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State By Rajagopalanagar vs Balaraj S/O Ramaiah on 4 March, 2014

Karnataka High Court State By Rajagopalanagar vs Balaraj S/O Ramaiah on 4 March, 2014Author: N.Ananda

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE DATED THIS THE 04TH DAY OF MARCH 2014 BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE N. ANANDA

CRIMINAL APPEAL No.709/2009

BETWEEN:

STATE BY RAJAGOPALANAGAR

POLICE STATION. … APPELLANT (BY SRI B VISWESWARAIAH, HCGP)

AND:

1. BALARAJ

S/O RAMAIAH, 32 YEARS

5TH CROSS, DUGGALAMMA LAYOUT

RAJAGOPALANAGARA

BANGALORE.

2. CHIKKARANGAMMA @ RANGAMMA

W/O OF LATE RAMAIAH, 50 YEARS

5TH CROSS, DUGGALAMMA LAYOUT

RAJAGOPALANAGARA

BANGALORE.

3. SRINIVASAMURTHY

S/O LATE RANGAIAH, 29 YEARS

NO.33/55, 4TH CROSS & 5TH CROSS

DUGGALAMMA LAYOUT

RAJAGOPALANAGARA

BANGALORE. … RESPONDENTS (BY SRI R B SADASIVAPPA, ADVOCATE)

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THIS APPEAL IS FILED UNDER SECTION 378(1) & (3) CR.P.C., PRAYING TO GRANT LEAVE TO FILE AN APPEAL AGAINST THE JUDGMENT DATED 02.05.2009, PASSED IN C.C.NO.16340/2005, ON THE FILE OF VII ADDITIONAL CHIEF METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE AT BANGALORE, ACQUITTING RESPONDENTS-ACCUSED 1 TO 3 OF OFFENCES PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTIONS 3 AND 4 OF DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT & 498-A, 323 & 506 R/W 34 IPC.

THIS APPEAL COMING ON FOR FINAL HEARING THIS DAY, THE COURT DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING: JUDGMENT

The learned trial Judge has acquitted respondents (hereinafter referred as ‘accused 1 to 3’) of offences punishable under sections 3 & 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (for short, ‘the D.P.Act’) and also of offences punishable under sections 498A, 323 & 506 r/w 34 IPC. Therefore, State has filed this appeal. At this juncture, it is necessary to state, the first information report and final report do not disclose allegations of dowry demand and acceptance by accused 1 to 3, nevertheless learned trial Judge had framed charge and acquitted accused 1 to 3 of aforestated offences. 3

2. I have heard Sri B.Visweswaraiah, learned HCGP for State and Sri R.B.Sadasivappa, learned counsel for accused 1 to 3.

3. Before adverting to appreciation of evidence and submissions made at Bar, it is necessary to state certain facts which are not in dispute.

4. Accused No.1-Balaraj had married PW1-K.S.Latha on 21.10.2001. Accused No.2-Chikkarangamma @ Rangamma is the mother of accused No.1. Accused No.3- Srinivasamurthy is the younger brother of accused No.1. PW2-Srirangaiah is the father of PW1. PW3-Prabhakara is an acquaintance of PW2. PW4-Veeranna is the cousin of PW2.

5. It is the case of prosecution that after marriage of PW1 with accused No.1, PW1 was staying in the house of accused. PW1 was being harassed by accused 1 to 3 to bring money from her parental house. PW1 had suffered small pox within a period of two months from the date of her marriage. Accused 1 to 3 were preventing PW1 from cooking food. 4

Accused No.1 was not cohabiting with PW1. PW1 was driven away to her parental house. When the parents of PW1 brought her to matrimonial house, accused prevented PW1 from entering house and scolded PW2 (father of PW1) that he has not paid a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- which accused No.1 needed to set up a separate house for accused No.1 and PW1. As per first information lodged by PW1, the above incident had taken place on 02.04.2005.

6. The prosecution has relied on evidence of PW1, PW2 (father of PW1) and also evidence of PW3-Prabhakara and PW4-Veeranna. The first information was lodged by PW1 at 6.45 p.m. on 02.04.2005. In the first information, PW1 has stated that after two months from the date of marriage, she had suffered small pox and there were black scars on her face. Therefore, accused No.1 had not cohabited with PW1. Accused 2 & 3 were preventing PW1 from cooking food. They were also assaulting PW1 and she was driven away to her parental house. The parents of PW1 convened a panchayat and left her in the house of accused. Accused 2 & 3 told 5

accused No.1 to set up a separate house for accused No.1 and PW1. On 02.04.2005 at about 3 p.m., parents of PW1 brought PW1 to house of accused. Accused 1 to 3 prevented PW1 from entering their house. Accused 1 to 3 assaulted PW1 and scolded father of PW1 (PW2) for not bringing a sum of Rs.1,00,000/-.

7. PW1-K.S.Latha has deposed; after marriage, she was living in the house of accused; she suffered small pox after a period of two months from date of marriage; accused No.1 told PW1 not to sleep by his side; accused 1 to 3 were ill- treating PW1; after small pox subsided, accused 1 to 3 were demanding PW1 to bring additional dowry and they were assaulting her; on 02.04.2005, parents of PW1 had visited the house of accused; at that time, accused 1 to 3 demanded her parents to give a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- or else to take back PW1 to their house; PW1 was beaten black and blue by accused 1 & 2; parents of PW1 took her to their house; PW1 lodged first information.

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During cross-examination, PW1 has denied suggestion that she had lived hardly in her matrimonial house for a period of two months. PW1 has admitted that she had filed a maintenance petition against accused No.1.

8. On careful consideration of evidence of PW1, I find that stay of PW1 in the house of accused was for a short period. PW1 had suffered small pox after a period of two months from the date of marriage. It is probable that accused 1 to 3 might have felt that it is a contagious disease and thought fit to keep PW1 away from doing domestic work. It is probable that accused No.1 might have thought fit to avoid cohabitation with PW1 till small pox is subsided. PW1 had taken exception for such conduct of accused 1 to 3 and she had left her matrimonial house, which is obvious from the contents of first information. Therefore, evidence of PW1 that she was living in the house of accused cannot be accepted.

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9. PW1 has deposed that she was assaulted by accused 1 to 3. The prosecution has not produced medical evidence to prove that PW1 had suffered injuries at the hands of accused 1 to 3 on 02.04.2005.

10. PW2-Srirangaiah is the father of PW1. PW2 has deposed; after marriage, PW1 was living in the house of accused; his daughter (PW1) suffered small pox within a period of two months from date of marriage; accused 1 to 3 did not provide treatment to PW1 and they were demanding a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- as dowry from PW2.

11. At this juncture, it is relevant to state that PW1 has not deposed that accused 1 to 3 were demanding a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- from her parents. PW2 has deposed; PW1 was living in the house of accused and she was being frequently assaulted by accused 1 to 3; on one or two occasions, PW1 was beaten black and blue.

12. At this juncture, it is necessary to state that PW1 has not deposed that she was assaulted by accused 1 to 3 when 8

she was staying in the house of accused. PW2 has deposed; after a period of two months from the date of marriage, there was no cohabitation between PW1 and accused No.1. PW2 has admitted that before 02.04.2005, his daughter (PW1) was staying in his house. PW2 has denied suggestion that when PW1 lodged first information, he had taken PW1 to the house of accused. PW2 has denied that PW1 had filed a maintenance petition against accused No.1

13. Thus, we find there are material discrepancies in the evidence of PW1 and PW2. The evidence of PW1 and PW2 is not consistent.

14. PW3-Prabhakara is an acquaintance of PW2. PW3 has deposed; after marriage, PW1 was staying in the house of accused and he learnt that accused 1 to 3 were demanding PW1 to bring dowry from PW2. The evidence of PW3 is hearsay in nature.

15. PW4-Veeranna is the cousin of PW2. PW4 has deposed; after marriage, PW1 was living in the house of 9

accused; after a period of two months from date of her marriage, she suffered small pox; PW1 was complaining that her mother-in-law was not allowing her to cook food and her husband was not cohabiting with her. PW4 has deposed that PW1 was driven away by accused 1 to 3 from their house in the year 2005.

16. The evidence of PW4 is vague. PW4 has given an improvised version that accused No.1 had driven away PW1 from his house on 02.04.2005. The evidence of PW1 to PW4 regarding events that had occurred on 02.04.2005 is inconsistent and contradictory.

17. On careful consideration of evidence of PW1 to PW4, we find that after marriage, PW1 was staying in the house of accused. After a period of two months from the date of marriage, PW1 suffered small pox and she had gone to her parental house for treatment and she had stayed there. The evidence on record does not indicate that PW1 had returned back to house of accused. It appears, there was some quarrel 10

between parties on 02.04.2005 when PW1 was brought to the house of accused by her father (PW2). PW1 had lodged first information by giving an exaggerated version that accused 1 to 3 were demanding a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- from her father (PW2) and they had beaten her black and blue.

18. In the circumstances, it is not possible to hold that prosecution has proved that accused 1 to 3 were subjecting PW1 to cruelty and they had assaulted PW1 on 02.04.2005 and they had threatened life of PW1 on 02.04.2005. The learned trial Judge on proper appreciation of evidence has acquitted accused 1 to 3 of aforestated offences. There are no reasons to interfere with the impugned judgment.

19. In the result, I pass the following:- ORDER

The appeal is dismissed.

Sd/-

JUDGE

SNN.

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