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Ranjeet Kumar vs State Of Bihar And Anr on 5 July, 2019

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA
CRIMINAL REVISION No.299 of 2016
Arising Out of PS. Case No.- Year-1111 Thana- District-

Ranjeet Kumar, Son of Rajendra Ram Seth, R/o Village-Fatehpur, P.S.
Fatehpur, District Gaya

… … Petitioner
Versus

1. The State of Bihar

2. Vimal Prasad, Son of Late Chattu Ram, R/o Mohalla Gola Road, P.S.
Nawada, District Nawada

… … Respondents

Appearance :

For the Petitioner/s : Mr.Ajay Kumar Thakur with M/S Nilesh Kumar,
Amit Kumar, Advocates
For the Respondent/s : Mr.Shantanu Kumar, APP

CORAM: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE VINOD KUMAR SINHA
CAV JUDGMENT
Date : 05-07-2019
This revision application is directed against the judgment dated

20.1.2016 passed by Sri Premchand Pandey, Additional District and Sessions

Judge-VI, Nawada in Cr.Appeal No. 45/2012/15/2014 whereby and

whereunder the judgment and order dated 2.6.2012 passed by Sri S.K.

Pandey, S.D.J.M., Nawada, in Complaint Case No. C-492 of 2000 convicting

the revisionist-petitioner and other accused persons under Section 498A IPC

has been confirmed. However, the conviction of the petitioner and other

accused persons under Sections 3 and Section4 of Dowry Prohibition Act was set

aside.

2. As lower court record is available, the parties were heard and

this case is being disposed of at the stage of admission itself.

3. The case of the complainant as per complaint petition, in short,

is that the complainant (PW 7) married his daughter Anita Devi with

revisionist-petitioner Ranjeet Kumar on 25.2.2000 in which complainant gave
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gift worth Rs.1.25 lac and after marriage she went to her sasural and

on 27.2.2000 on the occasion of Bahu Bhat (reception) the

complainant and his family members went to her sasural where

accused Jyoti Kumari demanded a scooter and almirah as dowry on

instigation of other accused persons and humiliated them. Further

case of the complainant is that his daughter Anita Devi was subjected

to torture and harassment with respect to demand of scooter and

almirah. Thereafter his daughter was taken to Ranchi for treatment

due to mental and physical torture as she was mentally disturbed.

Further case of the complainant is that his daughter was sent to her

sasural on 19.3.2000 when again demand has been made which was

informed to him by her and ultimately on 8.6.2000 accused persons

ousted her from the house and she was left at Nawada by the

revisionist-petitioner in her house by Scorpio vehicle. On the basis of

the aforesaid complainant, Complaint Case No. 492 of 2000 was

registered under Section 498A IPC and Sections 3/Section4 of the Dowry

Prohibition Act, which ultimately traveled to the court of S.D.J.M,,

Nawada and after inquiry processes were issued against the

revisionist-petitioner and other accused persons.

4. During trial altogether seven witnesses have been

examined on behalf of prosecution, they are PW 1 Akhilesh Kumar,

son of the complainant, PW 2 Vijendra Prasad, an independent

witness, PW 3 Sunaina Devi, wife of complainant, PW 4 Bhagwan

Pandey, priest who performed marriage of Anita Kumari and Ranjeet

Kumar (revisionist-appellant), PW 5 Bhagwan Ram, an independent
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witness, PW 6 is victim Anita Devi and PW 7 is complainant Vimal

Prasad.

5. Apart from that, large number of documents have been

brought on the record as documentary evidence. Ext.1-complaint

petition, Ext.2-ordersheet dated 16.1.2010 in M.T.S.No. 94 of 2005

passed by Family Court, Gaya, Ext.3-judgment dated 19.1.2010

passed in the same case by the Principal Judge, Family Court, Gaya,

Ext.4-summon of the said M.T.S. case dated 6.7.2000.

6. On behalf of defence though no ocular evidence has

been adduced but they have brought the following documents as

exhibits: Ext.A-plaint of Title (Matrimonial) Suit No. 27 of 2000,

Ext.B-deposition of Dr. Arun Kumar Gupta in Matrimonial Suit,

Ext.C- medial prescription of Dr. Uven Chaudhary, Ext.D- letter

written by Anita Kumari dated 29.3.2000, Ext.E- discharge certificate

of Anita Kumari dated 26.3.2000, Ext.F-informatory petition to

Fatehpur P.S. given by Rajendra Prasad and Ext.-G is another

informatory petition given by Rajendra Prasad to Nawada P.S.

7. Learned S.D.J.M. on conclusion of trial has convicted

the revisionist-petitioner and three other accused persons under

Section 498A IPC and Sections 3/Section4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. and

sentenced them to undergo R.I. for 18 months each and fine of

Rs.2000/- each for the offence under Section 498A IPC and in case of

default in payment of fine they would be suffered for S.I. of 20 days

each, further they were sentenced to undergo R.I. for three months

each for the offence under Section 3 of Dowry Prohibition Act and a

fine of Rs.1000/- each and they were also ordered to undergo R.I. for
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three months for the offence under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition

Act and a fine of Rs.1000/- each and on failure to pay the fine they

were further directed to undergo S.I. for 10 days each and all the

sentences were directed to run concurrently.

8. Being aggrieved by the same, the revisionist-petitioner

preferred Cr.Appeal No. 45 of 2012/15 of 2014 which ultimately

traveled to the file of Sri Premchand Pandey, 4th District and Sessions

Judge, Nawada, who after hearing the parties affirmed the conviction

and sentence with respect to the revisionist-petitioner and three other

accused persons under Section 498A IPC. However, their conviction

and sentence under Sections 3/Section4 of Dowry Prohibition Act were set

aside.

9. Being aggrieved by the said judgment and order of

learned trial court as well as judgment of learned appellant court, the

present revision application has been preferred by the revisionist-

appellant. It appears that there is no information as to whether the

other accused persons have preferred any revision application or not.

10. Learned counsel for the petitioner has not entered into

the findings of guilt under Section 498A IPC by learned trial court as

well as learned appellate court as it is settled principal of law that a

revisional court should not enter into reappraisal of evidence where

there is concurrent finding on them by trial court as well as appellate

court unless there is inherent illegality or there is clear case of mis-

appreciation of evidence in right prospective. On the other hand, the

petitioner has assailed the judgment on the ground that even if the

allegation which has come during the evidence, is taken on its face
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value the ingredient of Section 498A IPC is not made out as the

conviction of the revisionist-appellant under Sections 3 and Section4 of

Dowry Prohibition Act has already been set aside by the appellate

court and so far other evidence of cruelty and torture is concerned, in

the background of the fact that the revisionist has filed a divorce suit

against the daughter of the complainant on the ground that she is

suffering from mental sickness, those evidences do not constitute the

offence of cruelty as defined in Explanation-(a) to Section 498A IPC

as at best there are vague allegations that she was subjected to cruelty,

not providing food and also of assaulting her and another evidence

that the petitioner left her at Nawada and since then she is residing

there and in view of that the impugned judgment suffers from

inherent illegality and impropriety.

11. So far Section 498A IPC is concerned, it provides as

follows :

“498A. Husband or relative of husband of a
woman subjecting her to cruelty.- Whoever,
being the husband or the relative of the
husband of a woman, subjects such woman to
cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment
for a term which may extend to three years
and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section,
‘cruelty’ means-

(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a
nature as is likely to drive the woman to
commit suicide or to cause grave injury or
danger to life, limb or health (whether mental
or physical) of the woman; or

(b) harassment of the woman where such
harassment is with a view to coercing her or
any person related to her to meet any unlawful
demand for any property or valuable security
or is on account of failure by her or any
person related to her to meet such demand.”

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12. Section 397 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides

for filing revision before the High Court to test the correctness,

illegality and impropriety of the judgment and order also as to

whether they suffer from jurisdictional error.

13. Hon’ble Apex Court has considered the basic

ingredients of Section 498A IPC in the case of SectionUndavalli Narayana

Rao vs. State of Andhra Pradesh : (2009) 14 SCC 588 in paragraph 15

of the judgment, which is as follows :

“15. “Cruelty” has been defined by the Explanation
added to the section itself. The basic ingredients of Section 498A
IPC are cruelty and harassment. The elements of cruelty so far as
clause (a) is concerned, have been classified as follows :

(I) any “wilful” conduct which is of such a nature as is
likely to drive the woman to commit suicide; or

(ii) any “wilful” conduct which is likely to cause grave
injury to the woman; or

(iii) any “wilful” act which is likely to cause danger to
life, limb or health, whether physical or mental of the woman.
For the purpose of clause (b) the essential ingredients are as
under:

(i) the harassment of a married woman

(ii) with a view to coercing her or any person related to her
to meet the unlawful demand of dowry or for any property or
valuable security or on account of her failure or failure of any
person related to her to meet such a demand.

Therefore, it is evident that the charge under Section 498A can be brought
home if the essential ingredients either in clause (a) or (b) or both are found
duly established.”

Further relying upon another judgment of Hon’ble Apex Court it is observed in

paragraph-16 of the said judgment as follows :

“16. SectionIn S. Hanumantha Rao v. S. Ramani this Court considered
the meaning of cruelty in the context of the provisions under
Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and observed that :
(SCC p. 624, para 8)
“8. ………. Mental cruelty broadly means, when either party
causes mental pain, agony or suffering of such a magnitude that
it servers the bond between the wife and the husband and as a
result of which it becomes impossible for the party who has
suffered to live with the other party. In other words, the party
who has committed wrong is not expected to live with the other
party.””

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Hon’ble Apex Court has also discussed the other judgments on the

point of cruelty in paragraphs 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the said

judgment. Even the Legislative intent behind inserting Section 498A

IPC was to curve out harassment to women for payment of dowry

under the garb of fulfilment of customary obligation and also

subjecting her to continuous harassment and cruelty. As such it is

settled that cruelty does not mean physical assault but also includes

mental cruelty.

14. In the present case, evidence available on the record

disclosed that daughter of opposite party No.2, who is wife of the

petitioner, was subjected to torture and harassment continuously and

petitioner along with his family members treated her as mentally sick

and even taken her to Ranchi but the evidence of PW 6, wife of the

petitioner, disclosed that Doctor told due to assault and harassment

meted out to her she became sick. Apart from that, materials available

on the record show that the Matrimonial Suit being MTS No.

94/05/27/2000 under Section 12 of Hindu Marriage Act filed by the

petitioner for declaring the marriage as nullity was also dismissed,

which will appear from Ext.3 as learned Family Court has found that

it is not proved that Anita Devi has been suffering from incurable of

unsound mind and continuously suffering from insanity or mentally

disorder. Calling her insane and also a suit against daughter of

opposite party No.2, i.e., wife of the petitioner, also amount to one of

the ingredients of cruelty as she was made to suffer not only the

mental agony and pain due to the treatment meted out to her but also

that put a stigma on her before the society.

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15. Not only that, there are consistent evidence available on

the record that petitioner forcibly dropped her to her house. Evidence

of PW 6 also disclosed that all her belongings were also snatched and

since then she is residing at her maike and has to depend on her father

and mother for her livelihood and during stay at her maike it can very

well be inferred that she suffered mental agony and suffering due to

the fact that she was left by her husband. On perusal of the evidence

as well as the statement of the accused petitioner on the record there

is nothing available on the record to show that she left her sasural on

her own, rather the above evidence shows that she was forcibly

dropped at her maike. There is also evidence on torture and

harassment with respect to demand of Godrej Almirah and Scooter.

However, since learned appellate court has set aside the conviction of

revisionist-petitioner under Sections 3 and Section4 of Dowry Prohibition

Act and no appeal was preferred either by the State or informant, as

such this Court restrained itself to examine the legality or correctness

of the same.

16. However, the discussions made above disclosed that

there are sufficient evidence available on the record that she was

subjected continuously for harassment and torture. She was tried to be

declared mentally sick and she was forcibly left at her maike after

snatching all her belongings. The above evidence also shows that the

petitioner in order to left his wife (PW 6) has committed the above act

in collusion with the other accused persons and this Court is of the

opinion that the above evidence clearly constitute an offence as per

Explanation (a) to Section 498A IPC.

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17. This application being devoid of merit is, accordingly,

dismissed.

18. The petitioner is directed to surrender before the trial

court at once to serve out the sentence.

19. Let a copy of this judgent be sent to the learned trial court

as well as learned appellate court at once.

(Vinod Kumar Sinha, J)
spal/-

AFR/NAFR
CAV DATE 27.6.2019
Uploading Date 05.07.2019
Transmission Date 08.07.2019

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