IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
Dated : 12.11.2018
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M.DHANDAPANI
CRIMINAL APPEAL No.96 of 2008
4.Nagarajan : Appellants
The State rep. By
Inspector of Police,
Tharamangalam Police Station
Nagavalli Police Station,
Cr.No.2/2005 : Respondent
Appeal filed against the Judgment of the learned Sessions Judge,
Mahalir Court, Salem, in S.C.No.371 of 2006 dated 28.1.2008.
For Appellants : Mr.S.Doraisamy
For Respondent : Mr.R.Ravichandran
The appellant accused has preferred this appeal against the
judgment of conviction and sentence dated 28.1.2008 in S.C.No.371/2006
by the learned Sessions Judge, Mahalir court, Salem, whereby, the
appellants were convicted and sentenced as under :-
The first appellant was convicted for
offence under Section 306 IPC and sentenced to
undergo 7 years rigorous imprisonment and to
pay a fine of Rs.1000/-, in default to undergo 3
months rigorous imprisonment and convicted for
offence under Section 176 IPC and sentenced to
undergo 6 months simple imprisonment and to
pay a fine of Rs.1000/- in default to undergo one
month simple imprisonment. The appellants 2 to
4 have been convicted for offence under Section
176 IPC and sentenced to undergo six months
simple imprisonment and to pay a fine of
Rs.1000/- each in default to undergo one month
2. The brief facts of the prosecution case is as follows :-
(a) The respondent police registered a case against the appellants
for offence punishable under Section 306, 176 and 498A IPC. The case of
the prosecution is that the first appellant married the deceased in 1999
and they were living together. They were blessed with two female
children. Because there was no male issue, the first appellant scolded his
wife. Due to unbearable mental agony, the deceased committed suicide by
consuming poison on 4.1.2005 and without informing to the police and the
other family members, the body of the deceased was burnt on the same
day. On the complaint of P.W.1, a complaint came to be registered against
the accused. After registration of the complaint, the respondent police took
up investigation and examined the prosecution witnesses and after
completing the same, charge sheet was filed against the accused.
Thereafter, charges were framed by the Court, to which the accused
persons pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. In order to prove the
charges levelled against the accused, the prosecution has examined 11
witnesses, marked 12 documents as Ex.P-1 to Ex.P-12 and produced two
(b) After the examination and cross examination of the prosecution
witnesses, the accused persons were examined under Section 313 Cr.P.C..
They denied the case of the prosecution. After considering the oral as well
as documentary evidence and after hearing the parties, the learned trial
Judge convicted and sentenced the accused as aforesaid.
3. Being aggrieved by the said judgment, the appellants have come
forward with this appeal.
4. Heard the learned counsel for the appellants and the learned
counsel for the respondent.
5. The learned counsel for the appellants would submit that except
P.W.s 1 to 3, who are none other than the father, mother and brother of
the deceased, no other independent witness has corroborated the version
of P.W.s 1 to 3. P.Ws.1 to 3 have specifically admitted that the deceased
had tried to commit suicide even earlier and there is no single averment
about the alleged torture by A-1 and others in respect of dowry
harassment. However, the learned Judge has drawn inference from the
statement of P.W.1 as if A-1 tortured the deceased person since she was
not capable of giving a male child and this torture forced her to end her
life. However, such a statement is not available either in the chief or cross
examination of P.Ws.1 to 3. Therefore, the order of the learned trial Judge
is perverse and liable to be interfered with.
6. The learned public prosecutor would submit that though P.Ws.1
to 3 are father, mother and brother of the deceased, they have
categorically stated that the accused have periodically tortured the
deceased demanding dowry and that she has not given birth to male child.
Unable to bear the mental agony, the deceased had committed suicide.
The learned Public Prosecutor fairly admitted that the evidence of P.Ws.1
to 3 is not corroborated by any independent witness examined by the
7. Heard both sides.
8. In the light of the above submissions, it has to be analyzed
whether the prosecution has proved the guilt of the accused beyond all
9. The marriage of the 1st appellant and the deceased is not
disputed. They were blessed with two female children. It is also admitted
fact that immediately after the birth of the second child, the deceased was
done sterilization operation. The lower Court has arrived at a conclusion
that there is no dowry harassment, based on the report of the Revenue
Divisional Officer. Hence the appellants were acquitted of charges under
Section 498A IPC. However, the lower Court convicted them under Section
306 and 176 IPC.
10. A perusal of statement of P.Ws.2 and 3 makes it clear that the
possibility of the deceased taking such an extreme step with regard to the
torture for not giving male child has not been established. When that
being the position, even assuming that there was a torture, in my view,
the same would not amount to incitement or abetment to force a person
to commit suicide.
11. It is curious to note that P.Ws.2 and 3, mother and brother of
the deceased were very much available in the matrimonial home of the
deceased, after her death. It is stated that P.W.2 requested the family of
the accused not to cremate the body till P.W.1, father of the deceased
arrived. Though the date of occurrence is 4.1.2005, complaint was lodged
only on 8.1.2005, by P.W.1 at about 10 p.m. P.W.2 was very much
available in the house of the accused and she participated in the cremation
of her daughter. However, she did not file any complaint immediately.
12. Abetment is a mental process of instigating or inducing a person
to do a thing. Without a positive act on the part of the accused to instigate
or aid in committing suicide, charge under Section 306 IPC cannot be
13. The learned Judge has held that the deceased underwent
mental agony due to harassment for not giving male child and birth of two
female children without any basis. However, from the evidence of P.Ws.1
to 3, no such specific averment is available. Even on a perusal of the
report of the Revenue Divisional Officer, marked as Ex.P-4, there is no
whisper about dowry harassment. The enquiry by Revenue Divisional
Officer revealed that there is no proof to show that A-1 tortured the
deceased for not giving him a male child. Further, P.W-6, Doctor, has
stated in his cross examination that the deceased person has taken
treatment from him on 5 or 6 occasions for stomach pain. P.W.9 Doctor,
who did the biopsy has stated in his evidence that no poison was identified
in the bones collected from the burial ground and he was not in a position
to reveal the reason for death. Since there is no evidence connecting the
appellants with the crime, they are liable to be acquitted.
14. In the result, the criminal appeal stands allowed and the
conviction and sentence imposed on the appellants/accused 1 to 4, vide
judgment dated 28.1.2008, in S.C.No.371 of 2006, by the learned Sessions
Judge, Mahalir Court, Salem, is set aside and the appellants are acquitted.
Fine amount if any paid by the accused shall be refunded to them. Bail
bonds if any executed by them and sureties shall stand cancelled.
1.The Inspector of Police,
Tharamangalam Police Station
Nagavalli Police Station, Salem.
2.The Public Prosecutor High Court, Madras.
Crl.Appeal No.96 of 2008