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Srinivasan vs State Represented By on 18 December, 2018

1
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED: 18.12.2018

CORAM

THE HON’BLE Mr.JUSTICE M. DHANDAPANI

Crl.A.No.87 of 2008

Srinivasan … Appellant

Versus

State Represented by
Inspector of Police,
Central Police Station,
Coimbatore.
Crime No.27 of 2006 … Respondent

PRAYER: Criminal Appeal filed under Section 374 (2) of the Code of
Criminal Procedure against the Judgment dated 11.01.2008 passed in
S.C.No.280 of 2006 by the learned District Judge, Mahila Court,
Coimbatore.

For Appellant … Mr.H.Maruthiraj
Legal Aid Counsel

For Respondent … Mr.R.Ravichandran,
Government Advocate (Crl. Side)

ORDER

This Criminal Appeal has been filed by the Appellant – sole

accused in S.C.No.280 of 2006 on the file of the learned District Judge,

Mahila Court, Coimbatore.

2.Brief facts of the prosecution case are as follows:

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The accused and the deceased Umamaheswari are the husband

and wife. This is the second marriage for the deceased and earlier, she

married and got divorced. P.Ws.1 2 are parents of the deceased.

P.W.5 is the sister and P.Ws.9 10 are brothers of the deceased. After

marriage, the accused and the deceased were residing in a separate

house, at Coimbatore. Marriage of the accused and the deceased was

arranged by the parents of their respective family and it was

performed at family temple of the deceased, viz., Angala

Parameshwari Amman Temple. At the time of marriage, P.Ws.1 2

gave 30 sovereigns gold jewels and Rs.3,00,000/- as sridhana.

Initially, they started their matrimonial life in Pollachi. Immediately

after marriage, appellant demanded huge money from the deceased in

order to develop his business. Due to intolerable torture from the

appellant, the deceased gave 20 Sovereigns gold jewels and paid

Rs.2,20,000/- to him. Further, she kept the balance amount of

Rs.92,000/- for her delivery expenses, since, the deceased was

pregnant at the time of occurrence. However, on 18.01.2006, the

appellant left the deceased in her parents house and demanded some

amount to take lease of one house in Pollachi. But, the deceased

denied to give the amount and informed that she need the balance

amount for her delivery purpose. The appellant threatened the

deceased that he will murder her. Again on 19.01.2006, appellant

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came to P.W.1’s house and attacked the deceased. Hence, P.W.1

taken the deceased to the hospital in Pollachi, there, the deceased was

admitted as in-patient for two days. In hospital also, the appellant

demanded money and attacked the deceased. Further, on

20.02.2006, he voluntarily discharged the deceased from hospital and

taken the deceased along with him to his house at Coimbatore, by

leaving the parents of the deceased in hospital itself. Thereafter, on

21.02.2006, at around 12.30 pm, parents of the deceased received the

information through phone, that her daughter committed suicide by

hanging herself.

3.Immediately, P.Ws.1 and 2 rushed to the place of occurrence

and thereafter approached the respondent police and lodged a

complaint on 21.02.2006. P.W.12, Medical Officer, attached with

Government Hospital, Coimbatore, who conducted post mortem and

issued post mortem certificate, marked as Ex.P.9, reveals that the

deceased died due to hanging herself. However, it is declared that the

deceased had some external injuries all over the body.

4.Initially, P.W.15, the Sub-Inspector of Police received a

complaint, Ex.P.1, from P.W.1 and registered a case in Crime No.27 of

2006 under Section 304B IPC and she forwarded the FIR, Ex.P.13 to

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the Revenue Division Officer and other higher officials in Police

Department. Further, the Investigating Officer took up the case for

investigation, went to the place of occurrence and prepared an

Observation Mahazar (Ex.P.2), Seizer Mahazar (Ex.P.3), Rough Sketch

(Ex.P.14) and M.O’s.1 and 2. He also conducted inquest over the dead

body of the deceased in the presence of the witnesses and issued

inquest report (Ex.P.11). After examining the Medical Officer and

other witnesses, the Investigating Officer has laid final report against

the accused for the offences under Section 498A and 304B IPC.

5.On the basis of the above materials, the trial Court framed

charges for the offences under Section 498A and 304B IPC against the

accused.

6.In order to prove the charges, on the side of the prosecution,

P.Ws.1 to 16 were examined; Exs.P.1 to 15 were marked; M.O’s.1 and

2 were marked and on the side of the defence D.W’s.1 to 6 were

examined and Exs.D.1 to 18 were marked.

7.When the trial Court examined the accused under Section

313 Cr.P.C, in respect of the incriminating evidences available against

him, he denied his complicity in the crime and pleaded innocence.

However, the defence counsel has made a submission that the

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deceased committed suicide, since, there was a loss in the business

run by her. Further, the accused/appellant is in no way connected to

the suicide committed by the deceased. Further, the defence counsel

strongly denied the allegations made in the suicidal note, wrote by the

deceased, before committing suicide.

8.The trial Court after considering the oral and documentary

evidence, has found the accused guilty under Section 498A IPC and

accordingly convicted the accused under Section 498A IPC and

sentenced him to undergo three years Rigorous Imprisonment with

fine of Rs.5,000/- in default to undergo three months Rigorous

Imprisonment. The trial Court however, has not convicted the accused

for offence under Section 304B I.P.C.

9.Challenging the said conviction and sentence, the

appellant/accused has come up with this appeal.

10.Heard the learned counsel for the appellant and the learned

Government Advocate (Criminal Side) appearing for the respondent.

11.The learned counsel appearing for the appellant/accused

would contend that there is no material whatsoever available on record

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to prove the charges under Section 498A against the accused. Ex.P.1

is totally contradictory to the evidences of P.Ws.1, 2, 5, 9 and 10.

Admittedly, the deceased committed suicide by hanging herself in her

husband’s house. In the absence of any cruelty or coercion,

implicating the accused under Section 498A is an unlawful act.

However, the trial Court erred in believing the witnesses and

convicting the accused under Section 498A. Hence, he prayed for

acquittal of the accused.

12.Per contra, the learned Government Advocate (Criminal

Side) would submit that P.Ws.1 and 2, parents of the deceased have

clearly spoken about the quarrel and harassment made by the

accused/appellant against the deceased and clearly deposed that the

accused/appellant harassed the deceased by demanding money for the

purpose to lease out an house in Pollachi, which lead the deceased to

commit suicide. Further, the deceased was 8 months pregnant at the

time of suicide. Hence, the Judgment of the trial Court need not be

interfered.

13.In the light of the above submissions, now, it has to be

analyzed, whether the prosecution has proved the guilt of the accused

beyond all reasonable doubt ?.

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14.The evidence of P.W.1, father of the deceased clearly

indicate that the deceased was residing initially at Coimbatore,

thereafter, they shifted their residence in Pollachi. At the time first

marriage, 30 sovereigns of gold jewels and Rs.3 lakhs were given to

the deceased as sridhana. Thereafter, the said marriage was dissolved

and the sridhana amount was collected from the first husband of the

deceased and thereafter, the said 30 sovereigns of gold and Rs.3 lakhs

were used for the second marriage of the deceased. After, the said

marriage was performed at the family temple of P.W’s.1 and 2, the

appellant/accused demanded huge sum of money from the deceased

and accordingly, received Rs.2,20,000/- and 20 sovereigns of gold

jewels from the deceased for the purpose of leasing out the house and

for his business development. Though, the first child was born and

died, the deceased was pregnant at the time of occurrence and due to

the torture of the appellant/accused, P.Ws.1 and 2 admitted the

deceased in hospital. However, by force, the appellant discharged the

deceased and brought her along with him to Coimbatore.

Immediately, on the next day, i.e., on 21.02.2006, the parents of the

deceased received the information that her daughter passed away, by

hanging herself in her husband’s house.

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15.Further, the evidence of prosecution witnesses, would

clearly corroborate with each other and in fact P.W.5, in her evidence

has clearly spoken about the cruelty leveled against the deceased.

P.Ws.9 and 10, who are the brothers of the deceased and also

partners in the business of the accused/appellant have clearly deposed

that they were stayed at the deceased house for few months and at

that time, the appellant continuously tortured the deceased for want of

money.

16.Admittedly, prior to the commission of suicide, the deceased

was admitted in Thirumalai hospital by her parents. In hospital also

the appellant attacked the deceased and voluntarily discharged her

from hospital and taken her to Coimbatore. On the very next day, the

appellant informed that the deceased committed suicide by hanging

herself.

17.On perusal of P.Ws.1 and 2 evidence, who were present at

the hospital, even when they refused to discharge the deceased from

hospital, the appellant, by force, discharged the deceased from

Thirumalai hospital and taken her along with him.

18.Per contra, on perusal of the defence evidences, all the

witnesses have spoken about the business run by the deceased and its

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loss. However, no witness can able to point out the defence theory,

that the business run by the deceased went into loss. Moreover,

because of the business loss, the deceased committed suicide, is not

reliable. However, no document is available to prove the defence

theory and all the evidences produced by the defence side, indicates

only the business run by the deceased along with D.W.5 and other

documents are registration of Certificate, un-registered partnership

between the deceased and D.W.5. Further, some medical records are

available in respect of the deceased. However, based on the same,

this Court cannot come to the conclusion, that the deceased

committed suicide due to business loss. P.Ws.1, 2, 5, 9 and 10 clearly

corroborates each other and P.Ws.14 and 16 also endorse the

evidence of the parents of the deceased.

19.Though, there is a suicide note available in this case, the

same was sent for expert opinion and it reveals that the signature

contained in the suicidal note is of the signature of the deceased.

However, the trial Court not believed the suicide note and arrived at a

conclusion with the evidences of P.Ws.1 and 2 and implicating the

accused in the above said crime. Yet another information available in

the suicide note is that the appellant/accused had illegal intimacy with

one Kokila.

20.Thus, I am of the considered view, that the prosecution has

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proved the case beyond all reasonable doubt and the Judgment of the

trial Court need not be interfered with. Further, the prosecution

witnesses viz., P.Ws.1 and 2 clearly corroborated with each other and

proved the prosecution case.

21.In the result, the Criminal Appeal stands dismissed.

Judgment dated 11.01.2008 passed in S.C.No.280 of 2006 by the

learned District Judge, Mahila Court, Coimbatore, is hereby confirmed.

The trial Court is directed to secure the presence of the

accused/appellant to undergo the remaining period of sentence, if any.

18.12.2018
Jer

Index : Yes / No
Internet : Yes / No
Speaking/Non-Speaking orders

To

1.The District Judge,
Mahila Court, Coimbatore.

2.The Public Prosecutor
High Court of Madras.

3.The Section Officer
Criminal Side, High Court of Madras.

4.The Inspector of Police,

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Central Police Station,
Coimbatore.

M. DHANDAPANI. J,

Jer

Crl.A.No.87 of 2008

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18.12.2018

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