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State Of Gujarat vs Jasubhai Haribhai Patel on 28 June, 2018

R/CR.A/475/1997 JUDGMENT

IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD

R/CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 475 of 1997

FOR APPROVAL AND SIGNATURE:

HONOURABLE MS.JUSTICE HARSHA DEVANI Sd/-

and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.S. SUPEHIA Sd/-

1 Whether Reporters of Local Papers may be allowed to NO
see the judgment ?

2 To be referred to the Reporter or not ? NO

3 Whether their Lordships wish to see the fair copy of the NO
judgment ?

4 Whether this case involves a substantial question of law NO
as to the interpretation of the Constitution of India or any
order made thereunder ?

STATE OF GUJARAT
Versus
JASUBHAI HARIBHAI PATEL

Appearance:
MR.L.B.DABHI, APP (2) for the PETITIONER(s) No. 1
DHARMESH D NANAVATY(2396) for the RESPONDENT(s) No. 1

CORAM: HONOURABLE MS.JUSTICE HARSHA DEVANI
and
HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.S. SUPEHIA

Date : 28/06/2018

ORAL JUDGMENT

( PER : HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.S. SUPEHIA)

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1. By way of this appeal, filed under section 378 
of   the   Criminal   Procedure   Code,   1973,   the 
appellant – State has challenged the judgment and 
order   of   Sessions   Judge,   Palanpur, 
Dist:Banaskantha   (for   short   the   “trial   court”), 
dated  31.03.1997   rendered  in  Sessions  Case  No.107 
of   1996,   whereby   the   learned   trial   judge   has 
acquitted   the   original   accused   –   the   respondent 
herein   of   the   charges   for   the   offence   punishable 
under sections 498A, 306, 304B  201 of the Indian 
Penal   Code,   1860   (hereinafter   referred   to   as   the 
“IPC”).

2. The case of the prosecution as per the charge 
at   Exh.2   is   that   the   accused   had   married   the 
deceased­Babiben   in   the   Year­1985   in   a   child 
marriage and for the first time, she was sent to 
her   husband’s   accused   house   prior   to   two   years 
from  21.04.1996. The accused used to harass the 
deceased by demanding dowry such as ornaments and 
also   caused  physical   and   mental   harassment  time 
and   again.   One   month   prior   to   the   date   of 
incident   i.e.   on   20.04.1996,   the   accused 
assaulted   the   deceased­Babiben   and   told   her   to 
bring Rs.25,000/­ from her father’s home and when 
she   went   to   her   father’s   home,   the   accused 
telephonically   called   her   2­3   times   to   bring 
money.   Due   to   such   harassment,   deceased   Babiben 

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committed   suicide   on   19­20.04.1996   in   the   night 
hours. Thus, the accused has committed an offence 
under   Sections   498A,   306,   304B   and   201   of   the 
Indian Penal Code.     

3. A   complaint  to   that  effect   came  to   be   lodged 
by   the   P.W.1,   Laxmanbhai   Haribhai   Patel   at 
Amirgadh   Police   Station,   for,   the   offences   under 
Section   498A,   306,   304B   and   201   of   the   Indian 
Penal   Code.   Upon   registering   the   offences   under 
Sections   498A,   306,   304B     and   201   114   of   the 
Indian   Penal   Code   against   the   accused,   the 
Investigating   Officer   has   carried   out   the 
investigation   and   after   following   the   due 
procedure of law, a charge­sheet came to be filed 
before   the   Chief   Judicial   Magistrate,   Palanpur, 
and   as   the   case   was   exclusively   triable   by   the 
Court   of   Sessions,   the   same   was   committed   to   the 
Sessions   Court.   A   charge   –   Exh.2   was   framed 
against the accused respondent and the plea of the 
accused­respondent   was   recorded   under   Section   313 
of   the   Code   of   Criminal   Procedure.   The   accused   – 
respondent   herein   pleaded   not   guilty   to   the 
charges and claimed to be tried. 

4. At the time of trial,  in order to bring home 
the  charges  leveled  against  the  original   accused, 
the   prosecution   examined   12  witnesses   as   well   as 
produced 10 documentary evidences. The defence has 
also examined two witnesses.

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5. At   the   end   of   the   trial   and   after   recording 
the statements of the accused under section 313 of 
the Cr.P.C. and hearing the arguments on behalf of 
the   prosecution   and   the   defence,   the   trial   court 
acquitted   the   accused   of   all   the   charges   leveled 
against   them.   On   completion   of   the   trial,   the 
trial   court   passed   the   judgment   and   order 
acquitting   the   respondent   –   accused.   Being 
aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   aforesaid 
judgment and order passed by the trial court, the 
appellant   ­   State   has   preferred   the   present 
Criminal Appeal. 

6. Mr.   L.B.   Dabhi,   learned   Additional   Public 
Prosecutor   for   the   respondent   ­   State   vehemently 
submitted that the judgment and order recorded by 
the   trial   court   deserves   to  be  set   aside,   as  the 
relevant depositions of the witnesses and material 
available   on   the   record   have   been   ignored. 
Reliance   is   placed   by   him   on   the   testimony   of 
P.W.1,(brother   of   the   deceased   ­   Babiben), 
P.W.2(cousin   of   the   deceased   –   Babiben),   and 
P.W.3(uncle   of   the   deceased   ­   Babiben)   of   the 
deceased for proving harassment and cruelty by the 
accused on the deceased.  He assailed the judgment 
of the trial court by contending that the incident 
had   taken   place   within   a   short   span   of   marriage 
life of two years, as her marriage had taken place 
in her childhood in the Year­1985, and as per the 

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custom   she   was   sent   to   her   husband’s   house,   for 
the   first   time,   prior   to  two   years   from  the   date 
of incident, and it is established on record that 
husband   of   the   deceased   Babiben   used   to   demand 
articles   such   as   jwelleary   and   cash.   He   has   also 
submitted   that   in   such   circumstance,   presumption 
under  Section   113B   of  the  Evidence   Act   has  to  be 
drawn   and   hence,   the   accused   are   liable   to   be 
convicted   under   the   offence   which   are   charged 
against him.

7. A   fortiori,   Mr.Dharmesh   D.   Nanavaty,   learned 
advocate   for   the   accused   –   respondent   has 
submitted   that   a   close   scrutiny   of   the   entire 
evidence would indicate that prior to the date of 
incident,   no   grievance   was   made   by   the   deceased 
Babiben against the accused. He has submitted that 
there is no harassment proved against the present 
accused – respondent. 

8. In view of aforesaid submissions, Mr.Nanavaty, 
learned   advocate   for   the   respondent   ­  accused 
supported   the   judgment   and   order   of   the   trial 
court   and has submitted that the same was passed 
after  appreciating  the  evidence  adduced  on  record 
by   the   prosecution   and   hence,   no   interference   is 
called   for   by   this   court.   He   has   therefore   urged 
that   the   criminal   appeal   is   required   to   be 
dismissed   and   the   impugned   judgment   and   order 
passed   by   the   trial   court   is   required   to   be 

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confirmed.

9. We   have   heard   the   learned   Additional   Public 
Prosecutor   for   the   appellant   ­   State   and   the 
learned advocate for the accused and have perused 
the material on record with their assistance.

10. It   is   a   settled   principle   that   while 
exercising   the   appellate   powers,   even   if   two 
reasonable   conclusions   are   possible   on   the   basis 
of   the   evidence   on   record,   the   appellate   court 
should   not   disturb   the   finding   of   acquittal 
recorded by the trial court.

11. In order to appreciate the rival contentions, 
it will be necessary to have a closer look at the 
testimonies of the witnesses in order to ascertain 
the element of harassment or cruelty meted out to 
the   deceased.   The   P.W.1   Complainant   –   Laxmanbhai 
Haribhai   Patel,   who   is   brother   of   the   deceased 
Babiben   has   been   examined   at   Exh.13   on   behalf   of 
prosecution.   In   his   examination   in   chief,   he   has 
deposed that child marriage of deceased­Babiben’s 
was   solemnized   with   the   present   accused   in   the 
Year­1985 and prior to two years from the date of 
incident,   she   was   sent,   for   the   first   time,   at 
her   husband’s   house   and   was   also   given   golden 
ornaments   such   as   50   grams   gold   chain,   locket 
etc.   He   has   stated   that   thereafter,   within   15 

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days,   his   sister   returned   at   his   father’s   home 
and was constantly crying and on inquiring from 
her, she had stated that her husband used to time 
and   again   caused   physical   and   mental   harassment 
by demanding ornaments and money. After 10 days, 
the   complainant   with   his   uncle   Hemraj   went   to 
Amirgadh for leaving her sister at the house of 
accused   and   at   that   time,   the   accused   had 
quarreled   with   them,   however,   in   order   to   see 
that   in   future   their   relations   may   not   be 
spoiled,   he   had   left   her   sister   at   her 
matrimonial   home.   Thereafter,   in   the   last   of 
month of Vaishak, they had gave Rs.5000/­ to the 
accused.   Thereafter   also,   the   accused   used   to 
torture her sister – Babiben and the accused had 
demanded Rs.20000/­ for releasing mortgaged gold 
ornaments.   The   complainant   has   also   further 
stated   that   when   he   visited   Amirgadh   after   10 
days,   at   that   time   also,   the   accused   demanded 
amount   of   Rs.20,000/­,   however,   since   there   was 
no means for paying the same, the complainant had 
stated that he would give amount after selling of 
agriculture   produce.   On   17.04.1996,   the 
complainant had called him for 2­3 occasions for 
demanding   the   money,   and   at   that   time,   the 
complainant had stated that he could manage only 
Rs.5000/­ which he give to his sister and rest of 
such   amount,   he   would   be   giving   within   2   to   4 
days. On 19.04.1996, at about 04.00 hours in the 

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evening, when he took his sister to drop at bus­
stand,   at   that   time,   she   was   crying   and   the 
complainant   made   her   sit   in   the   Bus   which   was 
going to Amirgadh and on the same day night, i.e. 
on   19.04.1996,   his   sister   Babiben   committed 
suicide. They came to know about the death of his 
Sister   on   21.04.1996   on   receiving   a   letter 
written   by   the   father   of   the   accused   viz. 
Haribhai Shamlabhai Bhutaliya that his sister had 
departed   to   heaven   and   her   Besana   ceremony   is 
held on 22.04.1996. On receiving the said letter, 
the complainant immediately rushed at Pasvadal at 
about 12.00 O’clock with other people. He met the 
accused   and   inquired   from   him   that   how   she   had 
expired   though   she   was   not   suffering   from   any 
ailement.   The   accused   informed   the   complainant 
that on 19.04.1996, his sister came to Amirgadh 
and   committed   suicide   by   consuming   poisonous 
medicine. The complainant has further stated that 
on   20.04.1996,   the   accused   straightway   took   the 
dead­body of his sister at Pasvadal and performed 
her   funeral   ceremony   in   clandestine   manner 
without   informing   them.   He   has   been   cross­
examined   extensively.   In   his   cross­examination, 
he has submitted that his sister was having some 
marks on her body when she returned from Amirgadh 
and accordingly, he had taken to Dr.Hirgaudar for 
her   treatment.   He   has   also   stated   that   on 
26.04.1995, he had taken Babiben for treatment to 

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Dr.Salim   Shaikh,   who   was   specialized   in   heart 
treatment,   blood   pressure   as   well   as   paralysis. 
On   15.08.1995,   he   had   taken     Babiben   for 
treatment   to   Dr.Mukund   B.   Patel,   who   was 
Gynoclogist.   Thereafter,   Babiben   was   treated   by 
Dr.Mukesh Sanghavi, but he does not remember the 
day on which he had taken  to the Doctor. It is 
also   elicited   in   his   cross­examination   that   on 
05.01.1996,   he   took   his   Sister   Babiben   to 
Palanpur   for   taking   treatment   of   Dr.Prakash   K. 
Desai.     It   is   further   elicited   that   deceased   – 
Babiben used to take treatment from Dr.Desai for 
her pregnancy and on 05.01.1996, he had dropped 
Babiben at the dispensary of Dr.Prakash Desai. It 
is further elicited in her cross­examination that 
he got the FIR typed from one Laljibhai, who was 
serving in the office of Advocate and all these 
facts   in   the   FIR   were   mentioned   as   per   the 
instructions of Laljibhai and the FIR was typed 
at about 05.30 in the evening and accordingly, he 
had   submitted   in   in   the   Vadgam   Police   Station. 
He   has   also   denied   the   suggestion   that   on 
20.04.1996,   he   was   given   letter   by   one 
Shri.Somabhai   Hirabhai   and   Ramesh   i.e.   son   of 
Hirabhai Shamalbhai by which he was informed that 
his sister’s death has been occurred. He has also 
denied suggestion that he had attended funeral of 
Babiben at Siddhpur near the bank of Sarswati. He 
has   also   denied   that   he   had   attended   all   these 

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ceremonies at the crematorium. He has also stated 
that he has not kept any note of Rs.5000/­ to be 
given   to   the   accused.   He   has   also   stated   that 
when the quarrel took place with the accused, his 
uncle Hemraj was also present at that time. Thus, 
from   the   testimony   of   this   witness,   it   emerges 
that   he   had   filed   the   complaint   after   due 
deliberation   on   04.09.1996   after   the   Besana 
Ceremony. He has referred to the letter informing 
him about the Besana Ceremony of his sister which 
was   kept   on   22.04.1996.   The   said   letter   is 
produced   at   Exh.14.   The   fact   that   the   deceased 
used   to   remain   ill   and   was   also   taken   by   the 
complainant   to   doctors   for   treatment   is   also 
established   from   his   testimony.   The   analysis   of 
the   testimony   of   this   witness   reveals   that   the 
lodging of the complaint is an after thought.  

12. The   next   witness   P.W.   2   Lilaben   Okhabhai 
Patel,   cousin   of   the   deceased   Babiben   has   been 
examined   at   Exh.19   on   behalf   of   the   prosecution. 
In   her   deposition,   she   has   reiterated   the   facts 
about   the   child   marriage   of   deceased   Babiben   in 
her   testimony.   She   has   stated   that   she   used   to 
meet Babiben when ever Babiben came to Vadgam. She 
has   stated   that   on   18.09.1996,   at   about   02.30 
P.M.,   she   received   a   telephone   call   from   the 
husband of deceased Babiben, as her father’s house 
was   adjoining   her   house.   She   has   also   submitted 

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that on 19.04.1996, at about 11.00 a.m. telephone 
call was received by the father of Babiben and the 
deceased   Babiben   had   informed   her   that   it   was 
telephone of her husband and he was calling her to 
Amirgadh. After receiving telephone call, deceased 
Babiben left for Amirgadh at around 04.00 p.m. She 
has   further   stated   that   thereafter,   she   did   not 
meet   the   deceased   and   on   21.04.1996,   in   the 
morning, a person from Pasvadal came with a letter 
informing the death of deceased – Babiben and her 
Besana   Ceremony   is   kept   on   22.04.1996.   She   has 
further   stated   that   thereafter,   she   was   informed 
by   one   Narsangbhai   that   deceased   Babiben   had 
consumed   poison   on   the   same   night   when   she 
returned to Amirgadh. She has further stated that 
the   accused   had   informed   that   they   had   cremated 
deceased   on   20.04.1996,   and   she   as   well   as   her 
uncle was not informed about the cremation by the 
accused.   She   has   also   asserted   that   the   accused 
used   to   torture   the   deceased   Babiben.     She 
asserted   that   the   deceased   Babiben   had   committed 
suicide because of the harassment meted out by the 
accused.   In her  cross­examination,  she  has  stated 
that   on   18.04.1996,   when   she   attended   telephone 
call   of   the   accused,   the   accused   had   only   asked 
about   well   being   of   her   and   her   daughter.   No 
further   talk   was   held   between   them.   She   has 
further   stated   that   deceased   Babiben   did   not   say 
anything   further.   The   contradiction   has   been 
brought   out   in   her   testimony   that   she   had   not 

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stated   about   harrassment   meted   out   to   Babiben   in 
her police statement and she was stating the same, 
for   the   first   time,   in   the   Court.   It   is   also 
elicited   in   her   cross­examination   that   she   knew 
that   deceased   Babiben   was   not   suffering   from   any 
ailment,   but   she   was   undergoing   treatment   of   her 
pregnancy.   Thus,   from   her   testimony,   it   emerges 
that   she   had   narrated   the   fact   about   harassment 
given   by   the   accused   to   the   deceased,   for   the 
first   time,   before   the   Court   and   no   such   detail 
was given by her in her police­statement.   

13. P.W.3,   Hemrajbhai   Shamalbhai   Patel,   Uncle   of 
the   deceased   Babiben   has   been   examined   at   Exh.20 
on   behalf   of   the   prosecution.   In   his   examination 
in   chief,   he   has   submitted   that   the   father   of 
Babiben i.e. his brother had gifted golden chain, 
earings,   bangals,   locket   etc.   to   the   deceased 
Babiben at the time of her marriage. He has stated 
that the accused used to beat her niece – deceased 
Babiben   and   also   time   and   again   demanded   money 
from her. He has further stated that when deceased 
Babiben   returned   from   her   matrimonial   home   after 
15   days,   she   had   complained   about   the   harassment 
meted out by the accused to her. He has submitted 
that   thereafter,   he   and   Laxmanbhai   went   to 
Amirgadh for dropping the deceased at the house of 
accused   and   at   that   time,   the   accused   quarreled 
with   they   and   also   abused   them.   He   has   further 
stated   that   thereafter,   the   deceased   frequently 

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came   to   Vadgam   and   lastly,   he   stated   that   the 
accused   had   taken   loan   of   Rs.20,000/­   on   the 
ornaments given to her. He has submitted that his 
nephew,   thereafter,   promised   the   accused   to   give 
amount   after   cultivation   of   “Raida   Crop”.He   also 
reiterated   the   fact   that   them   came   to   know   about 
the   death   of   the   deceased   on   20.04.1996   when   a 
person from Pasvidal came at Vadgam with a letter 
informing   abut   Besana   which   was   to   be   held   on 
22.04.1996.   A   contradiction   has   been   brought   out 
in   his   cross­examination   regarding   the   fact   that 
when they had gone to Amirgadh   after 15 days for 
dropping the deceased, at that time, the deceased 
was   crying   and   she   had   informed   that   her   husband 
used   to   beat   her   and   her   husband   had   taken   her 
ornaments.   A   contradiction   is   also   brought   out 
about the presence of the accused at her home when 
they had gone to the house of accused for dropping 
the   deceased   and   the   accused   had   quarreled   with 
them   and   abused   them.   Further,   contradictions 
about   the   fact   that   the   deceased   had   informed 
about the constant harassment given by the accused 
is   also   brought   out   in   the   cross­examination. 
Thus,   from   the   testimony   of   this   witness,   the 
factum   of   harassment   meted   out   by   the   accused   to 
the deceased Babiben cannot be relied upon.   

14. P.w.4   Dr.Abbasbhai   Babubhai   Mansuri,   who 
treated the deceased Babiben  has been examined  at 
Exh.24. In his deposition, in examination in chief, 

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he   has   stated   that   on   20.04.1996,   at   about   09.00 
a.m.,   the   accused   had   brought   the   deceased   –   his 
wife Babiben in Jeep and his compounder has noted 
her   name   in   the   note,   and   thereafter,   he   had 
examined   the   patient   –   deceased   Babiben.   Further, 
in   his   deposition,   he   has   stated   that,   as   the 
accused   had   informed   him   that   the   deceased   was 
unconscious, he had examined the deceased in Jeep. 
When   he   went   outside   and   examined   the   deceased 
Babiben,   she   appeared   to   be   unconscious   and   was 
lying at the back seat of the Jeep. He has stated 
that accordingly, he had examined her pulse, heart­
beats   and   pupils   and   came   to   know   that   she   had 
passed   away.   He   has   further   deposed   that   he   had 
informed   the   accused   that   the   deceased   is 
unconscious and asked them to go to the Government 
Hospital, and thereafter, the accused had taken the 
patient in the Jeep. He has further asserted that 
he was very well known to the father of the accused 
since last 25 years, as his entire family used to 
take treatment from him. In his cross­examination, 
it is elicited that he knew about the death of the 
deceased Babiben after examining pulse, heart beats 
as well as her pupils. Thus, the testimony of this 
witness reveals that, on 20.04.1996, at about 09.00 
a.m.,   the   accused   had   taken   the   deceased 
immediately   to   the   hospital   for   examination.   A 
contradiction   has   been   brought   out   to   the   effect 
that   he   had   not   informed   the   accused   that   the 
deceased   Babiben   is   in   unconscious   state   of   mind 

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and she should be taken to the Government Hospital. 
The dispensary note of the patient list bearing the 
name of deceased Babiben is produced at Exh.25. The 
same   reveals   the   name   of   the   deceased   Babiben   at 
Serial No.2. P.W.5, Sajjuji Ishwarji – Jeep Driver 
has   been   examined   at   Exh.26   on   behalf   of 
prosecution. In his deposition, he has stated that 
the Doctor,  after  examination of the deceased  had 
informed   the   accused   that   her   wife   had   expired. 
Thus, the same indicates that the accused had taken 
the deceased Babiben to the dispensary of the P.W.4 
for   her   examination   and   they   had   come   to   know   of 
her death after visit to the doctor. 

15. P.W.7,   Ujamben   Haribhai   Patel,   mother   of   the 
deceased   Babiben,   has   been   examined   at   Exh.36   on 
behalf of the prosecution. In her deposition,  She 
has   reiterated   the   fact   about   the   marriage   of 
deceased Babiben as well as gold ornaments given to 
her deceased daughter at the time of her marriage. 
She   has   also   narrated   the   fact   in   her   deposition 
that the accused demanded an amount of Rs.20,000/­ 
as   well   as   ornaments.   She   has   stated   that   the 
accused used to time and again harass her deceased 
daughter by demanding  ornaments  as well as money. 
She   has   stated   that   she   came   to   know   about   the 
death   of   her   daughter   Babiben   through   a   letter 
given by a person on 21.04.1996 that  her daughter 
departed   to   heaven   and   her   Besana   ceremony   is 

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held on 22.04.1996. In her cross­examination, she 
has   stated   that   her   daughter   used   to   visit   her 
parental home occasionally and they used to go to 
bus­stand   for   dropping   her.   It   is   further 
elicited in her cross­examination that there was 
no dispute amongst them regarding any transaction 
between   both   the   families.   She   has   even   stated 
that   she   does   not   know   where   the   Babiben   was 
staying in Amirgadh and also does not know where 
her son­in­law was serving. She has stated that, 
she had not stated in her police statement that 
her   daughter   Babiben   went   crying   to   her 
matrimonial   home.   The   contradiction   also   comes 
out about the harassment meted out by the accused 
on   her   daughter.   From   her   entire   testimony,   it 
emerges  that  there  was no dispute  between  their 
family and she was not aware what the accused was 
doing   and   where   he   was   staying   and   the 
contradictions regarding the harassment given by 
the accused to the daughter has been brought out 
in her testimony.        

16. P.W.12,   Samrathdan   Gorakhdan,   P.S.I., 
Investigating Officer, has been examined at Exh.45 
on behalf of the prosecution. The testimony of this 
witness   revealed   that   on   21.04.1996,     at   about 
20.15 hours, investigating of the present case was 
handed   over   to   him   by   P.S.O.   Amirgadh   Police 
Station vide order produced at Exh.43. On the said 

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date, he recorded the statement of complainant, his 
brother and his uncle. The complainant produced one 
Chit   with   complaint.   In   his   deposition,   he   has 
identified the said Chit produced at Exh.14. He had 
visited   the   place   of   incident   after   taking   the 
complaint.   He   also   recorded   the   statements   of 
concerned   witnesses   residing   near   the   place   of 
incident. He has further that he has not made any 
investigation   about   the   cremation   of   the   deceased 
Babiben.   He   has   further   stated   that   during   his 
investigation,   it   was   found   that   the   deceased 
Babiben was pregnant and was undergoing treatment. 
Nothing   turns   out   from   the   testimony   of   the 
Investigating Officer.   

17. The   defence   has   also   examined   two   witnesses. 
D.W.1, Dashrathlal Jhumakhram Soni, was examined at 
Exh.49. He has been examined regarding ornaments of 
deceased   Babiben.   Nothing   turns   out   from   his 
testimony. 

18. The   Defence.Witness.   2   Govindbhai   Fuljibhai 
Dhuiliya,   has   been   examined   at   Exh.54.   He   is   the 
resident of Village of the accused i.e. Vadgam. In 
examination   in   chief,   he   has   stated   that   he 
received information about the death of the Babiben 
on   20.04.1996   in   the   evening.   He   has   stated   that 
when   he   reached   Pasvadal,   at   that   time,   all   the 
relative   of   Babiben   were   present.   He   has   stated 
that uncle of Babiben as well their near relatives 

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i.e.   his   brother   Bhagwanbhai   and   other   villagers 
were   present   there.   He   has   also   asserted   that 
brother of the deceased  was also present.  Brother 
of the deceased had also brought piece of cloth, as 
the same was necessary in the cremation ceremony. 
He has also stated that, at the time of cremation 
at   Siddhpur   Crematorium,   Laxmanbhai,   Narsangbhai, 
Hemrajbhai,   Parthibhai   Jhala   and   two   persons   were 
also   present.   He   has   stated   that   the   cremation 
ceremony   was   held   between   3   to   4   hours   in   the 
afternoon   and   at   about   4.30,   all   these   persons 
returned to Pasvadal in the Jeep of one Laxmanbhai 
Bhatol. It is also asserted that there is no custom 
of giving dowry or ornaments in the marriage, but, 
for the first time, when married woman is sent to 
her   matrimonial   home,   there   is   custom   of   giving 
gold ornaments. He has further stated that there is 
custom in their society that as and when some one 
dies, his / her cremation is to be done at his / 
her   native   place.   After   performing   all   these 
rituals,   Laxmanbhai   has   lodged   the   police 
complaint. This witness has been extensively cross­
examined. In his cross­examination, he has stuck to 
the   facts   narrated   by   him   in   the   examination   in 
chief. He has asserted that his brother as well as 
near   relatives   were   present   at   Pasvadal.   No 
contradiction  or omission  has been brought out in 
the   testimony   of   this   witness.   This   witness   has 
established himself as a credible witness.    

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19. The   overall   analysis   of   the   documentary   and 
oral   evidence   reveals   that   the   complaint   filed 
against the accused is an afterthought. The case of 
the prosecution is that complainant and his family 
members   came   to   know   the   death   of   the   deceased 
through the Letter Exh.14 sent by the father of the 
accused informing about the Besna  ceremony of the 
deceased   scheduled   on   22.4.1996.   Neither   the 
contents of the aforesaid letter are proved nor has 
the   person   who   delivered   the   said   letter   on 
21.4.1996  to the complainant  has been examined  by 
the   prosecution.   Thus,   the   substratum   of   the 
prosecution   case   that   the   death   of   the   deceased 
Babiben     was   suppressed   by   the   accused   and   the 
complainant and his family were only informed about 
the   same   on   21.4.1996   vide   Letter   delivered   on 
21.4.1996   has   not   been   established.   It   is   also 
established   that   the   deceased   was   time   again 
subjected to the medical treatment and she was not 
living a healthy life. The testimony of the D.W.2 
reveals that the complainant and his family members 
were   present   at   the   place   of   crematorium   of   the 
accused. 

20. As   regards   the   contention   raised   by   the 
learned APP Mr.Dabhi on the presumption to be drawn 
against the accused by virtue of section 113­B of 
the   Evidence   Act,   we   may   gainfully   extract   the 
observations made by the Apex Court in the case of 
Biajnath   Vs   State   of   Madhya   Pradesh,   reported   in 

Page 19 of 23
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2017(1)SCC 101. The same are thus:

“28. Section   113B   of   the   Act   enjoins   a 
statutory   presumption   as   to   dowry   death   in 
the following terms: 

“113B. Presumption as to dowry death. ­ When 
the   question   is   whether   a   person   has 
committed the dowry death of a woman and it 
is   shown   that   soon   before   her   death   such 
woman   has   been   subjected   by   such   person   to 
cruelty or harassment for, or in connection 
with, any demand for dowry, the Court shall 
presume   that   such   person   had   caused   the 
dowry death. 

Explanation.   ­   For   the   purpose   of   this 
section,   “dowry   death”   shall   have   the   same 
meaning   as   in  section   304B  of   the   Indian 
Penal Code (45 of 1860)” 

29. Noticeably   this   presumption   as   well 
is   founded   on   the   proof   of   cruelty   or 
harassment   of   the   woman   dead   for   or   in 
connection with any demand for dowry by the 
person   charged   with   the   offence.   The 
presumption as to dowry death thus would get 
activated   only   upon   the   proof   of   the   fact 
that the deceased lady had been subjected to 
cruelty   or   harassment   for   or   in   connection 
with any demand for dowry by the accused and 
that   too   in   the   reasonable   contiguity   of 
death.   Such   a   proof   is   thus   the 

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legislatively   mandated   prerequisite   to 
invoke   the   otherwise   statutorily   ordained 
presumption of commission of the offence of 
dowry death by the person charged therewith. 

30. A   conjoint   reading   of   these   three 
provisions, thus predicate the burden of the 
prosecution to unassailable substantiate the 
ingredients   of   the   two   offences   by   direct 
and   convincing   evidence   so   as   to   avail   the 
presumption engrafted  in  Section  113B  of the 
Act against the accused. Proof of cruelty or 
harassment by the husband or her relative or 
the person charged is thus the sine qua non 
to   inspirit   the   statutory   presumption,   to 
draw   the   person   charged   within   the   coils 
thereof.   If   the   prosecution   fails   to 
demonstrate   by   cogent   coherent   and 
persuasive evidence to prove such fact, the 
person   accused   of   either   of   the   above 
referred   offences   cannot   be   held   guilty   by 
taking   refuge   only   of   the   presumption   to 
cover up the shortfall in proof. 

31.   The   legislative   premature   of   relieving 
the   prosecution   of   the   rigour   of   the   proof 
of   the   often   practically   inaccessible 
recesses of life within the guarded confines 
of   a   matrimonial   home   and   of   replenishing 
the   consequential   void,   by   according   a 

Page 21 of 23
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presumption   against   the   person   charged, 
cannot   be   overeased   to   gloss­over   and 
condone   its   failure   to   prove   credibly,   the 
basic   facts   enumerated   in   the   Sections 
involved, lest justice is the casualty.”

21. As per the observations of the Supreme court, 
the proof of cruelty or harassment is sine qua non 
to   inspirit   the   statutory   presumption   envisaged 
under   section   113B.   In   the   present   case,   the 
prosecution has failed to prove the quintessential 
feature   of   harassment   or   cruelty   which   would 
attract   the   presumption   engrafted   in   the   section. 
Hence,   the   contention   raised   by   the   learned   APP 
does not merit acceptance.

22. We   are,   therefore,   of   the   considered   opinion 
that   the   findings   recorded   by   the   trial   court   in 
acquitting   the   accused   of   the   charge   leveled 
against him are absolutely just and proper and in 
recording   the   said   findings,   no   illegality   or 
infirmity   has   been   committed   by   it.   We   are   in 
complete   agreement   with   the   reasoning’s   given   and 
the   findings   arrived   at   by   the   trial   court.   No 
interference   is   warranted   with   the   judgment   and 
order of the Trial Court.   

23. In   view   of   the   above   discussions,   we   are   of 
the opinion that the trial court has committed no 
error  in passing the impugned  judgment and order. 

Page 22 of 23

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Hence, the present appeal deserves to be dismissed.

24. In the backdrop of the aforesaid analysis and 
observations,   the   appeal   fails   and   is 
accordingly, dismissed. The judgment and order of 
the   trial   court   dated  31.03.1997  stands 
confirmed. Bail and bail bonds of the accused, if 
any, stands discharged. Record and proceedings be 
sent   back   to   the   concerned   trial   court, 
forthwith.

  Sd/­ 
(HARSHA DEVANI, J)

Sd/­ 
(A. S. SUPEHIA, J)
GIRISH

Page 23 of 23

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