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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Sonia vs State Of Haryana And Ors on 4 April, 2019

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

Sr. No.207

CRM-A No.836-MA of 2018
Date of decision : 4.4.2019

Sonia ….. Applicant

VERSUS
State of Haryana and others ….. Respondents

CORAM: HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE DAYA CHAUDHARY
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SUDHIR MITTAL

Present: Mr. R.S. Randhawa, Advocate, for the applicant.

*****
SUDHIR MITTAL, J.

The complainant has sought leave to appeal against judgment

dated 8.1.2018, passed by Special Judge-cum-Addl. Sessions Judge, Rohtak,

on account of the acquittal of the accused of offences under Sections 406

and 376 IPC.

The complainant got married with Sunil @ Sonu son of Umed

Singh @ Pappu on 8.12.2015 in accordance with Hindu rites and

ceremonies. Allegedly, adequate dowry was given at the time of marriage.

In addition, a motor cycle and a sum of Rs.4 lacs in cash were also given.

After about 20 days of the marriage, the family members of the husband

started taunting her for not bringing adequate dowry. Her husband was

indifferent to her and performed unnatural sex with her. He was also in an

illicit relationship with another woman. Allegation of outraging of modesty

was made against Umed Singh @ Pappu (father-in-law) and of rape was

made against Manish (brother-in-law). A complaint dated 15.5.2016, was

submitted before the police resulting in registration of an FIR under Sections

323, 354, 498-A, 406, 376, 377, 506, 34 IPC. Complainant’s statement

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under Section 164 Cr.P.C. was recorded on 25.5.2016, whereafter, Section

376 IPC, was added against accused Manish (brother-in-law).

Vide judgment under challenge, the trial Court convicted the

accused persons under Sections 498, 323 read with Section 34 IPC. The

accused-Manish was acquitted of the offence under Section 376 IPC and

accused Umed Singh @ Pappu (father-in-law) was acquitted of the offence

under Section 354 IPC. All the accused were acquitted of offences under

Sections 406 and 506 IPC.

Learned counsel for the applicant presses his application for

leave to appeal only qua offences under Sections 376 and 406 IPC. His

submission is that the complainant while appearing as PW-2 specifically

stated that Manish (brother-in-law) raped her. Dr. Patibha, who appeared as

PW-10 has also opined that sexual assault cannot be ruled out and thus, the

trial Court has committed an error in acquitting accused-Manish (brother-in-

law) of the offence under Section 376 IPC. It has further been argued that

the complainant appearing as PW-2, her brother appearing as PW-7 and her

mother appearing as PW-12, have all stated that the istridhan was not

returned despite demand and thus, judgment of acquittal recorded for the

offence under Section 406 IPC, is also not sustainable in law.

The law regarding interference with a judgment of acquittal is

well settled. Although, the appellate Court can re-appreciate and re-evaluate

the entire evidence on record while examining the judgment of acquittal, it

would not interfere with the same unless there are strong and compelling

circumstances for doing so. The reason is that there is a presumption of

innocence in favour of the accused, which is bolstered on recording a finding

of acquittal. Thus, appellate Court would interfere with judgment of

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acquittal only if material evidence has been overlooked, inadmissible

evidence has been taken into consideration or if on appreciation of evidence

it appears that a view has been taken, which could not be taken by any

ordinary person.

While acquitting accused-Manish (brother-in-law), the trial

Court has given cogent reasons. It has found on the basis of evidence on

record that the allegation of rape appears to be doubtful. This is so because

the complainant alleged that rape was committed in January, 2016, but the

first complaint made to the police was dated 15.5.2016. The information of

the incident was not even confided with her brother and mother. The brother

and mother, while getting their statements recorded under Section 161

Cr.P.C. did not say anything regarding rape having been committed by

accused-Manish (brother-in-law). Even the stand of the complainant has

been found to be inconsistent. Based on the evidence on record, the trial

Court has taken a possible view and there is no scope for interference

therewith in this appeal.

Similarly, while acquitting the accused persons of the offence

under Section 406 IPC, the trial Court has relied upon the law on the subject.

It has held that neither the complainant nor her family members have

deposed regarding which dowry articles were entrusted to which accused

persons nor when the complainant ask for the return thereof. Thus, if there

was no evidence of entrustment or demand of return, there can be no

conviction for the offence of mis-appropriation. Learned counsel for the

applicant has not been able to point out that the evidence on record in this

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regard has been misread or that admissible evidence to prove the fact has

been omitted to be read.

Accordingly, there is no scope for interference as prayed for by

the applicant. The application seeking leave to appeal is accordingly,

dismissed.

(DAYA CHAUDHARY) (SUDHIR MITTAL)
JUDGE JUDGE

4.4.2019
Ramandeep Singh

Whether speaking / reasoned Yes / No
Whether Reportable Yes/ No

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