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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Ketab Ali & Ors vs The State Of West Bengal on 21 May, 2019

1

INTHEHIGHCOURTATCALCUTTA

CRIMINALAPPELLATEJURISDICTION

AppellateSide

Present:

TheHon’bleJusticeMd.MumtazKhan

And

TheHon’bleJusticeJaySengupta

C.R.A.649of2006

With

C.R.A.N.2080of2018

KetabAliOrs.

Versus

TheStateofWestBengal

Fortheappellant:Mr.SekharKumarBasu
Mr.DebasishRoy
….Advocates

FortheState:Mr.NavanilDe
…..Advocate
Heardlastlyon:07.03.2019

Judgmenton:21.05.2019
2

JaySengupta,J.:

1.

Thisappealisdirectedagainstthejudgmentandorderofconviction

dated06.09.2006andsentencedated07.09.2006passedbytheLearned

AdditionalSessionsJudge,FastTrackCourt,Dinhata,CoochBeharin

SessionTrial1/Nov/2005:SessionsCaseNo.09/2005,therebyconvicting

thethreeappellantsunderSections302,498AreadwithSection34ofthe

PenalCodeandsentencingeachofthemtosufferlifeimprisonmentandto

payafineofRs.10,000/-,indefaulttosuffersimpleimprisonmentforone

yearfortheoffenceunderSections302readwithSection34ofthePenal

Codeandtosufferrigorousimprisonmentforthreeyearsandtopayafine

ofRs.3000/-,indefaulttosuffersimpleimprisonmentforthreemonthsfor

theoffenceunderSection498AreadwithSection34ofthePenalCode,both

thesentenceshavingtorunconcurrently.

2.On10.01.2004atabout13:15hoursPW1lodgedaFirstInformation

ReportwiththeDinhataPoliceStationunderSection498AofthePenal

Code.Subsequently,Section302ofthePenalCodewasaddedasthevictim

passedaway.PW1allegedthathisdaughterEsmataragotmarriedtothe

appellantno.1KetabAliaboutthreeandhalfyearsago.Theappellantno.2

KachiranBewawasthemother-in-lawandtheappellantno.3Rabbina

Khatunwasthesister-in-lawofhisdaughter.Thevictimhadgivenbirthtoa

femalechildwhowastwoyearsold.Despitereceivingdowry,theaccused

demandedmoredowryfromPW1andusedtotorturethevictimboth
3

mentallyaswellasphysicallyaftermakingfalsecomplaintsagainsther.

Theydidnotprovidehersufficientfood.Unabletobearsuchtorture,the

victimreturnedtohishouseaboutayearago.Shewassentbacktoherin-

law’shouseonlyaftera’salish’.AfewdaysagoPW1cametoknowfrom

othersthathisdaughterwasadmittedinahospitalwithburninjuries.

Oxygenwasbeinggiventoher.

3.Investigationcommenced.PW15,aDeputyMagistrate,recordeda

dyingdeclarationofthevictimladyinthehospitalon10.01.2004atabout

14.30hours.PW10,anursewasawitnesstothedyingdeclaration.Inher

saiddyingdeclaration,thevictimstatedthat12/13daysagoatabout14.00

hours,hermother-in-law,unmarriedsister-in-lawandhusbandquarrelled

withherandthehusbandassaultedherseverelywithabamboopoleinthe

room.Thenherhusbandpouredkeroseneoilonherandsetheronfire.

Severalneighboursassembledandputoutthefireonherbody.Theaccused

didnottrytoadmitherinahospital.Thenshelosthersenses.Thevictim

ladydiedon10.01.2004.PW17,aDeputyMagistrateconductedaninquest

overthedeadbodyofthevictimladyon11.01.2004atabout10.30hours.

Hefoundthatthewholebodywasburntandswollenfromthechinandthe

necktothefeetandthetoeonboththefrontaswellasthebackportions,

exceptthehead.Thevictimsufferedabout85%burninjuriesandthesame

wascausedbyfire.Accordingtothefatherofthevictimlady,hisdaughter

wastorturedbyherhusbandandin-lawssincemarriage.Accordingtothe

witnessestotheinquest,thevictimladywastorturedandthereafterburnt.
4

PW21,theInvestigatingOfficeralsoconductedaninquestoverthe

deadbodyandfoundsevereburns.Thebodywastotallywrappedupwith

bandages.Accordingtotheinquestwitnesses,thevictimwasburntbyher

husbandandotherin-laws.PW18,thepost-mortemdoctorheldanautopsy

onthedeadbodyofthevictimon12.01.2004atabout13.30hours.

Accordingtohim,deathwascausedduetotheeffectsofburninjuries,

whichwereante-morteminnature.Aftercompletionofinvestigation,a

charge-sheetwassubmittedagainsttheappellants.On27.10.2005,charges

wereframedagainsttheappellantsunderSection498AreadwithSection34

ofthePenalCodeandunderSection302readwithSection34ofthePenal

Code.

4.Duringtrialtheprosecutionexaminedasmanyastwentyone

witnessestoestablishitscase.Thedefence,ontheotherhand,examined

twowitnesses.

5.FromaperusaloftheevidenceonrecorditappearsPW1wasthe

fatherofthevictim/deceased.Hedeposedaboutthetorturemetedoutto

thevictimbytheaccusedformoredowryandalsobecauseofthebirthofa

femalechildinthehouse.HelodgedtheFirstInformationReport.Thevictim

diedlaterintheevening.Inhiscross-examination,headmittedthatthe

victimspokeinthelocallanguageofCoochBehar.Thechildwaswiththe

accused.PW1cametothehospitalintheafternoonandfoundthatthe
5

victimhadsufferedabout90%burninjuriesonherbody.But,shewasable

tospeak.Shemadeaverbaldyingdeclarationtohimimplicatingthe

appellantno.1.Butnooneelsewaspresentatthattime.Hestatedthisfact

tothescribe,butthelatterdidnotwriteitdownintheFirstInformation

Report.PW2wasaneighbouroftheappellant.Theappellantsusedtostay

togetherwiththevictim.Heheardthatthevictimhadaccidentallycaught

fire.PW2wasthereafterdeclaredhostile.PW3,anotherneighbourofthe

appellants,tooturnedhostile.Hedeposedabouthearingthevictim

accidentallycatchingfire.PW4wasthemotherofthevictim.Shedeposed

aboutthetortureinflictedbytheaccuseduponthevictimfordowry,the

takingplaceofa’salish’andtheconsequentreturnofthevictimtothe

accused.Shealsostatedabouttheassaultsinflicteduponthevictim.Inthe

hospitalthevictimmadeaverbaldyingdeclarationtoherstatingthatthe

husbandhadassaultedherandthatalltheaccusedhadsetheronfire.In

hercross,shestatedthatonthedateofhospitalization,onlythehusband

visitedthevictim.Onthedayofhervisit,shedidnotseeanyoxygenpipe.

Shewasnotinterrogatedbythepolice.PW5wasaneighbourofthedefacto

complainant.Hedeposedabouthearingthattheaccusedusedtotorturethe

victimformoredowry.Inhiscross,hecouldnotrememberwhetherhewas

examinedbythepolice.Itwasrecordedthathisdemeanourwasvery

strange.PW6wasaneighbouroftheappellants.Hewasapost-occurrence

witnessandsawthevictimburning.Hedousedthefirewithajute’bora’.He

alsosawanovenandsomeburnt’muri’.Inhiscross-examination,hestated

aboutaverbaldyingdeclarationmadebythevictimthatshedidnotknow

howshecaughtfire.Thiswitnesswasnotdeclaredhostile.PW7,an
6

AssistantSub-InspectorofPolice,statedthathehadwitnessedtheinquest.

Hewasawitnesstothedyingdeclarationgivenbythevictiminthehospital.

Inhiscross-examination,PW7statedthatthedyingdeclarationwas

deliveredinBengalilanguage.Hefoundnooxygenpipeintheroom.PW8

wasanurseworkingatthehospital.Shewasawitnesstotheinquest.PW9

wasthedoctorwhotreatedthevictimfrom31.12.2003to10.01.2004.The

victimwasreferredon28.12.2003.Shehadsuffered80%burninjurieson

herbody.Inhiscross-examination,headmittedthatoxygenhadtobegiven

tothepatient.Hehaddescribedtheconditionofthepatientaspoorandthe

word’poor’meantthatthelifewasatstake.Hedidnotventuretorecorda

dyingdeclaration.Thevictimwassufferingfromrespiratorydistress.PW10

wasanurse.Shewasawitnesstothedyingdeclarationofthevictim

recordedbytheLearnedMagistrate.Shealsoprovedthesignatureofthe

doctorwhoindorsedaboutthenormalmentalconditionofthevictimashe

wasnotavailableforexaminationduetohistransfer.PW11hadofficiated

themarriagebetweenthecouple.Hedeposedthattherewasa’salish’held

ontwooccasionsasregardsthedisputesbetweentheparties.Inthecross-

examination,headmittedthatthevictimusedtospeakinCoochBehari

language.PW12wasaseizurelistwitnessforthearticlesseizedafterthe

post-mortemexaminationofthedeadbody.PW13wasthepoliceconstable

whocarriedthedeadbodytothemorgue.PW14wasthescribeoftheFirst

InformationReport.HestatedthathehadwrittentheFirstInformation

ReportasperthedirectionofPW1.PW15wasaDeputyMagistratewho

recordedthedyingdeclarationofthevictim.ItwasrecordedinBengali.He

couldnonethelesscomprehendthedialectofCoochBehar.PW16wasa
7

seizurelistwitness.PW17wasaDeputyMagistratewhoconductedthe

inquestoverthedeadbody.PW18wasananaesthetistandthepost-mortem

doctorinthiscase.Hefoundseveralante-mortemburninjuriesonthe

deadbody.PW19wasthemedicalofficerwhohadcertifiedaboutthemental

alertnessofthevictiminthedyingdeclarationrecordedbyPW15.PW20

wastheOfficer-in-ChargeofthePoliceStationwhorecordedtheformalFirst

InformationReport.PW21wastheInvestigatingOfficerofthecase.He

found90%burnsonthedeadbody.HedeposedthatPW4wasexaminedby

him,butshedidnottellabouthearinganydyingdeclarationfromthe

victim.Hewasnotpresentduringrecordingofthedyingdeclaration.The

accuseddeniedtheallegationsduringhisexaminationunderSection313of

theCode.Thedefenceadducedtwowitnesses.Bothofthemclaimedthat

theyweretheneighboursoftheappellantandwerepost-occurrence

witnesses.Accordingtothem,thevictimdidnotimplicatetheappellantsin

herverbaldyingdeclarationmadebeforethem.

6.Mr.SekharKumarBasu,theLearnedSeniorCounselappearingon

behalfoftheappellantssubmittedasfollows.Therewasaninordinatedelay

inlodgingtheFirstInformationReport.Thedyingdeclarationasdescribed

byPW1inCourtwasnotmentionedintheFirstInformationReport,which

waslodgedafterthedeathofthevictim.PW2wasdeclaredhostile.Hewas

confrontedwiththestatementsrecordedbytheInvestigatingOfficer,yetthe

InvestigatingOfficerwasnotaskedaboutthestatementsofPW2recorded

byhimnorwerethesaidstatementsexhibited.Resultantly,thedeposition
8

ofPW2remainsasubstantiveevidenceadducedagainsttheprosecution.

PW4,themotherofEsmatarawasanoutandoutunreliablewitness.She

introducedadyingdeclarationwhichwassubstantiallydifferentfromthe

onespokenofbyPW1,herhusband.PW1didnotdeposetotheeffectthat

hiswifevisitedthehospitalonseveraldatesandstayedthere.Thatshe

nevervisitedthehospitalwasevidentfromthefactthatshedidnotobserve

whatherhusbandnoticedwithregardtotreatmentprovidedtoherdaughter

atthehospitali.e.,providingoxygentoherdaughterincourseoftreatment.

Suchanimportantwitness,asperherclaim,wasnotinterrogatedbythe

InvestigatingOfficerthoughitwassuggestedbythedefencethatshewas

indeedexaminedbytheInvestigatingOfficer.PW5,aspertheobservationof

theLearnedTrialJudge,waslyinginCourtunderoath.PW6spokeagainst

theprosecution.Hewasnotdeclaredhostile.PW6emphaticallydeposed

aboutthevictimsufferingaccidentalburninjuries,asstatedbythevictim

herself.PW6alongwithDWs1and2tookEsmataratohospital.Hefurther

statedthattheappellantno.1wasnotinthehousewhentheincidenttook

place.Sofarasthedyingdeclarationwasconcerned,theevidenceonrecord

wasoftwokindsi.e.,theevidenceindicatingthatthevictimsustainedburn

injurieswhilepreparingfoodinthekitchen(videPW6,whowasnot

declaredhostile)andtheevidenceofPW7,PW10andPW15(i.e.,theASIof

theDinhataPoliceStationattherelevantpointoftime,thestaffnurseat

theDinhataSDHospitalandtheDeputyMagistrateattachedtotheSDO

Office,Dinhata,respectively)withregardtothedyingdeclarationmadeby

thevictimon10.01.2004.Theconjointeffectoftheevidenceofthese

witnesseshastobeassessedontheanvilofthetestimonyofPW9Dr.S.
9

Roy,themedicalofficerattachedtotheDinhataSub-DivisionalHospital.PW

9examinedandtreatedthevictimfrom31.01.2003(thedateofher

admissioninthehospital)tillshebreathedherlaston10.01.2004.The

conditionofthepatient,duringhistreatmentfromtheeveningof

31.12.2003to10.01.2004wasmentionedas’poor’.Hedidnotventureto

recordthedyingdeclarationofthispatientduringthatperiodunderhis

treatment.AsperPW11,thevictimusedtospeakinlocaldialect,i.e.,

CoochBeharilanguage.SofarasPW15,theDeputyMagistratewas

concerned,hecouldcomprehendlocaldialectofCoochBeharpartly.The

statementofthevictimwasrecordedinplainBengalilanguage,butwhether

shespokein’Sadhu’or’Chalit’oranyotherformofBengaliwasnot

mentionedinthisdocument.PW6wasamplycorroboratedbyDW1and

DW2.Inthecross-examinationofthesetwowitnesses,thereisnothingto

indicatethattheycookedupadefencecasetorebuttheprosecution’sclaim

ofhomicidaldeathofthevictim.ReliancewasplacedonSectionRajaRamvs.State

ofRajasthan,2005SCC(Cri)1050onthepointthatifaprosecutionwitness

wasnotdeclaredhostileinspiteofnotsupportingtheprosecutioncase,his

evidencewillbindtheprosecutionifthesamewasrelieduponbythe

defence.

7.Mr.NavanilDe,thelearnedAdvocateappearingonbehalfoftheState,

submittedasfollows.Theprosecutioncasewasbasedprimarilyonthedying

declarationofthevictim/deceased.Theincidenttookplacewithin7yearsof

marriageofthecouple.Theparentstriedtheirbesttosavetheinjured
10

daughter.ThismighthavecausedsomedelayinlodgingtheFirst

InformationReport.Thehospitalauthoritiesintimatedthepolice.Ifthe

policedidnottakeanyaction,thedefactocomplainantcouldnotbeblamed

forthesame.Nevertheless,thedyingdeclarationwasrecordedbya

Magistrateinpresenceoftwowitnesses.Adoctorappendedacertificate

aboutthementalalertnessofthepatient.Assuch,thesaidrecordingought

tobebelieved.Furthermore,thereisnoreasonforthevictimtolieaboutthe

causeofherdeath.Itistruethatthevictimhadsufferedsevereinjuriesand

herconditionwaspoor.Butshewasbeingtreatedinahospitalandthe

drugsappliedmighthaveimprovedherhealth,atleastsoastoabletomake

adyingdeclaration.Inviewofthesame,onehastorendertheevidence

adducedbyPW6andDWs1and2asuntrustworthy.Moreover,theywere

closeneighboursoftheappellant.Besides,theappellantscouldnotexplain

thecircumstancesproperlyabouthowthevictimdiedintheirhouseby

sustainingsuchsevereburninjuries.Althoughtheappellantno.1wasthe

principalaccused,butaccordingtothedyingdeclaration,theother

accused/appellantsgaveimplicitconsenttothecommissionofthecrimeby

nottryingtosavethevictim.

8.WeheardthesubmissionsoftheLearnedAdvocatesappearingon

behalfofthepartiesandcarefullyperusedtheevidenceandothermaterials

onrecordinordertofindoutaboutthecorrectnessandthelegalityofthe

judgmentandorderofconvictionandsentence.

11

DelayinlodgingtheFirstInformationReport:

9.ItappearsfromtheadmissionticketofthevictimattheSub

DivisionalHospital,Dinhata,CoochBeharthataftershesufferedburn

injuries,shewasadmittedinthesaidhospitalon27.12.2003atabout

17.55hours.Inthefirstinformationitself,PW1,thefatherofthevictimand

thedefactocomplainantofthecasestatedthatitwasonlybeforeafewdays

thathewasinformedbysomeothersthathisdaughterwasadmittedina

hospitalaftersufferingsevereburns.Notintimatingaboutsuchprecarious

conditionofthevictimbytheappellantsisitselfacircumstancethatwould

goagainstthem.Bethatasitmay,thedefactocomplainantandhiswife,

afterlearningabouttheincident,becamebusywiththevictim’streatmentin

thehospital.ThisseemstohavecausedsomedelayinthelodgingtheFirst

InformationReport.Therefore,thepurporteddelayinlodgingoftheFirst

InformationReportcanbeexplainedfromtheattendingcircumstances.No

adversepresumptioncanbedrawninrespectofsuchdelay.

Non-mentioningofthedyingdeclarationintheFirstInformationReport:

10.Itisquiteclearfromtherecordsthatthevictim’sdeathtookplace

afterthelodgingoftheFirstInformationReport.Otherwise,Section302

wouldnotbeaddedsubsequentlyintheFirstInformationReport.Whilethe

FirstInformationReportwaslodgedat13.15hours,awrittendying

declarationwasrecordedbytheLearnedDeputyMagistrateonthesame

day,butat14.30hours.Sothereisnoquestionofthisdyingdeclaration
12

findingamentionintheFirstInformationReport.Sofarastheverbaldying

declarationmadebythevictimtohisfatherintheabsenceofanyoneelseis

concerned,PW1clearlydeposedthatalthoughhehadmentionedaboutthis

toPW14,thescribeoftheFirstInformationReport,yetthelatterfailedto

incorporatethesameinthesaidFirstInformationReport.Thisisnotmuch

ofanissue,especiallyasamoreimportantdyingdeclarationbeingExhibit

15wasalsorecordedinthiscase.

NeighboursPWs2and3turnedhostile:

11.AlthoughPW2,aneighbouroftheappellant,turnedhostile,hedid

admitthattheappellantstayedtogetherwiththevictim.Thecontentionof

theappellantsthatsincetheInvestigatingOfficerwasnotconfrontedwith

theevidenceofPW2,thechallengetohisevidencewasnotcompleteandas

such,suchdepositionswouldhelpthedefenceisalsonotofmuch

significanceasPWs2and3onlygaveouthearsayaccountsthatthevictim

hadaccidentallycaughtfire.

PW6notdeclaredhostileandthetestimoniesofDWs1and2:

12.PW6wasaneighbouroftheappellant.Accordinglytohim,hesaw

thevictimburning,hedousedthefirewithajute’bora’andhealsosawan

ovenandsomeburnt’muri’there.Inhiscross-examination,hestatedthat

immediatelyaftertheincidentthevictimtoldherthatshedidnotknowhow

shecaughtfire.Quitesignificantly,thiswitnesswasnotdeclaredhostile.
13

DW1,aneighbouroftheappellant,deposedthathesawPW6takingout

thevictimanduponasking,thevictimsaidthatshecaughtfirewhile

cooking’muri’.DW2,ontheotherhand,repeatedPW6’sversionthatthe

victimsaidshedidnotknowhowshecaughtfire.First,thereisaclear

contradictionbetweenthetestimoniesofPW6andDW2ononehandand

theDW1ontheother.Althoughthethreeweresupposedtohavebeenthere

withthevictimimmediatelyaftertheoccurrenceforquitesometime,these

witnessesgaveoutdifferentversionsofwhatthevictimstatedtothemas

havebeenreferredtoabove.Secondly,althoughPW6claimedthathewas

animmediateneighbouroftheappellant,inhiscross-examinationDW1

statedthatPW6’shousewasafteraboutthreebighasoflandfromthe

houseoftheappellant.DW1alsoadmittedthathisownhousewas

intervenedbytwobighasoflandwiththehouseoftheappellant.Therefore,

theclaimsofPW6andDW1thattheycamerushingaftertheyheardthe

victim’sscreamsarethemselvessuspect.Itisdifficulttodisbelieveadying

declarationrecordedbyaMagistrateinthepresenceofadoctorand

independentwitnessesbyrelyingontheevidenceofsuchneighboursofthe

appellantwhogaveoutinconsistentaccountsofwhatthevictimstatedto

them.

DyingdeclarationbeforetheDeputyMagistrate:

13.ThevictimmadeadyingdeclarationwhichwasrecordedbyPW15,a
14

DeputyMagistrateinpresenceofindependentwitnessesPW7andPW10.

PW19,doctorappendedacertificateaboutthementalalertnessofthe

patient.TheissueofCoochBeharidialectwasclearlyexplainedbyrelevant

witnesses.PW15wasquiteawareoftheCoochBeharidialectandthereis

noclinchingevidencetoshowthatthevictimdidnotspeakBengali.No

cogentreasonhasbeencitedtoprobabliseatheorythatthevictimmightlie

aboutthecauseofherdeath.Althoughcontraryversionswerepresentedby

PW6andDWs1and2,whoweretheneighboursoftheappellant,thesame

werefoundtobeinconsistent.Wedonotfindanyreasontodisbelievethe

dyingdeclarationmadebythevictimbeforetheDeputyMagistrate.

Medicalevidence:

14.PW9whohadtreatedthevictimfrom31.12.2003to10.01.2004did

findtheconditionofthevictimtobepoor.But,hegavenoevidenceto

suggestthatthevictimcouldnothavemadeadyingdeclarationatanyother

pointwhenhewasnotpresent.Asinseveralothercasesofsevereburns,

thevictimremainedhospitalizedandwasgiventreatment.Butshefinally

succumbedtothesaidburninjuries.PW18wasthepost-mortemdoctorin

thiscase.Hefoundseveralante-mortemburninjuriesonthedeadbody.

Thus,themedicalevidenceadducedinthiscasesupportstheprosecution

caseingoodmeasure.

EvidenceonSection498A,SectionPenalCode:

15.AsregardstheoffenceunderSection498AreadwithSection34ofthe

PenalCode,PWs1and2clearlydeposedaboutthetortureinflictedonthe
15

victimbytheappellantsbothfordowryaswellasforthebirthofafemale

child.Itwasofsuchamagnitudethatthevictimhadtoreturnhome.Itwas

onlyaftera’salish’thatshewassentbacktohermatrimonialhome.

Therolesplayedtheappellantsinthevictim’smurder:

16.InherdyingdeclarationbeforetheDeputyMagistrate,thevictim

clearlystatedthatthethreeappellantshadquarrelledwithherand

thereafterthehusbandassaultedherseverelywithabamboopole.Thenthe

husbandpouredkeroseneoilonthevictimandsetheronfire.Whenshe

startedscreaming,theneighboursassembled.Butthepresentappellants

didnoteventrytoadmitthevictiminhospital.Thereafter,thevictimlost

hersenses.Here,theprimeallegationswerelevelledagainsttheappellant

no.1/husband.Itappearsthatthetwootherappellantsonlyquarrelledwith

her.Besides,theappellantsdidnoteventrytotakethevictimtoahospital.

But,thereisnoevidencethatanearlierremovaltothehospitalmighthave

givenherabetterchancetorecover.Thisdyingdeclarationdoesnotclearly

implicatetheappellantnos.2and3inthecommissionoftheoffenceof

murder.Thesaiddyingdeclarationfindssupportintheverbaldying

declarationpurportedlymadetoPW1onlyimplicatingtheappellantno.1,

althoughthesamedidnotfindamentionintheFirstInformationReport.

WearenotinclinedtoplacerelianceonPW4’saccountofanotherverbal

dyingdeclarationmadetoherimplicatingalltheappellantsas,amongother

things,shewasnotexaminedbytheInvestigatingOfficerandherevidence

wasnotconsistentwiththatofherhusbandPW1,especiallyaboutwhat

wentonwhilethevictimwasadmittedinthehospital.

16

17.ThedyingdeclarationmadebythevictimladybeforeaLearned

DeputyMagistrateinpresenceofindependentwitnessesandhavinga

doctor’scertificateappendedabouthermentalalertness,thesupportive

medicalevidenceandtheevidenceofthepost-occurrencewitnesseslikethe

victim’sparentsunerringlypointtowardstheguiltoftheappellantno.1for

theoffenceofmurder.Ontheotherhand,asthesaiddyingdeclarationdid

notclearlyimplicatetheappellantnos.2and3,theyareentitledtoabenefit

ofdoubt.WithregardtotheoffenceunderSections498A,Section34ofthePenal

Code,thereissufficientevidencetoconvictalltheappellants.

18.Asregardstheappellantno.3,thesister-in-lawofthevictimlady,we

hadsoughtareportfromtheLearnedTrialCourtabouttheageofthevictim

girlasonthedateofoccurrence.Accordingtothereportsubmittedbythe

LearnedTrialCourt,itwasheldthattheappellantno.3wasajuvenileon

thedateofoccurrence.Weaccepttheconclusionarrivedatbythelearned

Courtontheissueofjuvenilityoftheappellantno.3RabbinaKhatun.As

such,theappellantno.3couldnothavebeentriedalongwiththeother

appellants.Presently,anordertokeepthesaidappellantinajuvenilehome

alsocannotbepassedagainstherasshehasattainedmajority.

19.InviewofthedecisionoftheHon’bleApexCourtinthecaseof

SectionUpendraKumarvs.StateofBihar,(2005)3SCC592,weretainthe
17

convictionasagainsttheappellantno.3RabbinaKhatununderSection

498AreadwithSection34ofthePenalCode,butsetasidethesentence

imposeduponher.WesetasideherconvictionandsentenceunderSection

302readwithSection34ofthePenalCode.Accordingly,herappealis

allowedtothisextent.Inrespectoftheappellantno.2KachiranBewa,we

setasidetheconvictionandsentenceimposedonherunderSection302

readwithSection34ofthePenalCode,butretaintheconvictionand

sentenceimposedunderSection498AreadwithSection34ofthePenal

Code.Forher,theappealispartlyallowed.Ifonbail,sheshallsurrender

beforetheLearnedTrialCourttosuffertherestofthesentence,ifthesame

hasnotbeensufferedyet.Asregardstheappellantno.1,hisappealis

dismissed,theconvictionandsentenceunderSection498Areadwith

Section34ofthePenalCodeareupheldandtheconvictionawardedforthe

offenceofmurderisalteredtooneunderSection302ofthePenalCode

simpliciterwhilethesentenceimposedonhimfortheoffenceofmurderis

retained.

20.Theappealisdisposedofwiththeaboveobservations.

21.AcopyofthejudgmentalongwiththeLowerCourtrecordsshallbe

sentdowntothelearnedTrialCourtforthwithbyaSpecialMessengerfor

informationandnecessaryaction.

18

22.Urgentphotostatcertifiedcopiesofthisjudgmentmaybedeliveredto

thelearnedAdvocatesfortheparties,ifappliedfor,uponcomplianceofall

formalities.

(JaySengupta,J)

Iagree

(Md.MumtazKhan,J)

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