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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

[email protected] vs The State Of Karnataka on 15 February, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA
KALABURAGI BENCH

DATED THIS THE 15TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2019

BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE P.G.M.PATIL

CRIMINAL PETITION NO.201453/2018

BETWEEN:

Sanjukumar @ Sanju S/o Tirumal Belkeri,
Age: 35 years, Occ: Coolie,
R/o Vijay Nagar Colony, Kalaburagi.
… Petitioner
(By Sri Shivasharana Reddy, Advocate)

AND:

1. The State of Karnataka
Through Women P.S., Kalaburagi
Represented by Addl. SPP,
High Court of Karnataka, Kalaburagi Bench.

2. Smt. Parvati W/o Ravindra Malinkeri,
Age: Major, Occ: Housewife,
R/o Rumangud, Tq. Chincholi,
Now at Ashok Nagar, Govt. Hospital, Kalaburagi.
… Respondents

This Criminal Petition is filed under Section 482 of
Cr.P.C, praying to allow the petition and quash the entire
proceedings pending against the petitioner in
S.C.No.168/2018 on the file of V Addl. Sessions Judge at
Kalaburagi in Cr.No.136/2010 of respondent police for the
offences U/s 498A, 306 R/w 149 of IPC, in the interest of
justice and equity and etc.
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This petition having been heard on 28.01.2019 and
reserved and coming on for pronouncement of order this day,
delivered the following:

ORDER

This Criminal Petition is filed under Section 482 of

Cr.P.C. seeking to quash the entire proceedings pending

against the petitioner in S.C.No.168/2018 on the file of

V Addl. Sessions Judge, Kalaburagi in Crime

No.136/2010 of Women Police Station for the offences

punishable under Sections 498A, 306 R/w 149 of IPC.

2. The brief facts of the case leading to filing

this petition are as follows:

The respondent No.2 Parvati W/o Ravindra who is

mother of deceased Krithika filed a complaint, she has

alleged in her complaint that her daughter Krithika was

her elder daughter out of her four children and were

residing in a rented house belonging to the petitioner at

Vijay Nagar Colony, Kalaburagi. Since her daughter

had a love affair with the petitioner and on coming to
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know the same, elders decided to perform her marriage

and performed their marriage. They lead happy married

life for about six months. Thereafter, the complainant

and her family who were residing in the rented house of

the petitioner, shifted their house to Ashok Nagar,

Kalaburagi. The relatives of the petitioner namely sister

of petitioner Pushpa, her husband Narsing and relatives

Dattu Police, Kasturbai, Mahadevi Teacher, who were

against the marriage of the petitioner with the daughter

of the complainant used to come to the house of the

petitioner and used to give mental torture and

harassment, due to which the petitioner left his own

house shifted to another house on rental basis.

Thereafter he left the deceased wife and went away and

did not return, due to which the deceased daughter of

complainant started residing in her parental house. It

is further stated that on 10.12.2010 at 9.30 a.m., the

relatives of the petitioner by falsely informing that the

petitioner had come to home and convinced the
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daughter of the complainant to come along with them

by assuring her that they will look after her well took

her and on the same day at about 4.00 p.m. the

complainant heard the news that her daughter had

committed suicide and on going to the place of incident,

she presumed that the accused have committed the

murder of her daughter, gave the complaint against all

the accused and the same was registered in

Cr.No.136/2010 of respondent-police station. It is

submitted that after investigation it revealed that on

10.12.2010 at 11.30 a.m. the deceased Krithika locked

herself in a portion of the rented house and committed

suicide by setting herself ablaze by pouring kerosene on

her body. Based on the suicide, the charge sheet filed

for the offence under Section 302 of IPC was altered to

Section 306 of IPC. The petitioner was mentally

disturbed due to the incident of losing his loved one,

was not arrested by respondent-police on seeing his

disturbed mental condition and deep depression. The
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petitioner started wondering to religious places all

across the country along with monks for more than 7

years, he could not be traced out by his relatives and he

was presumed to have dead. Very recently in the

month of April-2018 when the relatives of the petitioner

came to know that the petitioner is alive and wandering

like a monk, with the help of police secured the

petitioner who was mentally disturbed and produced

before the Court. Thereafter, the learned V Addl.

Sessions / Special Judge at Kalaburagi released him on

bail in Crl. Misc.No.551/2018 by order dated

28.04.2018.

3. It is further stated that accused No.2 to 6

who were tried for the common allegations of giving

harassment to the deceased were acquitted of all the

charges, since all the prosecution witnesses completely

turned hostile and denied all the suggestions made by

the public prosecutor in their cross examination. The
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copy of the judgment and order acquitting accused No.2

to 6 by learned V Addl. Sessions Judge at Kalaburagi in

S.C.No.267/2015 dated 24.04.2018 is produced

herewith. The petitioner due to deep depression and

mental disturbance due to the death of his wife left for

religious places for more than 7 years and now he is

traced out. Accused No.2 to 6 who were against the

marriage of the petitioner with deceased Krithika who

had given much mental torture and harassment leading

to suicide of wife. All the allegations and evidence on

record are inseparable in nature and other co-accused

already been acquitted by the Sessions Court after

complete trial with no witness supporting the

prosecution case. Therefore, there is no chance of

conviction of the petitioner. In the similar

circumstances, there are ample number of decisions

rendered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and Hon’ble

High Court in which it was held that when evidence on

record are inseparable in nature and co-accused already
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been acquitted, there is no chance of conviction of the

petitioner. Therefore, the entire proceedings pending

against the petitioner in S.C.No.168/2018 on the file of

V Addl. Sessions Judge at Kalaburagi be quashed.

4. Respondent No.2 complainant was served

with notice, but un represented.

5. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner

and learned High Court Government Pleader for the

State.

6. The learned counsel for the petitioner

submitted relying on various decisions of this Court

that accused No.2 to 6 were acquitted after full fledged

trial for the alleged offence under Section 498(A) and

306 of IPC. None of the witnesses have supported the

case of the prosecution. The petitioner-accused No.1

left the rented house and went in search of job and he

was mentally dispersed and recently he has been traced
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out, he is also enlarged on bail. The evidence in the

original case recorded before the Court is inseparable

and the allegations were common against all the

accused including in the petitioner herein. Therefore,

when the accused No.2 to 6 have been already acquitted

on the basis of the evidence produced before the Court,

the petitioner may be extended the benefit of the

acquittal in the main case. There cannot be change in

the quality of the evidence from one produced in the

previous case.

7. Per contra, the learned High Court

Government Pleader submitted that the evidence of PW1

in the case is against accused No.1. Therefore, the

accused No.1 petitioner herein is not entitled to get the

proceedings quashed.

8. It is admitted that the proceedings in

S.C.No.267/15 were initiated against the accused No.1

to 6 and the present petitioner was shown as accused
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No.1 since he was not available for trial the case against

him was split up and subsequently S.C.No.168/2018 is

registered against the petitioner-accused No.1. The

judgment in S.C.No.267/2015 goes to show that the

evidence produced by the prosecution is common

against all the accused. The complainant Smt. Paravati

the mother of the deceased was examined in the said

case as PW1, she being a circumstantial and heresy

witness, she has not stated anything about the alleged

incident. PW2-Jagannath is witness to the spot

panchanama. PW3 – Sachin is younger brother of

deceased and he is also hearsay witness. PW4-Raju is

the brother-in-law of deceased and hearsay witness to

the incident. Similarly, PW5-Ravindra is the father of

deceased and hearsay witness to the incident. PW6-

Nilambika is also hearsay witness. PW7-Baburao is

another witness for the spot panchanama. PW8-

Dasharath he is another hearsay witness. PW9-

Yashwanth, Head Constable forwarded the dead body of
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deceased to the Government Hospital. PW10-

Akkamahadevi, PSI has conducted the part of the

investigation and PW11-Sharanabasaveshwar, Police

Inspector had conducted remaining part of the

investigation and filed charge sheet. The learned

Sessions Judge on appreciating the entire material

placed on record has held that none of the prosecution

witnesses including the very parents of the deceased

Shrutika have supported the prosecution except the

police officials and police officers, whose evidence is not

sufficient to prove the alleged offence against the

accused. He has further observed that absolutely, there

is no cogent and clinching evidence so as to convict

accused for the charges levelled against them.

Therefore, he held that the prosecution has utterly

failed to bring home the guilt of the accused beyond all

reasonable doubts and accordingly the accused were

acquitted of the charges under Sections 498A and 306

R/w 149 of IPC.

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9. The learned counsel for the petitioner herein

submitted that the evidence produced in the said case is

inseparable from the evidence to be produced against

the petitioner. Since the other accused have been

acquitted on the basis of the said evidence, the

petitioner is also entitled for acquittal as the evidence is

inseparable. The learned counsel for the petitioner has

relied on the decision in the case of Central Bureau of

Investigation Vs. Akhilesh Singh, reported in AIR

2005 SC 268 in which the Hon’ble Apex Court has

observed that “Once main accused discharged, single

Judge of High Court justified in holding that no purpose

to be served in further proceeding with case against

respondent.” Accordingly, the proceedings were

quashed against the said accused under Section 482 of

Cr.PC.

10. The learned counsel for the petitioner has

relied on the decision in the case of Iranna
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Sidramappa Chimman V/s The State through Aland

Police Station in Criminal Petition No.200791/2018

dated 20.08.2018. this Court relied on the judgment of

the Hon’ble Apex Court referred Supra and also the

decision in the case of Muneer Ahmed Qureshi,

Muneer @ Gaun Muneer v. State of Karnataka by

Kumarswamy Layout Police (2002 (1) KCCR 1) and

held that “the Court has to apply its mind to ascertain

whether the allegations made against the accused

persons who are already acquitted and the present

petitioner are one and the same and the allegations are

inseparable and indivisible in nature. If the factual

aspects and the evidence has already been appreciated

by the trial Court and acquitted the other co-accused

persons and the said judgment has logically concluded,

in such an eventuality, the Court can extend the benefit

of acquittal even to the absconding accused persons,

against whom a split up charge-sheet has been filed.”

Similarly this Court in the case of Ramanna V/s The
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State through Manna-Ekhelli P.S. in Criminal Petition

No.200021/2015 by order dated 25.03.2015 relying on

the decision in the case of Akhilesh Singh stated supra,

observed in para No.18 as follows.

“The Trial Court has come to a definite
conclusion that the accused persons who have
faced the trial along with the absconding
accused have near committed any offence as
alleged by the prosecution and the prosecution
has failed to prove the guilt of the accused
persons. When such being the case, even in the
absence of the absconding accused, his
innocence has been examined by way of the
evidence led by the prosecution as found by the
learned Sessions Judge, in my opinion, there
should not be any further trial so far as this
petitioner is concerned. Otherwise, it would
amounts to abuse of process of the Court.”

11. In that case this Court held that the learned

Sessions Judge ought to have allowed the application

filed under Section 227 of Cr.PC and accordingly it was

allowed, the accused was discharged and all further
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proceedings were quashed. This Court has taken the

consistent view in other cases namely in the case of

Hassan @ Mohammed Hassan V/s The State of

Karnataka by Police Sub-Inspector in

W.P.No.55102/2017 decided on 14.12.2017 and in the

case of Iqbal V/s State of Karnataka By Women

Police Station, Mangaluru in Criminal Petition

No.4485/2017 decided on 14.11.2017 and further in

the case of Pradeep V/s The State of Karnataka by

PSI, Almel PS in Criminal Revision Petition

No.200005/2015 decided on 21.01.2015. In all these

case, this Court has consistently held that the

prosecution proposed to lead evidence of same

witnesses against the present petitioner have all turned

hostile to the prosecution, it can not be accepted that

the prosecution would get better evidence then one

already lead against other accused persons. Therefore,

the allegations made against the accused particularly

accused who have been already acquitted are
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inseparable compared to the allegations made against

the present petitioner. Further the charges framed by

the trial Court is also inclusive of the allegations made

against the petitioner. The trial Court if at all had tried

this petitioner along with other accused persons

definitely would have ended in acquittal along with

other accused persons. Hence such being the situation

its opined that the trial Court has committed a serious

error in not discharging the accused persons.

12. In the case of Sri Khalid V/s State of

Karnataka, reported in 2012 (3) KCCR 1713, this

Court has held that “Where one accused was acquitted,

subsequently in a separate trial on the same evidence,

co-accused cannot be convicted. No useful purpose

would be served if the case is proceeded against the co-

accused”. Therefore, the proceedings against the

accused is liable to be quashed under Section 482 of

Cr.PC in the interest of justice. Similarly in the case of

Velu @ Kaduvelu V/s State of Karnataka and others,
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reported in 2014 Cr.R. 770 (Kant.), this Court has held

that “when the allegations, evidence on record are in

separable in nature and other co-accused have already

acquitted, merely because this present petitioner has

absconded himself for the trial, at a particular stage of

recording his statement, cannot be a ground to reject the

prayer sought in this petition. When the evidence on

record and the judgment of the Trial Court clearly

discloses that the accused Nos.1 to 6 are actually entitled

for acquittal, because of the absence of A1, the Trial

Court was prevented from recording the judgment of

acquittal against A1, otherwise he would also been

acquitted by the Trial Court itself. There is no chance of

conviction of the present petitioner even if he is secured

and his statement is recorded. In the above said

circumstances, I do not find any strong reasons to reject

the prayer sought in this case”. This Court has again

relied on the decision in the case of Akhilesh Singh

stated supra and the proceedings against the petitioner
17

in the said case were quashed. In view of the above

referred decisions, it is crystal clear that the evidence

produced by the prosecution in SC No.267/2015

against the accused No.2 to 6 is inseparable from the

evidence to be produced against the present petitioner

who did not face trial in the said case. The evidence

recorded in the said case and the evidence to be

recorded against the petitioner in case, he face the trial

would not be sufficient to record conviction against the

petitioner. Therefore in all probability, the petitioner-

accused would be acquitted in the case even after

recording the same evidence. Therefore, it is clear that

the factual aspects and the evidence had already been

appreciated by the trial Court and has acquitted

co-accused persons and the judgment has logically

concluded in a such eventuality, this Court can extend

the benefit of acquittal even to the petitioner who was

absconding during the trial in S.C.No.267/2015. It is

not the case of the prosecution that the judgment in SC
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No.267/2015 has not reached logical conclusion. It is

not the case of the prosecution that the state or the

complaint have preferred any appeal against the

judgment of acquittal passed in SC No.267/2015.

Under these circumstances, I am of the considered

opinion that the entire proceedings pending against the

petitioner in SC No.168/2018 on the file of V Addl.

Sessions Judge, Kalaburagi are liable to be quashed.

Accordingly, I proceed to pass the following…

ORDER
The petition filed under Section 482 of
Cr.P.C. is hereby allowed.

The entire proceedings pending against the
petitioner in S.C.No.168/2018 on the file of V
Addl. Sessions Judge, Kalaburagi in Crime
No.136/2010 of Women Police Station for the
offences punishable under Sections 498A, 306
R/w 149 of IPC are hereby quashed.

Sd/-

JUDGE
SMP

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