HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
S.B. CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.78/1994
1. Satya Prakash S/o Jagat Singh
2. Jagat Singh S/o Bansi Singh
3. Om Prakash S/o Jagat Singh
4. Smt. Susma W/o Om Prakash
All by caste Tyagi, resident of Atrada (UP)
State Of Rajasthan
For Petitioner(s) : Mr. Kuldeep Sharma for Mr. S.K. Verma
For Respondent(s) : Mr. L.R. Upadhyay, Public Prosecutor
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RAMCHANDRA SINGH JHALA
Heard learned counsel for the parties on the application
for early hearing.
For the reasons stated in the application No.191/18 for
early hearing, the application is allowed.
With the consent of learned counsel for the parties, the
matter is heard finally on merit.
The present appeal has been filed by the appellants
against the judgment dated 4.2.1994 passed by learned Additional
Sessions Judge, Barmer in Sessions Case No.24/92 whereby the
appellants have been convicted under Section 498A I.P.C. and
sentenced them to undergo 2 years R.I. and to pay a fine of
(2 of 5)
Rs.2000/- each and in default of payment of fine to further
undergo simple imprisonment for six months.
Brief facts of the case are that on 2.2.1992 an FIR was
lodged by the Assistant Railway Station Master, Barmer in Police
Station Kotwali, Barmer wherein it is stated that a lady has been
cut by throwing herself in front of Rail No.4891 Down Barmer
Jodhpur Express in between Railway Station Utter Rail and
Barmer. On this information an FIR No.3/92 was recorded and
proceedings under Section 174 Cr.P.C. were initiated. In the initial
investigation, it was found that deceased Suman, who was
married with Satya Prakash and her father Saheb Lal submitted a
complaint in the Court of Munsif and Judicial Magistrate, Barmer
against all the four appellants for the offence under Sections 302,
306, 498A and 120B I.P.C. The said complaint was sent to the
Police Station for the registration of case under Section 156(3)
Cr.P.C. and a regular FIR No.39/1992 was recorded on 18.2.1992.
After due investigation, all the four appellants were
arrested and challan was filed by the police for the offences under
Sections 302, 306, 498A and 120B I.P.C. During the trial before
the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Barmer the prosecution
produced 18 witnesses in all and three witnesses were produced
on behalf of the defence.
After hearing both the parties, the learned trial court
acquitted the appellants for the offences punishable under
Sections 120B or 302 or 306 I.P.C., but learned trial court vide
impugned judgment and order dated 4.2.1994 convicted all the
appellants for the offence punishable under Section 498A I.P.C.
(3 of 5)
and sentenced them to undergo 2 years rigorous imprisonment
with fine of Rs.2000/- each and in default of payment of fine
further to undergo six months’ simple imprisonment.
The appellants being aggrieved with the aforesaid
judgment of learned trial court have preferred the present appeal.
Learned counsel for the appellants has contended that
the learned trial court has committed an error of law and facts in
believing the prosecution evidence in respect of cruelty and
holding the appellants guilty for the offence punishable under
Section 498A I.P.C.
It is also contended that all the allegations of cruelty
was alleged to have been taken place in Atrada and Behuti (U.P.)
and the Court at Barmer has no jurisdiction to try this offence
It is further contended that the evidence led by the
prosecution in this case was most unreliable and cannot be relied
upon. The learned trial court has committed an error of law and
fact in believing the letters produced by the prosecution. It was
not established that these letters were written by the deceased.
The hand writing of the deceased was not identified by the
prosecution during the trial.
In view of above arguments, learned counsel for the
appellants has prayed that the present criminal appeal may kindly
be allowed and the impugned judgment dated 4.2.1994 may
kindly be set aside and the appellants may kindly be acquitted
from the aforesaid offences.
(4 of 5)
In the alternative, learned counsel for the appellants
has prayed that if this Court finds that the learned trial court has
rightly convicted the appellants for the offence punishable under
Section 498A I.P.C., then their sentence may be reduced to
already undergone as the incident was occurred on 2.2.1992 and
it will not be justified to send the appellants behind the bars after
a long period of 26 years. The appellants have already remained
in judicial custody for about 22 months.
On the other hand, learned Public Prosecutor has
supported the impugned judgment and contended that no error
has been committed by the learned trial court while convicting the
appellants for the aforesaid offence and the trial court has rightly
passed the impugned judgment while appreciating all the material
available on record.
The State of Rajasthan has neither opposed nor
challenged the order of acquittal passed by the trial court to the
appellants for the offences punishable under Sections 302, 306
and 120B I.P.C.
I have scanned the judgment in the light of arguments
advanced and material available on record.
Adverting to quantum of sentence, it is important to
observe that the offence is said to have been committed about 26
years ago and admittedly the accused-appellant No.1 Satya
Prakash has remained in judicial custody for 28 days and 20
months, the accused-appellant No.3 Om Prakash and No.4 Smt.
Susma have remained in judicial custody for 18 days and 18
months, sentence awarded to the accused-appellants is only two
(5 of 5)
years with fine, both the parties are relatives. As per the record,
the accused-appellant No.1 Satya Prakash has remained in judicial
custody for 20 months and 28 days, the accused-appellants No.3
Om Prakash and No.4 Smt. Susma have remained in judicial
custody for 18 months and 18 days. The facts and circumstances
pleaded by the learned counsel for the appellants and mentioned
above are sufficient to observe that justice would be served if
sentence is reduced to the sentence already undergone by the
accused-appellants in the judicial custody.
In the result, the appeal is partly allowed. The
sentence is reduced to the period of custody already undergone by
the accused-appellants. The conviction recorded against the
accused-appellants Satya Prakash, Om Prakash and Smt. Susma
under Section 498A is maintained, however, the sentence of two
years awarded to the accused-appellants Satya Prakash, Om
Prakash and Smt. Susma for the offence under Section 498A is
reduced to the period of custody already undergone by them.
Since the appellant No.2 Jagat Singh has died, the
appeal on behalf of him has already been dismissed as abated by
this Court on 23.9.2016.
( RAMCHANDRA SINGH JHALA), J.