IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA
Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction
CRAN 4951 of 2019
CRA 681 of 2019
Mariyam Begam Anr.
The State of West Bengal
CRAN 5017 of 2019
The State of West Bengal
Before: The Hon’ble The Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan
The Hon’ble Justice Arijit Banerjee
For the applicants : Mr. Milon Mukherjee, Sr. Adv.
(CRAN 4951 of 2019) Mr. Dattatreya Dutta, Adv.
(CRAN 5017 of 2019)
For the State : Mr. Saibal Bapuli, Ld. APP
(CRAN 4951 of 2019) Mr. Bibaswan Bhattacharya, Adv.
For the State : Mr. Madhu Sudan Sur, Ld. APP
(CRAN 5017 of 2019) Mr. Manoranjan Mahata, Adv.
Heard On : 10.02.2020
CAV on : 10.02.2020
Judgment On : 12.02.2020
Arijit Banerjee, J.:-
These two applications have been filed for suspension of sentence and
grant of bail by persons who stand convicted under Sections 302, 201
and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (in short ‘IPC’) and sentenced to
life imprisonment and also to pay fine by the Additional District and
Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court – II – Raiganj in Sessions Trial
No.40/2014 arising out of Sessions Case No.264/2008. CRAN
4951/2019 is an application by the mother-in-law and sister-in-law
(husband’s sister) of the victim lady. CRAN 5017/2019 is an
application by the victim’s husband.
2. The brief facts of the case as would appear from the written complaint,
the prosecution evidence and the findings of the Learned Trial Judge
are that the 1st accused (husband of the victim) and the victim were
married in 2004. After marriage, the victim went to the matrimonial
house and resided there for two months. The 1st accused, thereafter,
took her to a rented accommodation at Raiganj and resided there with
the victim. On September 23, 2005, the 1st accused informed his
father-in-law at about 10 a.m. that Sabina (victim) had left the
matrimonial home at 8:30 a.m. to go to her parental house. He
enquired as to whether Sabina had reached the parental house. On
September 24, 2005 a diary was lodged by the 1st accused with the
Raiganj Police Station that his wife had gone missing. On September
24, 2005 i.e. the same day, police seized one polythene bag containing
one severed head of a lady. Other parts of a female human body were
recovered on 26th September and 27th September, 2005. The forensic
examination report confirmed that all the parts belong to the same
body. The lady was identified as the victim from photographs.
Pursuant to investigation, charges were framed against the 1st
accused, his mother (2nd accused) and his sister (3rd accused) under
Sections 302/120B/201/34 IPC.
3. The prosecution examined 34 witnesses. The defence examined none.
The Learned Trial Judge noted that there were no eye witnesses or
direct evidence and convicted the accused person on the basis of
circumstantial evidence. The Learned Trial Judge observed that the
chain of circumstances is so complete that the same indubitably
points towards the commission of the victim’s murder by the accused
4. We have heard learned Counsel for the applicants as also learned
Counsel for the State. We have considered the legal evidence on record
and assimilation of evidence by the Learned Trial Judge. It is, prima
facie, seen from the judgment under appeal that the Learned Trial
Judge recorded that the in-laws (2nd and 3rd accused persons) of the
victim used to inflict mental and physical torture upon her. They used
to put pressure on the victim to get landed property transferred from
her father and that the factum of torture and demand were narrated
by the victim to her family members and relatives whenever she
visited her parental house. However, we find that no charge was
framed under Section 498A IPC. Prima facie, there is nothing in the
prosecution evidence that would indicate involvement of the 2nd and
3rd accused persons in the commission of offences they were charged
with. Undisputedly those two accused persons lived separately from
the victim. It is nobody’s case that on or about the date of occurrence
those two accused persons were at the place of occurrence or in its
5. On an overall assessment of the evidence on record we are satisfied
that the 2nd and 3rd accused persons have made out a case for
suspension of sentence and grant of bail.
6. As regards the 1st accused person being the applicant in CRAN
5017/2019, again, there is no direct evidence against him. The
Learned Trial Judge has convicted him purely on the basis of
circumstantial evidence. However, on an analysis of the legal evidence
on record, we are, prima facie, satisfied that the chain of
circumstances is not so complete that conviction of the 1st accused
person could be based thereon. For one thing, although it is stated in
evidence that the murder weapon was recovered from a showcase in
the house of 1st accused person, the same was not produced or
exhibited in Court. Around 10 doctors conducted post mortem on
severed parts of the victim’s body. None of the doctors were examined
in Court by the prosecution. One of the observations of the Learned
Trial Judge is that the 1st accused person was suspicious of the
chastity of his wife and suspected that she was having illicit affair
with some other person and on that ground there were frequent
quarrels between the husband and wife. From this alone, one cannot
infer that the 1st accused killed his wife. In our prima facie view, the
quality of evidence brought on record by the prosecution is not such
as would persuade us to hold, at this stage, that the 1st accused does
not have any arguable case for acquittal at the hearing of the appeal.
7. This apart, all the accused persons have been on bail all along till they
were taken into custody with the pronouncement of the sentence after
passing of the order of conviction. Thus, they have been on bail since
2005, i.e., for the last fifteen years. It is nobody’s case that they have
jumped bail at any point of time, misused or abused bail in any
manner or have breached any condition of bail.
8. In view of the aforesaid we are of the opinion that this is a fit case
where the applicants are entitled to an order of suspension of
sentence and grant of bail. However, we clarify that the observations
made in this order are, prima facie and only for the purpose of
disposing of this interlocutory application for suspension of sentence
and grant of bail pending disposal of the appeal. The observations
made herein shall have no bearing at the final hearing of the appeal.
9. In the result, these applications succeed. The sentence of
imprisonment and fine imposed on the applicants by the Learned Trial
Court will stand suspended. The applicants shall be released on bail
on furnishing bail bond of Rs.10,000/- each, with two sureties of like
amount each, one of whom must be local, to the satisfaction of the
Convicting Court and on further condition that the applicants shall
meet the Officer-in-Charge of the concerned police station once a
month between 1st and 5th starting from March, 2020 and further that
they shall be personally present or shall be represented before the
Court when the appeal is taken up for hearing.
10. The applications being CRAN 4951 of 2019 and CRAN 5017 of
2019 are accordingly disposed of.
11. Criminal Section is directed supply urgent Photostat certified
copies of this order to the parties, if applied for, upon compliance of all
12. Urgent certified photocopy of this judgment and order, if applied
for, be given to the parties upon compliance of necessary formalities.
(Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, CJ.) (Arijit Banerjee, J.)