   of   the   deceased   lady   indicating   anything 

suspicious.

17. The   complainant   and   father   of   the   deceased, 

Bipinchandra Amrutlal Shah, has been examined as PW­

11. He states that on the day of the incident at about 

3:00   AM,  he  received  a   telephone  call   from   Hinaben, 

who   informed   him   that   Jagruti   was   serious   and   he 

should come to Eral Village. He asked how Jagruti had 

become serious all of a sudden, but she did not give 

any reason and repeated that he should come to Eral 

Village. When he went to Eral with his  relatives, he 

saw   Jagruti’s   funeral   bier  was   ready.  He   could   only 

see her face. The rest of her body was covered with a 

Saree. He and his family members were not permitted to 

go to the cremation ground by the respondents. After 

his return, he again made inquiries. He was given to 

understand   that   there   was   some   foul   play   regarding 

Jagruti’s   death.   According   to   this   witness,   Jagruti 

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was   pregnant   and   was   being   pressurized   to   have   an 

abortion.   She   was   not   feeling   well   due   to   her 

pregnancy, otherwise there was nothing wrong with her. 

It   is   only   after     making   inquiries   about   her   death 

that   he   came   to   know   that   the   respondents   had 

conspired with each other to do away with Jagruti.

18. PW­12, Jothnabhai Manabhai Bariya, was serving as 

Police   Sub­Inspector,   Raopura   Police   Station, 

Vadodara, at the relevant point of time. According to 

his testimony, on the night of the incident he was on 

patrol   duty.   He   reached   at   about   2:00   AM   near   Usha 

Kiran   Building.   There   he   met   Police   Constable 

Gurusharan,  who   informed   him   that   a  lady   had  fallen 

from the fifth floor of Usha Kiran Building and had 

been taken to the hospital. This witness admits that 

he   did   not   investigate   into   the   issue   as   he   was 

waiting   for   the   information   from   the   doctor   and 

continued   on   his   patrol   duty.   In   cross­examination, 

this   witness   admits   that   he   did   not   forward   the 

information   given   by   Police   Constable   Gurusharan   to 

the Raopura Police Station. He further admits that he 

did not step down from his vehicle to the spot where 

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the incident took place.

18.1 It transpires from the record that for this 

negligent   approach,   departmental   proceedings   were 

initiated against this witness.

19. Bharatsinh Mangalsinh Jadeja is the Investigating 

Officer   who   has   been   examined   as   PW­13.   Apart   from 

narrating   the   procedure   undertaken   by   him,   nothing 

much turns upon from his evidence.

20. PW­14   is   Kanchanlal   Ratilal   Jadav,   who   was 

serving   as   Assistant   Police   Commissioner,   Division 

Vadodara City at the relevant point of time. He states 

that   from   the   papers   submitted   before   him,   he   felt 

that   a   cognizable   offence   had   been   committed, 

therefore, he started investigation.

21. The   Scientific   Officer   of   the   Forensic   Science 

Laboratory, Surendra Purshottam Kshatrivala, has been 

examined as PW­15. This witness has deposed regarding 

the experiment conducted by him, the opinion regarding 

which   is   at   Exh.51.   He   conducted   an   experiment   by 

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filling   two   sacks   with   sand   weighing   about   50   Kgs. 

being the weight of the deceased. The first sack was 

made   to   fall   from   the   window   of   the   fifth   floor 

without   exerting   any   pressure.   The   second   sack   was 

given a push by two persons. The first sack fell at a 

distance of about 300 centimeters whereas the second 

sack fell at 650 centimeters away from the wall. On 

the   basis   of   this   experiment,   this   witness   has 

rendered  an  opinion   that   it   was   improbable   that  the 

deceased   had   jumped   from   the   window   of   the   fifth 

floor.

22. No   Panch   Witnesses   have   been   examined   and   the 

Panchnamas, barring the bracketed portions, have been 

accepted by the defence.

23. After   a   re­appreciation   and   analysis   of   the 

entire   oral   and   documentary   evidence,   the   following 

aspects emerge for consideration:

23.1 There   is   no   evidence   on   record   indicating 

that the deceased herself jumped from the fifth floor 

window   or   was   pushed   out   by   the   respondents.   The 

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Panchnama   of   the   Scene   of   Offence   was   carried   out 

after five days of the incident. Naturally, no blood 

or   any   other   incriminating   evidence   would   be   found 

there.

23.2 PW­2, SRP Constable, initially posed himself 

as   an   eye­witness,     suggesting   that   he   had   seen   a 

woman falling from the fifth floor. He demolishes his 

own statement in the cross­examination where he admits 

that when he arrived there, a lady was lying on the 

road   and   blood   was   oozing   out   of   her   mouth.   He, 

however, does not state that the lady was injured or 

was   bleeding   from   other   parts   of   her   body,   or   that 

there was blood on the road. Had the deceased, either 

alive or dead, fallen from the fifth floor window on 

the   road,   she   would   have   been  seriously   injured  and 

her   bones   would   have   broken.   There   would   definitely 

have   been   blood   on   the   road,   which   has   not   been 

deposed by this witness.

23.3 The   evidence   of   PW­6,   Gurusharan,   does   not 

come to the aid of the prosecution. When he arrived at 

the   spot,   he   saw   the   deceased   being   taken   in   a 

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rickshaw by the respondents.

23.4 The   depositions   of   the   neighbours   of   the 

respondents  are   contrary   to   the   evidence   of   the  SRP 

Constable and Gurusharan, who state that the deceased 

was taken to the Hospital from the road in a rickshaw, 

whereas   the  neighbours   state   that   when  they   went   to 

the house, the deceased was lying in the front room 

covered by a sheet. There were no visible injuries on 

her body.

23.5 There   is   no   evidence   on   record   regarding 

physical   or   mental   ill­treatment   to   the   deceased   at 

the   hands   of   the   respondents.   The   evidence   of   the 

complainant   also   does   not   reveal   that   the   deceased 

had, at any point of time, complained of physical or 

mental harassment. The charge under Section 498A IPC 

is, therefore, unfounded and unproved.

23.6 No motive emerges for the commission of the 

crime   by   the   respondents.   The   statement   of   the 

complainant   that   Jagruti   had   told   him   that   the 

respondents were pressurizing her to have an abortion 

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cannot be said to be a motive for the commission of an 

offence by the respondents. No evidence of conspiracy 

to commit the murder of the deceased has emerged from 

the  material on record.

23.7 The   deceased   was   taken   to   two  hospitals   by 

the   respondents.   Dr.Bharakumar   Mahida   at   Bhailalbhai 

Amin   Hospital   examined   her  entire   body  and   found   no 

marks of injury or anything suspicious. When there is 

no material to prove that the death  was homicidal in 

nature, the question of a Postmortem would not arise.

23.8 It has come in evidence that respondent No.1 

had brought Jagruti to Vadodara only four months ago 

and   the   other   respondents   were   living   at   Usha   Kiran 

Building  for   the   past   one   month   only.   Earlier,   they 

used to live at Village Eral. Having no relatives in 

Vadodara, it was natural conduct for the respondents 

to   have   taken     Jagruti’s   body   to   their   village   for 

cremation.

23.9 The   cremation   was   done   in   the   presence   of 

villagers   and   relatives   who   would   have   noticed 

injuries  on  Jagruti’s   body,   had   there   been   any   foul 

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play.

23.10 It was not necessary for the respondents to 

call a family doctor as they may not have had one in 

Vadodara   having   recently   shifted   there.   The 

respondents   took   the   deceased   to   two   hospitals.   She 

was examined in the second hospital by PW­10.

23.11 The   evidence   of   Dr.Pravinaben   that 

respondent   No.2   had   stated   before   her   that   she 

sustained   the   scratch   injury   on   her   right   arm   in   a 

fight with her daughter­in­law is of no consequence, 

as the doctor has not produced any record or papers to 

substantiate   this   statement.   In   the   absence   of   any 

medical   record,   it   is   difficult   to   believe   her 

deposition.

23.12 The   prosecution   has   failed   to   establish   on 

the   basis   of   the   evidence   as   adduced   by   it   that 

Jagruti’s   death   was   homicidal.   There   is   no   clarity 

whether it was an accidental death or homicidal one. 

When a homicidal death has not been established in the 

first place it cannot be said that a crime has been 

committed, leave alone implicating the respondents for 

the commission of the offence. 

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23.13 The experiment carried out by the Scientific 

Officer   would   be   of   no   help   to   the   case   of   the 

prosecution,   as   bag   filled   with   sand   cannot   be 

compared   to   a   living   woman   who   has   allegedly   been 

pushed out of the window. A living person would flail 

her   arms  and   legs  and   shout,   drawing   attention   from 

neighbours and passers­by.

23.14 There  is  no  direct   evidence   to   connect  the 

respondents   with   the   offence   with   which   they   are 

charged.   The   circumstances   alleged   against   the 

respondents do not lead to an inference in consonance 

with the hypothesis of their guilt.

24. Considering   all   the   above   aspects   cumulatively, 

the chain of circumstances is not at all complete, so 

as   to   fasten   liability   for   the   crime   upon   the 

respondents.

25. The Trial Court has undertaken a minute scrutiny 

of the evidence on record and arrived at the correct 

conclusion. It is a settled position of law that where 

two views are possible, the one favouring the accused 

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ought to be taken.

26. On   an   overall   appreciation   of   the   oral   and 

documentary evidence on record and the manner in which 

it has been dealt with by the Trial Court, we find no 

justifiable reason to interfere with the acquittal of 

the respondents. The appeal therefore fails and stands 

dismissed.

27. Bail bonds, if any, stand cancelled. The R.  P. 

be sent back to the concerned Trial Court.

(SMT. ABHILASHA KUMARI, J.)

(B.N. KARIA, J.)
piyush

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