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Pallavi vs State Of U.T. Chandigarh on 29 January, 2019

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NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL No(s). 176 OF 2019
(Arising out of SLP (CRL.) No.8851 of 2018)

PALLAVI Appellant(s)

VERSUS

STATE OF U.T. CHANDIGARH ORS. Respondent(s)

J U D G M E N T

BANUMATHI, J.:

(1) Leave granted.

(2) This appeal arises out of judgment and order dated 12th

September, 2018 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana

at Chandigarh in CRM-M No.23774 of 2018 in and by which the

High Court affirmed the order of the Sessions Judge setting

aside the order of framing of charge against respondents no.2

and 3 under Sections 406 and 498-A I.P.C.

Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
MAHABIR SINGH
Date: 2019.02.05
11:08:19 IST
Reason:

(3) The case of the appellant is that her marriage was

solemnized with Rajesh Kumar, son of the second respondent-
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Kamla Devi on 27th February, 2009 and it was a love marriage.

According to the appellant, after her marriage she was living

with her parents and thereafter with the consent of the family

members of her husband-Rajesh Kumar their marriage was

solemnized on 22nd September, 2010 in Hotel Residency. Out of

their wedlock a boy child was born on 5 th December, 2010.

According to the appellant, at the time of her marriage on 22 nd

September, 2010 she and her husband-Rajesh Kumar were given

gold ornaments and other household articles. The appellant

alleged that when she was staying with her husband along with

her mother-in-law (second respondent) and Jethani (third

respondent) they were harassing her, demanding for more dowry

and gold ornaments. The appellant has alleged that private

respondents have induced them to transfer a booth shop held by

the appellant’s father as a power of attorney holder of one

Suresh Singh. After the death of her father, the appellant

requested her brother-Devansh Sobti and accordingly Suresh

Singh transferred the said booth shop to sisters of her

husband-Rajesh Kumar, namely, Bharti and Meena. The appellant

filed a complainant before SSP, Chandigarh, based on which FIR

NO.91 dated 15th March, 2014 was registered. After completion

of investigation, chargesheet was filed against Rajesh Kumar,

husband of the appellant, and respondents no.2 and 3. On 11 th

May, 2015 charges were framed against the respondents for the

offence under Sections 406 and 498-A and the respondents

pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

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(4) Respondents no.2 and 3 challenged the order of framing of

charge before the Session Court. The Sessions Court vide order

dated 15th October, 2015 allowed the revision on the ground that

there was not even a single word mentioned by the appellant

against respondents no.2 and 3 regarding harassment of the

complainant for dowry articles or any misappropriation of dowry

articles by them. The Sessions Court referring to a

publication dated 25th February, 2009 in the newspaper, “Punjab

Kesri”, pointed out that the second respondent, mother-in-law

of the appellant, had disowned her son Rajesh Kumar-husband of

the appellant way back on 25th February, 2009. The Sessions

Court also pointed out that as the marriage of the complainant

and Rajesh Kumar-husband on 27th February, 2009 was a love

marriage, there is unlikelihood of any demand of dowry by

respondents no.2 and 3 and also by the appellant’s husband-

Rajesh Kumar. In revision, the High Court has affirmed the

order of the Sessions Court by the impugned order.

(5) We have heard Mr. Akshay Verma, learned counsel appearing

for the appellant and Mr. Sushil K. Tekriwal, learned counsel

appearing for respondents no.2 and 3 and also perused the

impugned judgment and other materials on record.

(6) Upon perusal of the chargesheet and the materials filed

thereon, the Trial Court on being satisfied that there are

prima facie materials to proceed against respondents no.2 and

3, framed the charge against respondents no.2 and 3 who pleaded
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not guilty.

(7) When the Judicial Magistrate has, based on the chargesheet

and on the materials filed along with the chargesheet,

satisfied himself, order of framing of charge against

respondents no.2 and 3. At the stage of framing of charge, the

court is concerned only with the aspect that there is prima

facie materials presuming that the accused has committed the

offence. At the initial stage the court is not called upon to

examine the sufficiency or otherwise of the materials produced

by the prosecution and also to examine whether the same are

sufficient to sustain the conviction of the accused thereon.

The learned Sessions Judge, in our view ought not to have gone

into the merits of the materials and erred in setting aside the

order of the Judicial Magistrate framing charge against

accused.

(8) At this stage, Mr. Sushil K. Tekriwal, learned counsel

appearing for respondents no.2 and 3, submitted that both the

Sessions Court and the High Court have recorded the concurrent

findings that there are no specific allegations against

respondents no.2 and 3 to proceed under Section 406 I.P.C. and,

therefore, rightly set aside the order of framing of charge and

such concurrent findings recorded by both the courts, cannot be

interfered with.

(9) On the other hand, Mr. Akshay Verma, learned counsel
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appearing for the appellant-complainant, has drawn our

attention to certain materials like photographs and the

document transferring booth shop in favour of sisters of Rajesh

Kumar, namely, Bharti and Meena to contend that based on those

materials the Trial Court rightly proceeded to frame the charge

and therefore it cannot be said that it is a case of no

material.

(10) Though it was submitted that the courts have recorded the

concurrent findings that there are no sufficient materials to

proceed against respondents no.2 and 3, such contention in our

opinion does not merit any acceptance. We are not inclined to

go into the merits or demerits of the contentions raised by

learned counsel for the parties at this stage. Suffice it to

note that the satisfaction of the Judicial Magistrate was based

on the materials placed before it and the Sessions Court in

exercise of its revisional jurisdiction ought not to have set

aside the order of framing of charge.

(11) When the order of the Trial Court does not suffer from any

perversity, the High Court, in our considered view, fell in

error in quashing the order of framing of charge against

respondents no.2 and 3 thereby affirming the view taken by the

Sessions Court.

(12) In view of above, the impugned order is set aside and the

appeal is allowed.

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(13) We make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on

the merits of the matter. The concerned Trial Court shall

proceed with the trial and decide the matter on its own merits.

……………………..J.

(R. BANUMATHI)

……………………..J.

(R. SUBHASH REDDY)
NEW DELHI,
JANUARY 29, 2019.

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