Sewa Singh vs The State Of Punjab on 18 July, 2002Equivalent citations: JT 2002 (7) SC 332
Bench: M Shah, B P Singh
1. This appeal is filed against the judgment and order dated 22nd January, 2001 passed by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in criminal appeal no. 498-DB of 1996. By the impugned judgment and order, the High Court has confirmed the conviction recorded by the sessions judge, Hoshiarpur in sessions case no. 18 of 24.7.1995. Sessions trial no. 39 of 18.9.1995 convicting the appellant for the offence punishable under section 302 read with Section 34 IPC and also Sections 201 and 498-A IPC. The High Court gave benefit of doubt to accused No. 2 – Mohinder Kaur (mother-in-law of the deceased) on the ground that the allegations against her with regard to the demand of dowry were vague and that she was not residing with her son.
2. The incident took place on 28th May, 1995 i.e. after eight years of marriage between the appellant – Sewa Singh and the deceased – Mandip Kaur. The High Court relied upon telltale evidence which was to the following effect;
“It has come in the evidence of PW-6 Malkiat Singh, the father of the deceased, that the demands for dowry had primarily been made by Sewa Singh and that she had been maltreated on account of her inability to meet those demands. We are also of the opinion that as the dead body had been recovered from the house of Sewa Singh accused with strangulation marks on the neck, which had led to the death, he was required to give some explanation as to what had happened, the more so, as the burn injuries had been found by the doctor to be post-mortem in the nature. We are, therefore, of the opinion that the involvement of Sewa Singh cannot be doubted.”
3. Considering the aforesaid reasons recorded by the High Court, it cannot be said that the same are in any way illegal or erroneous which call for interference. The aforesaid finding of the High Court is based upon evidence which was brought on record. Further, it has come on record that when the father of the deceased went at their place, he found that the dead body of the deceased was lying in the kitchen and it was in the sitting posture resting in a corner of the kitchen, which was in burnt condition. This would also indicate that after strangulation and burning the deceased, she was kept in the kitchen to make a show that she committed suicide.
4. In this view of the matter, there is no substance in the contention raised by the accused that at the time of incident he had gone to his fields and returned at 5.30 p.m. and on his return he found the dead-body of his wife in a burnt condition lying in the kitchen. That contention is without any basis.
5. In the result, the appeal is dismissed.