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Sanjay S/O Babanrao Khalate vs State Of Maharashtra … on 7 April, 2018

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY,

NAGPUR BENCH, NAGPUR

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.180 OF 2004

Sanjay s/o. Babanrao Khalate,
Aged about 26 years, r/o.
Shivajinagar, Chandur Railway,
District Amravati. ………. APPELLANT

// VERSUS //

The State of Maharashtra,
Through Police Station Officer,
Chandur Railway, District
Amravati. ………. RESPONDENT

Mr.P.R.Agrawal, Advocate for the Appellant.
Mr.T.A.Mirza, A.P.P. for the Respondent/State.

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CORAM : M.G.GIRATKAR, J.

DATED : 7TH APRIL, 2018.

ORAL JUDGMENT :

1. Appellant has assailed the Judgment of the Additional

Sessions Judge, Amravati in Sessions Trial No.4 of 2003, by which he

is convicted for the offence punishable under Section 498A of the

Indian Penal Code and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for

three years and to pay a fine of Rs.200/-, in default to suffer rigorous

imprisonment for six months. He is also convicted for the offence

punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code and

sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for seven years and to pay

a fine of Rs.200/-, in default to suffer rigorous imprisonment for six

months.

2. The case of prosecution against the appellant, in short,

is as under :

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Deceased Lata married with the appellant on 28th May,

2002. After the marriage, Lata went to co-habit with the appellant at

Chandur Railway. After the marriage, Lata visited to her parents’

house on three times. On the first occasion, her brother Jitendra

Marathe fetched her. At that time, she told him that her husband had

demanded Rs.25,000/- to buy an auto rickshaw. He told his sister

that he was unable to pay that amount. Thereafter, appellant asked

her brother on telephone to pay Rs.25,000/-. On 8.9.2002, Lata

committed suicide by jumping into well. On the report of Jitendra,

crime was registered against the appellant. API Telewar investigated

the crime. After complete investigation, filed charge sheet before the

Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Chandur Railway who, in turn,

committed the case for trial to the Court of Sessions at Amravati.

3. Charge was framed at Exh.7. The same was read over

and explained to the appellant. The appellant pleaded not guilty and

claimed to be tried. Prosecution has examined seven witnesses. At

the conclusion of the trial, the learned trial Court convicted the

appellant as stated above.

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4. Heard Mr.P.R.Agrawal, learned Counsel for the

appellant. He has pointed out the evidence of material witnesses and

submitted that the witnesses have not stated any specific cruelty

against the deceased. Their evidence in respect of demand of

Rs.25,000/- is not reliable. The learned Counsel has pointed out

evidence of Jahagir Khan s/o. Gulab Khan Pathan (PW-6). Learned

Counsel has submitted that the stones of parapet wall of the well

were detached. Height of parapet wall was 2 feet from the ground

level and therefore, there was possibility of accidental death of the

deceased while fetching water.

5. Heard Mr.T.A.Mirza, learned A.P.P. for the

respondent/State. He has supported the case of prosecution.

6. Jitendra Balu Marathe (PW-1), Kamlabai w/o. Balu

Marathe (PW-3), Dwarkabai w/o. Pralhad Suryawanshi and Sunita

d/o. Balu Marathe (PW-4) are the material witnesses. Jitendra (PW-

1) has stated in his evidence that, after the marriage, the deceased

visited to his house on three occasions. On the first occasion, he

fetched her. At that time, the deceased had told him that her

husband/appellant was demanding Rs.25,000/- to purchase auto

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rickshaw. He has stated that, on telephone, the appellant had

demanded the said amount.

7. From the cross-examination of Jitendra (PW-1), it is

clear that marriage of the deceased was settled by mediator

Dwarkabai. At the time of marriage, it was settled that they had to

pay Rs.15,000/- to the appellant for expenditure of marriage. The

appellant agreed to arrange for ornaments. The appellant did not

demand Rs.25,000/- at the time of settlement of marriage. Deceased

Lata had been to their house in the month of June during her second

visit. At that time, he was undergoing surgery of piles. Lata and her

husband/appellant stayed and left on the next date. From the cross-

examination of this witness, it is clear that he did not make any

attempt to seek intervention of mediator Dwarkabai and parents of

appellant in respect of his demand. He has further admitted that,

during her three visits, his sister had not told him other than the ill-

treatment meted out to her for demand of money. He has further

admitted that there was no harassment except demand of money.

Jitendra (PW-1) has admitted that he had stated before the police

that, due to demand of money, she might have committed suicide.

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8. Kamlabai Marathe (PW-2), mother of the deceased has

not stated anything against the appellant. Dwarkabai Suryawanshi

(PW-3) has stated that, due to her mediation, marriage of Lata was

settled with the appellant. 2-3 months after the marriage of

appellant with Lata, she came to her house. Appellant left her at her

house. At that time, deceased told her that appellant demanded

money from her brother on telephone for auto rickshaw. She did not

disclose anything about the harassment/cruelty by her husband. In

her cross-examination, she has admitted that she did not know about

the demand of Rs.25,000/- by the appellant. She has denied portion

Mark ‘A’.

9. Sunita d/o. Balu Marathe (PW-4), sister of the deceased

has not supported prosecution. She was declared hostile and cross-

examined by prosecution. She has admitted in her cross-examination

that the appellant used to sell ‘frymes’ before the marriage. Jitendra

(PW-1) and Sunita (PW-4) have admitted that the appellant was not

having any driving license and he was not driving auto rickshaw.

10. Admission of Jitendra (PW-1) and Dwarkabai (PW-3)

clearly shows that, except demand of money, there was no any

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cruelty by the appellant. Hence, the prosecution has failed to

establish any of the ingredients of Section 498A of the Indian Penal

Code.

11. In respect of offence punishable under Section 306 of

the Indian Penal Code, there should be abetment or instigation by

the appellant to commit suicide. Admission of Jitendra (PW-1) itself

shows that, except demand of money, there was no any cruelty by

the appellant. Therefore, it cannot be said that, only because of

demand of money, the deceased committed suicide.

12. From the cross-examination of Jahagir Khan (PW-6), it

is clear that the parapet wall of well was about 2 feet from the

ground level. Some of the stones were detached from the wall.

Therefore, possibility of accidental death cannot be ruled out.

13. Dwarkabai (PW-3) has admitted in her cross-

examination that, on 8.9.2007, at Chandur Bazaar she heard from

the neighbours that, on the same night, the accused had sold

mangalsutra of Lata and had lost money in gambling Therefore, it

may be one of the cause. There is no specific evidence to show that

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because of abetment or instigation of the appellant, the deceased

committed suicide. Learned trial Court has not appreciated the

evidence properly and wrongly convicted the appellant. Hence, I am

inclined to allow the appeal and proceed to pass the following order.

//ORDER//

The appeal is allowed.

The impugned Judgment of conviction in
Sessions Trial No.4 of 2003, dt.12.3.2004 is hereby
quashed and set aside.

Appellant is acquitted of the offences
punishable under Sections 498A and 306 of the Indian
Penal Code.

Appellant is on bail. His bail bonds shall
stand cancelled.

Fine amount, if paid, be refunded to the
appellant.

The record and proceedings be sent back to
the trial Court.

JUDGE

[jaiswal]

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