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Sri. Vishwanatha vs State Of Karnataka on 19 February, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU

DATED THIS THE 19TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2019

BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE JOHN MICHAEL CUNHA

CRIMINAL PETITION No.8623 OF 2016

BETWEEN:
1. Sri. Vishwanatha,
S/o. Krishnappa,
Aged about 32 years,
R/at 2nd Cross Road,
Jayanagar,
Hassan Town – 34.

2. Smt. Chandana B.R. @ Kavya,
W/o. Vishwanatha,
Aged about 28 years,
R/at 2nd Cross Road,
Jayanagar,
Hassan Town – 34. …Petitioners

(By Sri. Pratheep K.C., Advocate)

AND:

1. State of Karnataka,
Represented by the
Pension Mohalla Police Station,
Hassan District – 573 201.

2. Shesamma,
W/o. Lukshman J.B.,
Aged about 45 years,
Guthi, Banakal Hobli,
2

Mudigere Taluk,
Chikkamagalur District – 18. …Respondents

(By Sri. Nasrulla Khan, HCGP for R1;
Sri. Sudharshan L., Advocate for R2)

This Criminal Petition is filed under Section 482 of
Cr.P.C. praying to quash the entire proceedings in
C.C.No.5407/2016 on the file of II Addl. Civil Judge JMFC
at Hassan in so far as petitioners are concerned.

This Criminal petition coming on for Admission, this
day, the Court made the following:

ORDER

Petitioners are arrayed as accused Nos.4 and 5 in

C.C.No.5407/2016 registered for the offences punishable

under Sections 498A, 504, 323, 304B r/w 149 of IPC and

Sections 3, 4 and 6 of Dowry Prohibition Act.

2. Petitioner No.1 is the brother-in-law and

petitioner No.2 is the co-sister of the deceased Akshitha.

The marriage of the deceased was performed with accused

No.1 on 14.04.2016. On 22.05.2016 the deceased

committed suicide by hanging in the matrimonial home.

The father of the deceased lodged a complaint before

respondent No.1-police on 23.05.2016. In the complaint
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he alleged that after marriage, his daughter and accused

persons were living cordially. He specifically stated in the

complaint that on account of some personal reasons the

deceased committed suicide. In the said complaint, he did

not even remotely mention about any ill-treatment meted

out to the deceased in the matrimonial home either by the

petitioners or by any other accused either in connection

with dowry or for any reasons. However, in the course of

investigation, the Investigating Officer recorded the further

statement of the complainant and other witnesses. Charge-

sheet has been laid against the petitioners herein as well as

three other accused persons alleging that at the time of

marriage, there was a demand for 250 grams of gold and a

bike and cash of Rs.5,00,000/-. Out of which, on the date

of the engagement, cash of Rs.2,00,000/- and 20 gram

gold necklace and 26 grams bangles were given to the

accused. Inspite of that, the accused persons ill-treated

and harassed the deceased demanding additional dowry of

Rs.3,00,000/- and 50 grams of gold. It is further stated

that on account of her failure to satisfy the demand, the
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accused Nos.1, 2 and 3 assaulted her with hands and

kicked her with legs and being unable to bear this cruelty

and illegal demands made by the accused persons, the

deceased committed suicide by hanging.

3. The learned counsel for the petitioners submit

that the allegations of dowry demand and cruelty are

purely an after thought. No material has been collected by

the prosecution in support of these accusations, except the

self serving statements of the complainant and the other

witnesses. The very fact that, the complainant and the

said witnesses did not make out any allegations about the

dowry demand or assault on the date of the incident or

immediately thereafter, itself would indicate that these

allegations are motivated to implicate all the members of

the family out of spite and malice and therefore, the

proceedings are liable to be quashed.

4. Refuting the aforesaid submissions, the learned

counsel for respondent No.2 submits that the evidence

collected by the prosecution prima-facie constitute the
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offences alleged in the charge-sheet. Merely on account of

failure of the complainant to narrate the incident in the

complaint cannot be a reason to quash the proceedings,

especially when the investigation is completed and charge-

sheet is laid against the petitioners. The learned counsel

submits that the charge-sheet having been laid against the

petitioners in view of the prima-facie materials collected in

proof of the overt-acts committed by the petitioners, it is

proper for the petitioners to seek for their discharge before

the trial Court, rather than seeking to quash the said

proceedings under Section 482 of Cr.P.C.

5. On considering the submissions and on going

through the charge-sheet, it is pertinent to note that the

marriage of the deceased and accused No.1 was performed

just one month earlier to the incident. In the complaint

lodged by her father, he has specifically alleged that after

marriage the deceased was living cordially with accused

persons. If, in fact, there was any instance of cruelty or

dowry demand as narrated in the charge sheet, the
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complainant would not have forgotten to mention these

aspects in the complaint, especially when death had taken

place within one-and-a-half month from the date of the

marriage of the deceased. It is also significant to note that

in the charge-sheet it is alleged that the deceased was

assaulted and kicked by accused Nos.1 to 3, immediately,

before the incident in question and the same was witnessed

by the neighbours. If so, the incident certainly would have

been reported to the complainant and same would have

find a place in the complaint. On the other hand, the

complainant did not even remotely mention about any

injuries on the body of the deceased. Even the post-

mortem report does not disclose the presence of any

external injuries on the deceased, except, the ligature

mark around the neck of the deceased.

6. From the above circumstances, it is clear that

the allegations of assault and cruelty leveled against the

petitioners are purely an after thought. Even assuming for

the sake of argument that there was such an assault on the
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deceased, which according to the prosecution was the

immediate provocation for the deceased to commit suicide,

the petitioners herein cannot be held responsible for the

said incident. There are no allegation whatsoever in so far

as the petitioners herein are concerned that on the date of

the incident or prior to that, the petitioners herein either

assaulted or abused the deceased. General allegations are

made in the charge sheet that all the accused persons

demanded additional dowry from the deceased and on

account of her failure to satisfy the said demand, she was

subjected to ill-treatment and harassment by the accused.

The complainant did not aver any specific instance of such

cruelty in the complaint. Even in the charge-sheet and

other materials produced along with the charge-sheet, no

material is produced in proof of the specific instance of

such cruelty or dowry demand by the petitioners. On the

other hand, in the charge-sheet it is stated that the amount

was paid into the hands of accused No.1. Therefore, even

the said allegation cannot be related to the petitioners

herein.

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7. Having regard to the general allegations made

against the petitioners and in view of the facts and

circumstances discussed above, in my view, prosecution of

the petitioners for the above offences is only illegal and an

abuse of process of Court and therefore, it cannot be

allowed to continue. The allegations made in the complaint

even if accepted as true, in my view, do not make out any

of the offences against the petitioners. The material on

record do not indicate that the petitioners herein have

given any provocation to the deceased to commit suicide.

Hence, the prosecution of the petitioners would be baseless

and if allowed to continue would work out as a tool of

harassment and an abuse of process of Court.

Resultantly, the petition is allowed. Proceedings in

C.C.No.5407/2016 pending on the file of the II Addl. Civil

Judge JMFC, Hassan, are quashed only in so far as the

petitioners herein/accused Nos.4 and 5 are concerned.

Sd/-

JUDGE
SV

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