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Rajaram Lala Ahire And Ors.-vs-State Of Maharashtra on 30 June, 2005

Bombay High Court Rajaram Lala Ahire And Ors.-vs-State Of Maharashtra on 30 June, 2005
Equivalent citations:II (2005) DMC 793
Author: R Chavan
Bench: V Palshikar, R Chavan

JUDGMENT

R.C. Chavan, J.

1. Being aggrieved by their conviction for offences punishable under Sections 498A, 302 and 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code and the resultant sentences imposed upon them by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Malegaon, District Nashik, the appellants have preferred this appeal.

2. Facts which led to the prosecution of the appellants, along with one Ramesh Rajaram Ahire, who was acquitted, are as under:

3. Mangala, daughter of Bhila Ukha Khairnar, was married to accused No. 2-Prakash Rajaram Ahire about two years prior to the incident. Accused No. 1-Rajaram Lala Ahire is father and Accused No. 4 – Sarjabai Rajaram Ahire is mother of the said Prakash, Accused No. 2, Accused No. 4 Sarjabai is sister of Mangala’s father Bhila. After the marriage, Mangala went to reside with her husband and in-laws. After about four months, ill-treatment of Mangala began. Her husband Prakash hit her with a stone on her waist. Mangala’s father and mother-in-law also had assaulted her. When Bhila, father of Mangala, noticed this fact, he took his daughter with him and did not send Mangala to her matrimonial home for about four months. On assurance being given by the accused persons and Gangadhar, brother of accused No. 1, that Mangala would be treated well, Mangala was sent back to her matrimonial home. Thereafter, for about 4 to 6 months, Mangala was treated well.

4. When Bhila had gone to attend the marriage of grand-daughter of Gangadhar, he inquired with Mangala and Mangala revealed that her harassment had recommenced and therefore Mangala wanted to come back with her father. Bhila again requested the accused persons not to ill-treat his daughter Mangala. On 11th June, 1995, Bhila’s 2nd son, Baliram, was to get married. Therefore, on 5th June, 1995, Bhila and his elder son Samadhan went to the house of accused persons with an invitation card. One Govind accompanied Samadhan. Samadhan was supposed to have brought Mangala for the marriage. Samadhan reported that Mangala’s in-laws did not allow her to accompany him. Mangala had come upto Nagbaba Mandir of village Wasol, however, her husband and in-laws beat her and took her back. They told Samadhan that if Rs. 2,000 and gold-ring are given to accused No. 2 Prakash, then only they will attend the marriage of Baliram. They further threatened to kill Mangala.

5. On 6th June, 1995 the complainant and others visited the house of accused and on inquiry, they learnt that Mangala was not at home. On 6th June, 1995 itself, a missing report had been lodged by Bhila, which is at Exhibit 30. The dead body of Mangala was later found in the river Girna and the same was sent for post-mortem examination. It was found that Mangala had died of Asphyxia, due to suffocation. Police registered the offence, and on completion of investigation, a charge-sheet was sent to the learned Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Satana, who committed the case to the Court of Sessions at Malegaon, on finding that an offence triable exclusively by the Court of Sessions was made out.

6. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, Malegaon, framed the charges of offence punishable under Sections 498A, 302 and 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code against accused Nos. 1, 2 and 4 and the charge of offence punishable under Sections 498A, 302, 304(B) and 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code against accused No, 3. All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them and claimed to be tried. They were therefore put on trial.

7. The prosecution examined in all nine witnesses in order to bring home the guilt of the accused. The learned Additional Sessions Judge examined the accused under Section 313 of Cr.P.C. and on considering the evidence in light of arguments advanced, proceeded to convict accused Nos. 1, 2 and 4 for the offences punishable under Sections 498A, 302 and 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code. He sentenced them to suffer two years R. 1. and fine of Rs. 1,000 and in default to suffer 3 months R.I. each for offence under Section 498-; imprisonment for life and fine of Rs. 2,000 and in default to suffer 6 months R.I. each for offence under Section 302; and R.I. for five years and fine of Rs. 1,000 each and in default to suffer R.I. for 3 months for offence punishable under Section 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, respectively. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, however, acquitted accused No. 3 for offences punishable under Sections 498A, 302, 304(B) and 201 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code. Being aggrieved thereby, accused Nos. 1, 2 and 4, the appellants herein, have filed the present appeal.

8. We have heard learned Counsel for the appellants and learned Additional Public Prosecutor for State. Learned Counsel for the appellants submitted that the learned Additional Sessions Judge had curiously convicted accused No. 4 of offence punishable under Section

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