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State By Public Prosecutor, -vs- Mittalal Nahar, Prakash Bai And on 4 February, 2002

Madras High Court State By Public Prosecutor, -vs- Mittalal Nahar, Prakash Bai And on 4 February, 2002
Equivalent citations:I (2003) DMC 323
Author: M Karpagavinayagam
Bench: M Karpagavinayagam

JUDGMENT

M. Karpagavinayagam, J.

1. The State through the Public Prosecutor on behalf of the Inspector of Police, C.B., C.I.D., Chengleput Division, has filed this appeal challenging the judgment of acquittal in favour of the respondents 1 to 3 (A1 to A3) in respect of the charges framed for the offences under Sections 120B, 304B, 306 and 498A I.P.C. against all the three accused, under Sections 203 and 417 I.P.C. against the first accused and under Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against the accused 1 and

2.

2. The case of the prosecution is this:

“On 21.3.1987, one Prabhat Kumari, the deceased, the wife of Gowtham Chand (A3) committed suicide by hanging from the rod of the ceiling fan in a room on the first floor of the house belonging to the respondents/accused 1 to 3. The bolt of the door of the said room which was locked from inside was broken by the accused persons and others by applying the physical force and untied the rope and put the dead body on the cot. The reason of the death of the deceased was informed as the deceased died due to heart attack. On the complaint of the father of the deceased (P.W.1), the case was registered on 20.4.1987. On the orders of the High Court on the petition filed on behalf of the parents of the deceased, the investigation was taken over by C.B., C.I.D. After finishing the investigation, the charge sheet was filed against all the respondents(A1 to A3) for the offences referred to above.

3. During the course of trial, P.W.1 to P.W.26 were examined, Exs.P1 to P17 were marked. On the side of the defence, Exs.D1 to D3 were marked. Ultimately, the case ended in acquittal. Challenging the same, the State has filed this appeal. Besides this, P.W.1 also has separately filed a revision before this Court.

4. While challenging the said judgment, Mr. S. Jayakumar, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor, appearing for the State would contend that the trial Court has overlooked the material evidence available on record as well as ignored the basic principles in regard to appreciation of evidence and thereby acquitted the accused by giving importance to the insignificant aspects and consequently, the case ended in acquittal, which caused grave miscarriage of justice.

5. This contention is supported by the counsel for the petitioner in the revision against acquittal.

6. Mr. A. Natarajan, the learned counsel appearing for the respondents/accused would elaborately submit that the reasons for the acquittal are justified and the materials would not be sufficient to hold the respondents guilty of the charges and as such, this is not a case for interference, especially in view of the scope of the appellate powers in the matter dealing against the judgment of acquittal.

7. I have carefully considered the rival contentions.

8. It is settled law, as laid down by the Supreme Court in NARINDER SINGH v. STATE OF PUNJAB , that the High Court in an appeal against the judgment of acquittal should not interfere merely because it feels that it would as a trial Court have taken a different view. The High Court will certainly interfere if it finds that the judgment of acquittal is manifestly erroneous and that the trial Court has acted with material irregularity or its appreciation of evidence lacks coherence or it has made assumptions which are unwarranted or its evaluation of evidence is such as to shock the sense of justice and which has led to miscarriage of justice or its reasoning is unintelligible or defies logic or its conclusions are against the weight of the evidence.

9. In other words, ordinarily, the High Court would give due importance to the opinion of the Sessions Judge if the same were arrived at after proper appreciation of the evidence. This rule will not be applicable where the Sessions Judge has made an absolutely wrong assumption of a very material and clinching aspect in the circumstance of the case.

10. Thus, it is clear that if the findings or reasonings given by the trial Court are palpably wrong and clearly perverse, then this Court would certainly set right the injustice committed by the trial Court by re-appreciating the evidence available on record.

11. In the light of the above principles, we have to see the reasonings given by the trial Court for acquitting the accused in order to find out whether they are correct or not.

12. Before dealing with the same, it would be worthwhile to refer to the various facts, which led to the acquittal. Let us refer to them at the outset:

(1) P.W.1 Lakpath Raj staying along with his wife P.W.8 and children is doing business at Hassan in Karnataka State. He has got three sons and three daughters. Prabhat Kumari, the deceased is the eldest daughter aged about 20 years. They originally hail from Rajasthan State. In January 1985, they went to Checkpettia in Rajasthan to attend the marriage function of one Yeesula, who is related to P.W.8, the wife of P.W.1. The accused 1 and 2 are the husband and wife residing in Kanchipuram. They also hail from Rajasthan. A3 is their son. A1 to A3 came to Checkpettia in order to attend the very same function. After the function was over, a proposal was mooted to give Prabhat Kumari, the deceased in marriage to A3. When the talks were going in the presence of elders in Checkpettia, the accused persons demanded 8 kilos of silver, 3/4 kilo of gold and a cash of Rs.75,000/- as Sridhana. P.W.1 was prepared to give 1/2 kilo gold, 6 kilos silver and a cash of Rs.55,000/-. This was agreed upon by the parties. The betrothal was held. On that day, the jewels as well as one portion of cash were given. On 14.12.1985, the marriage was held in a Kalyana Mandapam at Hassan attended by the relatives of both the families. On that day, the balance amount of cash was given to A1. Apart from that, several other jewels and household articles were given at the time of marriage. After the marriage was over, P.W.1 gave Rs.1,500/- towards the rent charges for the hotels where the relatives of the accused stayed. The accused demanded another Rs.1,500/- to be paid to the other hotels where some more relatives stayed. But, P.W.1 did not accept to give the said amount. The accused family having aggrieved over the same, however went back to Kanchipuram along with the bride.

(2) After a few days, i.e. on 20.12.1985, P.W.4 Sajanraj, son of P.W.1, P.W.17 Dineshkumar along with other relatives went to the house of the accused in order to take the deceased to their house at Hassan for celebrating other connected functions. At that juncture, the first accused wanted Rs.10,000/-. P.W.4 contacted P.W.1 through phone and informed this. As directed by him, P.W.4 obtained Rs.10,000/- as loan from P.W.21 Manikchand, brother of the first accused and handed over the same to the first accused. Only thereafter, the deceased was allowed to go to her parent’s house accompanied by P.W.4.

(3) The deceased was staying for 10 days in P.w.1’s house attending other functions. A3 also came to the house of P.W.1. Then, after finishing other functions, P.W.1 sent both of them to the house at Kanchipuram. Three months later, i.e. on 26.3.1986, the deceased Prabhat Kumari phoned to P.W.1 and told him that she was ill-treated by the accused in their house and she was compelled to do all the household works treating her as a Servant-maid and that A1 sold her Ottiyanam weighing about 150 grams. Thereafter, the deceased sent a letter (Ex.P1) to P.W.1. Within a few days, both A3 and deceased came to attend a function at Bangalore and then came to Hassan. She told P.W.1 that the accused complained that the bangles that she was wearing are the old pattern and so, they should be remodelled. Accordingly, the four bangles worn by the deceased were handed over to the Goldsmith P.W.3 and the same was remodelled and then they were handed over to the deceased. In the month of September, the deceased got conceived. Therefore, P.W.1 sent P.W.4 to bring the deceased to Hassan. The accused persons sarcastically remarked that how could P.W.1 incur the delivery expenses when he was not even able to pay the rental charges for the hotels at the time of marriage. Ultimately, they refused to send the deceased with P.W.4. On Deepavali day, the deceased gave birth to a female child. Therefore, P.W.4 and P.W.8 went to Kanchipuram to see the child. At that point of time, the accused demanded Rs.50,000/-, since they had spent money towards the hospital charges for delivery. P.W.8, in turn, told them that they would not give any money as they were not allowed to take the deceased for delivery to Hassan. Though the wife and child were not allowed to accompany P.W.8 to Hassan on 28.1.1987, some time later, the wife and child were sent. On 14.2.1987, A3 came to Hassan and asked P.W.1 to send his daughter and granddaughter with him. He also demanded Rs.50,000/- towards the expenses for delivery. He also intimidated that unless the amount is given, they would not treat the deceased properly. The deceased also told the witnesses about the ill-treatment suffered at the hands of the accused. However, A3 was pacified and the wife and child were sent along with him. 15 days later, P.W.1 received the phone call from the deceased requesting him to send Rs.50,000/- as quickly as possible, since she was being cruelly treated by the accused persons. Then, P.W.1 said that he would try to mobilise the fund and send the same.

(4) P.W.10 Santhi was working as a Servant-maid in the house of the accused at the relevant period. P.W.14 Jagadeesan is a Tailor who used to come to the house of the accused and stitch the clothes in the house itself. On 21.3.1987 at about 2.30 P.M., P.W.14 was stitching in the sewing machine, P.W.10 servant-maid came to the house. At that point of time, one Kutty (P.W.22), the daughter of A1 cried saying “save, save”

(. …..) and rushing down from the upstairs. Then, P.W.10 and P.W.14 enquired P.W.22, who in turn said that her sister-in-law, viz., the deceased was found hanging in the upstairs. Then, all of them went to the upstairs and found the room locked from inside. They saw through the window that the deceased was found hanging from the fan. Then, A1 along with P.W.13 Baskaran, working in the Goldsmith shop in the opposite side came there and broke open the door and went inside and untied the rope and put the body on the cot.

(5) On 21.3.1987 P.W.1 received a phone call from P.W.11 Ukkamchand that the deceased died due to heart attack. He contacted P.W.21 and confirmed the death of the deceased. Then, after instructing that the dead body should not be removed till they come, P.W.1, his wife P.W.8, his son P.W.4, P.W.2 and P.W.15 came to Kanchipuram. When A1 was questioned regarding the cause of death, he said that she died due to heart attack. In the meantime, P.W.23, the Sub Inspector of Police, Sivakanchi Police Station, Kanchipuram received an intimation from the Inspector of Police stating that there is a suspicion over the death of Prabhat Kumari and asking him to take further action. Accordingly, he went to the house immediately and enquired the relations gathered there and they informed that the death was due to heart attack. Then, P.w.1 and P.W.11 were taken to the local Police Station. When he was asked whether the body could be removed for cremation, P.W.1 did not object to the same, since he was deeply worried over the death of the deceased. P.W.8, who went inside the room, was able to find some injuries on the body. Even though she objected to the removal of the body, the people gathered there pushed her aside and removed the body for cremation.

(6) On 23.3.1987, P.W.9 Dr. Subramaniam was approached by P.W.21, the brother of A1 for the issue of the medical certificate over the death of Prabhat Kumari stating that she died due to heart attack. Since P.W.9 earlier treated the deceased at the time of delivery, he gave Ex.P6 certificate to the effect that the death was due to heart attack without even examining the dead body. On the basis of Ex.P6 certificate, death was registered in Ex.P5 register and Ex.P7 death certificate was obtained from the Municipality.

(7) Unable to find out the real truth of the death of the deceased, as Kanchipuram is the new place for P.W.1’s family and they are not well versed in Tamil, they came to Hassan on 25.3.1987 and sent telegrams to the Chief Minister of the State and the Home Minister of the Centre. On 28.3.1987, he sent complaints to various officials through registered post. He sent Ex.P2 to the Director General of Police, Chennai. On being forwarded, P.W.25 Karuppusami, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kanchipuram registered the case in Crime No.294/87 for the offences under Sections 498A and 306 I.P.C. against the accused on 20.4.1987. On 21.4.1987, P.W.25 D.S.P. came and visited the house of the accused and recovered the bent broken bolts M.Os.2 to 4 from the door under Ex.P4. The cot M.O.5 also was recovered. M.O.1 fan through which she hanged herself was recovered. On 12.7.1987, he recovered Exs.D1 and D2 and her diary M.O.11. Then, further investigation was taken up by P.W.26, the CB CID D.S.P. and the case was altered into Section 304B I.P.C. Again, P.W.26 came to the house and recovered the wooden portions (M.Os.6 to 10) from where the bolt was broken under mahazars Exs.P9 and P11. After finishing the investigation, P.W.26 filed the charge sheet for the offences referred to above.

(8) According to the accused in the statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C., they were not responsible for the death of the deceased and the body was taken to grave yard only on the statement of P.W.1 saying ‘no objection’ and they have registered the death of the deceased with the Municipality on the basis of Ex.P6, the Doctor’s certificate stating that the deceased died due to heart attack.

(9) The trial Court having considered the materials placed by both parties, acquitted all the accused in respect of all the charges framed against A1 to A3, the respondents herein. Hence, these appeal by the State and revision by P.W.1.

13. Let us now come to the reasonings given by the trial Court for acquitting the respondents.

(1) Admittedly, the death was taken place on 21.3.1987. But, the complaint was given only on 28.3.1987. This delay has not been properly explained by the prosecution.

(2) In Ex.P2 complaint, there is no reference about the dowry demand or torture.

(3) Usually, the delivery of the child would be at the parents’ house only. There is no explanation as to why the child was delivered at the husband’s place.

(4) In Ex.P2, the complaint given by P.W.1, it is stated that A3 demanded the amount of Rs.50,000/-. But, P.W.8 would state that all the three demanded the amount. On the other hand, P.W.4 would state that A1 and A2 demanded the amount in the presence of A3. This is a vital contradiction.

(5) The marriage was finalised and fixed by one Lal. There is no reason as to why the said Lal was not examined.

(6) P.W.1 would admit that the accused gave a copy of the list of Sridhana articles containing the endorsement by the accused having received the same. That list was not produced.

(7) According to P.W.8, she saw injuries on the neck. But, the same was not informed to P.W.1’s husband.

(8) P.Ws.10, 13 and 14 though would state that they went to upstairs and saw the dead body of the deceased found hanging from the fan, they did not give the statement to the police immediately and they gave the statement only after six months.

(9) Ex.P6 certificate issued by P.W.9 Doctor would show that the deceased died only due to heart attack. There is no post-mortem certificate giving the reason for death.

(10) The letter Ex.P1 and Exs.D1 and D2 written by the deceased did not contain the reference about the torture at the hands of the accused.

14. On going through the reasonings, it is obvious that the trial Court has misread the evidence and given importance to the very insignificant aspects for concluding that the prosecution has not established its case beyond reasonable doubt. On going through the records, it is noticed that the above reasonings are not only perverse but also the important materials available on record have been totally ignored.

15. Let us now first go into each one of the reasonings given by the trial Court for acquittal.

16. The first reasoning is the delay in launching the complaint. According to P.W.1, he did not give a complaint to local police, since he was unable to converse with the local Police Officers in Tamil. It is his specific assertion that when he wanted to say something to police, they did not understand the same and on the other hand, they said that they could not do anything. So, according to him, he came to Hassan and sent telegrams to all the officials on 25.3.1987. Thereafter, he sent a detailed report on 28.3.1987 addressing to the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu State and also to the Governor, Chief Minister and other high officials of the State Governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and the Central Government, New Delhi. Merely because the complaint was sent after three or four days through telegram and registered post, it cannot be stated that P.W.1 gave a false complaint against the accused. In fact, from 25.3.1987 onwards, P.W.1 and his relative P.W.15 have been consistently pursuing for the action to be taken against the accused by sending telegrams and registered complaints to the various officials including the Head of the Police of Tamil Nadu. The very fact that he sent registered complaints not only to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Governments but also to the Central Government itself would show that his attempt to pursue the action through the local police on the very same day did not fructify as the local police were reluctant to take action against the accused. Under those circumstances, the delay cannot be said to be an unexplained delay.

17. The second reasoning is that there is no reference about the dowry demand in Ex.P2 complaint. The reading of Ex.P2 in entirety would go to show that the deceased was tortured on several occasions by the accused and her husband used to beat her to get money from her house and that he used to threaten that he would do away her, if she does not bring Rs.50,000/-. It is also mentioned in the complaint that the parents of her husband never used to provide food and she used to starve for several days without sufficient food. These things would show that there was a demand of money and also there was a torture.

18. The third reasoning is that there is no explanation as to why child was delivered at the husband’s place. This reasoning is without any basis. There are materials to show that the accused persons declined to send the deceased to the house of her parents for delivery despite the request made by the parents of the deceased through P.W.4, the brother of the deceased to send her to Hassan for delivery. Even in the complaint Ex.P2 give by P.W.1, it is specifically mentioned that as per the customs prevailed in their community, viz., Jain Community, the first delivery would take place at the parents’ house of the bride, but the accused persons refused to send her to parent’s house and she was retained in Kanchipuram itself. P.W.4, the brother of the deceased would also state in his deposition that as instructed by P.Ws.1 and 8, parents of the deceased, he went to Kanchipuram and requested the accused persons to send her with him to Hassan for delivery and at that time, the accused persons abused his father P.W.1 stating that he did not even to pay the rental charges of the hotel rooms for the stay of their relatives at the time of marriage and how could he bear the expenses for delivery and so saying P.W.4 was sent back without allowing the deceased to go to Hassan for delivery. When this evidence is available, the trial Court is quite wrong to observe that there is no explanation and as such, this finding ignoring the relevant materials given by the trial Court is perverse.

19. The next reasoning is relating to the contradiction with regard to the demand of Rs.50,000/- made by the accused. But, on going through Ex.P2 complaint and the evidence of P.Ws.1, 4 and 8, there is no contradiction. As per Ex.P2, the deceased told P.W.1 that the accused demanded Rs.50,000/-. When P.W.4 and P.W.8 went to Kanchipuram to see the child, the accused persons demanded amount of Rs.50,000/-, since they had to incur expenses for delivery. Only in that context, P.W.8 would state that since the deceased was not allowed to go to Hassan for delivery, the delivery expenses need not be incurred by them. Thus, the demand of Rs.50,000/- towards the medical expenses for delivery is being spoken to by both P.W.8 and P.W.4. Furthermore, when A3 came to Hassan to take back the wife and child, he reiterated his demand of Rs.50,000/- towards the delivery expenses. This is spoken to by P.Ws.1 and 8. Therefore, there is no contradiction with regard to the demand ofRs.50,000/-.

20. One other reasoning is non-examination of one Lal, who has finalised the marriage. The fact of the marriage is not disputed. Moreover, the marriage was held at Hassan in the bride’s place and both the families attended the same. This is not disputed by the accused. So, the non-examination of one Lal, who has finalised the marriage proposal, would not be relevant in this case.

21. The trial Court found fault with the prosecution that a list of Sridhana articles was not produced. This is yet another irrelevant reason. According to P.W.1, at the time of betrothal and marriage, though more Sridhana articles and cash were demanded, ultimately, the matter was settled among the parties to agree with the terms of the marriage proposal in regard to the Sridhana articles. Accordingly, jewels, cash and household articles were given to the bridegroom’s family by the bride’s family. The details of the household articles, jewels and cash which were handed over to A1 at the time of betrothal and marriage are spoken to by P.W.1, P.W.4, son of P.W.1, P.W.8, wife of P.W.1, P.W.11 Ukkamchand, resident of Kanchipuram, P.W.16 Annaraj Jain of Hassan. The evidence relating to this adduced by them have not been seriously disputed in the cross-examination of the accused. It is the specific case of P.W.1 that a list of Sridhana articles was prepared and the list is available. However, during the course of investigation, the list was not seized and therefore, the same was not produced. Under those circumstances, we cannot expect the prosecution to produce the list, which has not been seized. Moreover, the availability of the list is not disputed by the accused.

22. The next reasoning is that P.W.8 did not tell P.W.1 about the injuries found on the body of the deceased. This reasoning also, in my view, would not be a valid one, since when the dead body was kept in the room, P.W.8 alone was allowed to go inside. In the meantime, the relatives of the accused family took P.w.1 to the Police Station. In the Police Station, P.W.1 could not do anything as he was not able to converse with the Police Officers in Tamil. At the time when the dead body was removed, P.W.8 cried and said that she could also be burnt along with the dead body and asked the crowd not to remove the dead body. However, she was pushed aside by the relatives of the accused and then, the body was removed. In such a situation, P.W.8 could not give any details about the injuries to P.W.1 since she was in the grief and shock. After cremation was over, when P.W.1, P.W.8 and others came back to Hassan, P.W.1 sent telegrams and complaints mentioning about all the details to the police. In Ex.P2, it is specifically mentioned that certain injuries were found on the body of the deceased and the body was burnt abruptly to destroy the evidence by the accused persons. So, in the light of this evidence, this reasoning also has to be held improper.

23. Next reasoning is that P.W.10, P.W.13 and P.W.14, who stated that they saw the deceased found hanging from the ceiling fan, did not make immediate statement. It is the specific case of P.W.1 that on the date when they came to Kanchipuram on hearing the news of death of the deceased, he met the police, but the police said that they could not do anything. P.W.23 Sub Inspector of Police also did not give the details as to whether they examined these persons. When the investigation was taken up by the C.B.,C.I.D. Inspector, a thorough probe was made and these people, who are residents of Kanchipuram gave statements giving the above details. Admittedly, they did not have any interest in the people who are residing in Hassan nor had any animosity against the accused persons. It is not that these witnesses gave contra statements initially and further statements were made by them contradicting the earlier statements. When they were interrogated, they gave a clear version stating that they saw that the deceased was found hanging from the fan. Therefore, this reasoning also, in my view, cannot be accepted.

24. The next reasoning is that Ex.P6 certificate used by P.W.9 Doctor would show that death was due to heart attack. Admittedly, P.W.9 would state that he did not see the dead body. He was only giving some treatment at the time of delivery of the child for chest pain and only on the request of A1, Ex.P6 certificate was issued thinking that death would have been due to heart attack. Therefore, the contents of Ex.P6 certificate has not been proved through P.W.9 and when P.W.9 himself would give out the circumstances under which Ex.P6 certificate was issued, it cannot be held that the deceased died only due to heart attack. It is true that the dead body was not available for post-mortem. But, in the light of the evidence of P.Ws.10, 13 and 14 and without allowing the police to conduct post-mortem and hurried cremation done on the same day, would show that the death was not due to hear attack. It is true that the prosecution has to prove the reason for the death. In this case, we have no medical evidence to show that death was due to hanging. But, the fact remains that the accused persons tried to get a false certificate Ex.P6 from P.W.9 Doctor in order to show that the deceased died only due to heart attack. This act of the accused in obtaining false certificate from P.W.9 hurriedly and the evidence of P.Ws.10, 13 and 14 to the effect that they saw the dead body of the deceased found hanging would clearly show that the death could not have been due to heart attack but only due to hanging.

25. The trial Court would observe that there is no reference about the torture in Exs.P1, D1 and D2, the letters written by the deceased to P.W.1. It is true that Exs.D1 and D2 would not relate to the torture. Those letters would refer about mere enquiries. But, Ex.P1 letter would clearly indicate that she must have informed P.W.1 about the sale of Ottiyanam given to the deceased at the time of marriage and about the same P.W.1 should not write any letter. This shows that out of fear for A1 she must have written that letter. Besides that, the torture and other things have been informed to P.W.1, P.W.4 and P.W.8 and other witnesses by the deceased herself before her death, which is quite admissible under Sections 32 of the Evidence Act.

26. Thus, all the reasons, in my view, are not valid reasons and under those circumstances, the finding given by the trial Court for acquitting the accused is perverse causing flagrant miscarriage of justice.

27. Let us now go into the other evidence available on record.

28. The trouble started in this case even on the date of marriage. The marriage was held on 14.12.1985 at Hassan. After marriage was over, P.W.1 gave Rs.1,500/- towards the rent charges for the hotels where the relatives of the accused stayed. When the accused demanded another Rs.1,500/- for making payment to other hotels where some more relatives stayed, P.W.1 did not accept to give the same amount. This is the first grievance for the bridegroom’s family.

29. Relating to the refusal to make payment towards the rental charges number of witnesses would speak. P.W.1, P.W.2, his relative, P.W.4, son of P.W.1, P.W.8, wife of P.W.1, P.W.11 Ukkamchand of Kanchipuram, P.W.15 Giwerchand, brother of P.w.8 and P.W.17 Dinesh Kumar of Bangalore, all would speak about the said aspect of the evidence. Some days later after the marriage, P.w.4 along with P.W.17 Dinesh Kumar of Bangalore went to the house of the accused to bring the deceased to their house at Hassan for celebrating other necessary functions. At that time, A1 wanted Rs.10,000/-. A1 stated that unless the amount of Rs.10,000/- is paid, he would not allow the deceased to go along with them to Hassan. This is purely due to the non-payment of the rental charges for his relatives stayed in some of the other hotels. When the first accused was very firm, P.W.4 informed this to P.W.1. Ultimately, P.w.4 obtained loan of Rs.10,000/- from P.W.21 Manikchand, brother of the first accused and handed over the same to the first accused. Only after receipt of the payment, A1 allowed the deceased to go to her parents’ house accompanied by P.W.4. This aspect of the evidence is being spoken to by P.W.4, son of P.W.1, P.W.15 Giwerchand, brother of P.W.8 and P.W.17 Dinesh Kumar of Bangalore. Though P.W.21 became hostile, the other witnesses, namely, P.W.4, P.W.15 and P.W.17 would state that they came to the house of the accused and the first accused demanded money of Rs.10,000/- and thereafter, the said money was obtained as loan from P.W.21 and the same was handed over to the accused. Apart from these witnesses, P.W.11 Ukkamchand of Kanchipuram would state that P.W.4 came to his shop and informed about the demand made by the accused and through the phone kept at the shop of P.W.11, P.w.4 contacted P.W.1 and obtained the instruction to get the loan from P.W.21 and gave it to the first accused. Both these incidents would show that the first accused wanted P.W.1 to pay more amount towards the rental charges and when the same was not accepted, A1 did not allow the deceased from the bridegroom’s house to the bride’s parents’ house at Hassan till the amount of Rs.10,000/- was paid.

30. After finishing functions, the deceased and A3 were sent back to Kanchipuram. On 26.3.1986, i.e. three months later, the deceased for the first time phoned to P.W.1 and told that she was ill-treated by the accused persons in their house and that A1 sold her Ottiyanam weighing about 150 grams. Later, she also wrote a letter Ex.P1 stating that P.W.1 should not write any letter regarding the Ottiyanam, which was sold. After some months, the deceased and her husband (A3) came to attend a marriage. On the way to Kanchipuram, they came and visited P.W.1’s house. At that time, the deceased complained to P.W.1 that the accused persons did not like the pattern of the bangles and they should be re-modelled. Accordingly, the bangles were given to Goldsmith P.W.3 and after re-modelling, they were given back to the deceased. At that time itself, she told P.W.1, P.W.4 and P.W.8 that she was treated badly by the accused persons.

31. In the month of September 1986, P.W.1 received information that the deceased got conceived. Therefore, P.W.4 was sent to Kanchipuram to bring the pregnant deceased to Hassan for delivery. At that juncture, the accused persons did not allow the deceased to go to her parents’

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