SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Hardutt Singh And Ors vs State on 8 October, 2018

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
JODHPUR
D.B. CRIMINAL APPEAL No.1006/2012

1. Hardutt Singh S/o Mahendra Singh,

2. Ramniwas S/o Mahendra Singh,

3. Mahendra Singh S/o Lal Chand,
All by caste Jat, R/o Bhanai, Tehsil Bhadra, District
Hanumangarh.

(Presently lodged at Sub Jail, Nohar).

4. Smt. Santosh Devi W/o Mahendra Singh, by caste Jat,
R/o Bhanai, Tehsil Bhadra, District Hanumangarh.
(presently lodged at Central Jail, Jodhpur).

—-Appellants

Versus
The State of Rajasthan.

—-Respondent
__
For Appellant : Mr. Pradeep Shah
For Respondent : Mr. C.S. Ojha, Public Prosecutor
For Complainant : Mr. I.R. Choudhary
__
HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE NIRMALJIT KAUR
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE VINIT KUMAR MATHUR
Judgment
Per : Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur.

03/10/2018

The instant criminal appeal has been filed by the appellants

to challenge the judgment dated 09/11/2012 passed by the

Additional Sessions Judge, Bhadra, Hanumangarh in Sessions

Case No. 09/2011, whereby the appellants have been convicted
(2 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

for the offence under Section 304-B IPC and sentenced for life

imprisonment with a fine of Rs.5000/- each, in default of payment

of fine, further to undergo one year rigorous imprisonment and for

the offence under Section 498-A of IPC, sentenced for one year

rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1000/-, in default of

payment of fine, further to undergo one month rigorous

imprisonment.

During the pendency of the present appeal, the appellant

No.3(Mahendra Singh) has died, therefore, the appeal qua him

stands abated.

In short the prosecution story starts from the lodging of the

complaint (Ex.P.1) on 06/04/2011 by PW.1 Amar Singh who is the

father of the deceased Manju to SHO Police Station Bhadra. He

stated that his daughter Manju was married to Hardutt S/o

Mahendra Jat, R/o Bhanai on 09/07/2008. On the same day,

Suman (younger sister of Manju) was married to Ramniwas who is

younger brother of Hardutt. In the marriage, he has given the

dowry more than his capacity. 20 tolas gold, Rs.1,50,000/- cash,

furniture, utensils, refrigerator, bed, television etc. were given as

dowry articles to both the daughters but after the marriage when

the daughters went to their matrimonial home Hardutt, Ramniwas,

Mahenda and Santosh made unpleasant remarks and said that at

least motorcycles should have been given in the dowry. Ranjeet

S/o Brajlal who went with the daughters was also told that his

uncle Amar Singh should be informed that he will have to give

motorcycles. When Ranjeet came back home, he told this to
(3 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

everybody on which it was said that they will counsel them. When

both the daughters went back to their matrimonial home then all

the four persons harassed and beaten them for not giving the

motorcycles. One month back in the marriage ceremony of his

nephew (son of brother Om), the accused persons had told that

they will have to give motorcycles failing which the girls will be

sent back. In these circumstances, they paid Rs. 10,000/- each to

Hardutt and Ramniwas but the harassment continued thereafter

for not giving motorcycles. Four months back, Manju was blessed

with a daughter and in the ceremony of new born baby lot of

articles were given to them but the demand of motorcycles was

still continued by the in-laws of his daughter. She was not sent to

her parental house then one month back, he along with PW.15

Brajlal and PW.3 Jai Singh went to the house of accused persons

and requested them not to harass the daughters but all the

accused persons repeated their demand for giving the motorcycles

failing which they said that harassment will continue. Thirteen

days back, wife of Saheb Ram died but accused did not come for

condolence and even they did not send Manju on the ground that

if they will send the money for the motorcycles then only accused

will send Manju. Manju called his brother Shiv Bhagwan that they

should send the money for purchasing the motorcycles, otherwise

accused persons will kill her. On this, Shiv Bhagwan told her that

they will come after the 12th day. At night, they received a

telephone call that Manju and her daughter Sarika have been

killed and thrown in the water tank or she has been forced to kill
(4 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

herself along with her four months’ old daughter Sarika.

On this information, a formal F.I.R. was registered and

investigation was conducted and challan was filed under Section

498A and 304B IPC against the accused appellants.

Learned trial Court framed charges against the accused

appellants for the offence under Section 498A and 304B IPC. The

accused denied the same and preferred trial in the matter.

During the trial, as many as 18 prosecution witnesses were

examined and in all 37 documents were exhibited. Statement of

DW.1 Sitram was also recorded in defence side and in all 7

documents were exhibited.

Thereafter, accused appellants were examined under Section

313 Cr.P.C. and were confronted with the evidence adduced during

trial to which they denied and submitted that they are innocent

person and they have been falsely implicated in the matter.

Learned trial Court, after hearing the arguments advanced

on both the sides and after taking into consideration the

statements of witnesses and the documents exhibited, convicted

and sentenced the accused appellants for offence under Sections

498A and 304B IPC and passed the sentence as stated here-in-

above.

For appreciating the facts in the present case, we have

scanned the statements recorded during the trial along with

documents produced and exhibited before the trial Court. Heard

learned counsel for the appellant, the learned Public Prosecutor
(5 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

and learned counsel for the complainant.

PW.1 Amar Singh, who is the father of the deceased, has

stated that his daughter Manju was married to the accused

Hardutt on 09/07/2008 and on the same day, Suman was also

married to Ramniwas who is the younger brother of Hardutt. He

has stated that in the marriage, he has given the dowry articles

according to his capacity but the accused persons were beating

and harassing his daughters for not giving the motorcycles in the

dowry. The accused persons demanded the motorcycles to be

given to them under any circumstances. When demand was not

fulfilled, the accused persons harassed his daughters and refused

to send them to their parental house. He tried to counsel the

accused persons and for the purpose a Panchayat was also held

but the accused persons continued their demand for motorcycles.

He also went with his elder brother Brajlal and brother-in-law Jai

Singh to the house of the accused for counselling them and

requesting them that his daughters should not be harassed. At the

time of the marriage ceremony of his nephew Krishan, they paid

Rs. 10,000/- each to Hardutt and Ramniwas but despite his best

efforts, the accused persons persistently harassed his daughters

for not bringing the motorcycles and ultimately two-three days

prior to the death, deceased Manju called his brother Shiv

Bhagwan that either they should send the money for purchasing

the motorcycles, otherwise she will be killed by the accused

persons and ultimately on 05/04/2011, they received a call that

his daughter Manju and four months old grand-daughter Sarika
(6 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

have been killed by drowning them in the water tank or she has

been forced to kill herself by the accused persons. On 06/04/2011

when they went to her house, the bodies were taken out of the

water tank. The police was called and the complaint was given.

Thereafter, during the course of investigation, the memos were

prepared and some of them were attested by him.

In the cross-examination of this witness, he has narrated the

entire story in a sequence without any material contradiction from

the statement made by him in the examination-in-chief.

PW.2 Parvati is the mother of the deceased and she has also

stated on the same lines as stated by PW.1 Amar Singh. She has

stated that her daughters were harassed for not bringing the

motorcycles in the dowry. The daughters were beaten by the

accused persons and despite their best efforts to counsel them

including the Panchayat having been held, the accused persons

continued to harass the daughters and ultimately Manju was

either drowned by the accused persons along with her four

months’ old daughter Sarika or she was forced to kill herself along

with her four months’ old daughter.

In the cross-examination, this witness has also deposed in

chronology the instances which have taken place and nothing

contrary to the statement made by her in the examination-in-chief

has been stated.

PW.3 Jai Singh has stated that Manju and Suman were married

to Hardutt and Ramniwas in the year 2008 and after their

marriage, all the four accused persons were harassing them for
(7 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

not bringing motorcycles in the dowry. He along with Amar Singh,

Brajlal, Om Prakash, Devi Lal and Shree Chand went to the house

of accused persons and requested them for not harassing Manju

and Suman. The Panchayat for the purpose was held but the

accused persons did not accede to their request and continued the

harassment to Manju and Suman and ultimately Manju died along

with her four months’ old daughter by drowning in the water tank.

PW.15 Brajlal has stated in his statement that after the marriage

of Manju and Suman, the accused persons harassed them for not

bringing motorcycles in the dowry and for this they were also

beaten by the accused persons. He went for Panchayat along with

PW.1 Amar Singh and counselled the accused persons that they

should not harass Manju and Suman but the accused persons

replied that harassment will continue till the motorcycles are not

given to them. Despite Panchayat having been held for not

harassing Manju and Suman, the accused persons continued the

harassment and ultimately Manju was killed by drowning her in

the water tank or she was forced to kill herself by drowning along

with her four months’ old daughter Sarika.

PW.17 Suman is the real sister of the deceased Manju. She in

her statement has stated that both the sisters were harassed and

beaten by the accused persons for not bringing motorcycles. She

has submitted in her statement almost all the lines of PW.1 Amar

Singh. She has stated that after 12th months of their marriage, her

uncle Brajlal, Om Prakash, Devi Lal and Jai Singh came to her

matrimonial house for counselling and Panchayat was held but
(8 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

despite the requests having been made to the accused persons,

they continued harassment and either they have killed Manju by

drowning her in the water tank or she was forced to commit the

suicide with her four months’ old daughter Sarika.

In the cross-examination of this witness, she has

categorically submitted that they were harassed for the demand of

motorcycles having not been fulfilled and number of instances

were given to show the continuous harassment. Nothing contrary

to what she has stated in the examination-in-chief has come on

record.

PW.18 Shiv Bhagwan is the brother of deceased Manju has

stated that twice the Panchayat had taken place for counselling

and requesting the accused persons for not harassing his sisters

for not bringing the motorcycles in the dowry. On 04/04/2011,

Manju called him and said that Hardutt, Ramniwas, Mahendra and

Santosh are pressing the demand for motorcycle and are beating

her. On the next evening at around nine-ten p.m., an unknown

person called and said that Manju has been killed and drowned in

the water tank and on 06/04/2011, they went for funeral.

PW.12 Hari Ram is the Investigating Officer who has conducted

the investigation in the matter and in his statement has submitted

that he has recorded the statements of witnesses, prepared the

site plan etc. and has conducted the investigation in the matter in

accordance with law.

PW.9 Jaswant Saharan has stated that on 06/04/2011, he was

working as Medical Officer in the Government Hospital at Bhadra
(9 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

and was the Member of the Board who has conducted the

postmortems. In the opinion of the Board, the death of deceased

Manju and her four months’ old daughter Sarika was caused due

to drowning. Ex.P.16 and Ex.P.17 are the postmortem reports of

Manju and her daughter Sarika wherein it has been mentioned

that “death is caused due to asphyxia caused by drowning

which is antemortem in nature”.

Learned counsel for the appellants has vehemently argued

that mostly the witnesses are close family members of the

deceased and, therefore, it will not be safe to rely upon the

testimony of these witnesses as they are interested witnesses and

have thus falsely implicated the accused persons. He further

submits that PW.6 Om Prakash and PW.7 Sultan are the

independent witnesses and they have not supported the

prosecution story, thus, declared hostile. Therefore, the testimony

of the interested witnesses who are the family members of the

deceased should be discarded.

Learned counsel for the appellants after reading the

statements of PW.2 Parvati (mother of the deceased Manju) and

PW.17 Suman (sister of the deceased) have tried to impress

upon us that there is material improvements in their statements

and there is material contradiction in the same. He has further

submitted that as per the Investigating officer also, the reason for

death is not the demand of dowry.

Lastly, he has submitted that learned trial Court fell in error

by awarding the extreme punishment provided under Section
(10 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

304B IPC, whereas the minimum sentence provided under Section

304B IPC is seven years which may extend to imprisonment for

life. He, therefore, has argued that this Court should consider

that despite seven years of the minimum sentence provided under

Section 304B IPC, learned trial Court has chosen to award the

maximum sentence i.e. imprisonment for life. In view of the facts

and circumstances of the present case, he submits that the

punishment awarded is very harsh and, therefore, the same

should be reasonably reduced.

Per contra, learned public prosecutor as well as learned

counsel for the complainant have submitted that in view of the

testimony of PW.1 Amar Singh, PW.2 Parvati, PW.7 Suman and

PW.18 Shiv Bhagwan and other witnesses, the offence alleged

against the accused appellants have been proved beyond all

reasonable doubts and, therefore, learned trial Court has passed

an order of conviction after correct appreciation of evidence on

record. They have further submitted that as per the statement of

PW.18 Shiv Bhagwan, it has come on record that soon before the

death, Smt. Manju has called and told him that they should send

the money for purchasing the motorcycle. If the same is not sent

then she will be killed. There is evidence on record which shows

that Manju and Suman were harassed for not bringing the

motorcycles in the dowry. The medical evidence and the statement

of the doctor also corroborates the story of the prosecution as the

cause of death is stated as “drowning”. There is no quarrel on

the point that the deceased i.e. Manju along with her four months’
(11 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

old daughter Sarika have died an unnatural death within a period

of seven years of her marriage. The prosecution has proved the

case beyond the shadow of doubt. Therefore, learned trial Court

has rightly convicted the accused persons of the charges under

Sections 498A and 304B of IPC.

We have considered the submissions made at the bar and

perused the material available on record.

The evidence which has come on record clearly establishes

beyond all reasonable doubts that deceased Manju and her sister

Suman were harassed for not bringing the motorcycles in the

dowry. It is stated in all the statements of witnesses that the

accused persons were counselled and for the purpose the

Panchayats were also held requesting them not to harass Manju

and Suman for not bringing the motorcycles in their dowry but the

accused persons vociferously stated that the harassment will

continue, if the demand of motorcycles is not fulfilled. The

unnatural death of Manju is within seven years of her marriage.

We also note that PW.3 Jai Singh and PW.15 Brajlal

accompanied the father of the deceased Amar Singh PW.1 in

Panchayat and requested the accused persons not to harass

Suman and Manju for not bringing the motorcycles in the dowry

but the efforts did not materialize and the accused persons

continued to beat and harass two daughters of Amar Singh.

Therefore, learned trial Court has correctly appreciated the

evidence for demand for dowry and has rightly convicted the

appellants for Section 498A of IPC.

(12 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

The demand of dowry is also reflected soon before the death

of deceased Manju from the statement of PW.18 Shiv Bhagwan

who is the brother of deceased Manju. He has stated that just one

day before death of Manju, she telephoned him and said that if

the amount of motorcycles is not sent, the accused persons will

kill her and she was beaten by the accused persons. When the

amount of the motorcycles was not sent, Manju died due to

drowning. Admittedly, death of Manju is within seven years of her

marriage and she was subjected to cruelty and harassment by her

husband and in-laws. In these circumstances, we find that all the

ingredients of Section 304B of IPC are present in the instant case

and, therefore, learned trial Court has rightly convicted the

accused persons for the offence under Section 304 B of IPC.

We also find that as per Section 113 B of IPC, there is a

presumption of dowry death as in the present case and the

demand of motorcycles is repeatedly made by the accused

persons even soon before her death and the same is projected in

very many words by the prosecution witnesses. Therefore, there is

no reason of doubt that accused persons are guilty of the charges

levelled against them.

In the circumstances, we are not inclined to interfere in the

sentence awarded by learned Trial Court and the argument of

learned counsel for the appellants that the sentence is too harsh,

is only noted to be rejected. The charges alleged against the

accused persons are proved beyond shadow of doubt.

In view of whatever stated above, we are not inclined to
(13 of 13)
[CRLA -1006/2012]

interfere in the impugned judgment 09/11/2012 passed by

learned trial Court.

Resultantly, the appeal fails and the same is hereby

dismissed.

(VINIT KUMAR MATHUR)J. (NIRMALJIT KAUR), J.

sanjaysolnkai,pa

Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2020 SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation
×

Free Legal Help, Just WhatsApp Away

MyNation HELP line

We are Not Lawyers, but No Lawyer will give you Advice like We do

Please read Group Rules – CLICK HERE, If You agree then Please Register CLICK HERE and after registration  JOIN WELCOME GROUP HERE

We handle Women Centric biased laws like False Sectioin 498A IPC, Domestic Violence(DV ACT), Divorce, Maintenance, Alimony, Child Custody, HMA 24, 125 CrPc, 307, 312, 313, 323, 354, 376, 377, 406, 420, 497, 506, 509; TEP, RTI and many more…

MyNation FoundationMyNation FoundationMyNation Foundation