IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU
DATED THIS THE 09TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2019
THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE B.A.PATIL
CRIMINAL APPEAL No.397 OF 2019
State of Karnataka
By Chandra Layout Police Station
Through the State Public Prosecutor
O/o the Advocate General
High Court Building
Dr. Ambedkar Veedhi
(By Sri.M.Divakar Maddur, HCGP)
S/o late Rajashekar
Aged 41 years
Resident of Jyothi Nilaya Main Road
Chamarajanagar District-571440. …Respondent
(By Sri.L.K.Srinivasamurthy, Advocate)
This Criminal Appeal is filed under Section 378(1)
and (3) of SectionCr.P.C. praying to grant leave to appeal against
the judgment and order of acquittal dated 23.8.2018
passed by the LXXI Additional City Civil and Sessions
Judge, Bengaluru city CCH-72 in S.C.No.681/2012.
This Criminal Appeal coming on for Admission, this
day the Court delivered the following:-
This appeal has been preferred by the State
challenging the legality and correctness of the judgment
and order of acquittal passed by the LXXI Additional City
Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru city in
S.C.No.681/2012 dated 23.8.2018.
2. I have heard the learned High Court Government
Pleader for the appellant-State and the learned counsel for
3. Though this case is listed for admission, with the
consent of learned counsel for the parties, it is taken up for
4. The facts leading to the case are that the marriage
of the respondent-accused and the deceased got performed
on 7.7.2002. The accused-respondent was working as a
Driver in BMTC, Bengaluru and after the marriage, started
to reside at Byraveshwarnagar, Nagarbhavi, Bengaluru.
Out of the said wedlock, they have a son by name Veeresh.
On 14.3.2007, at about 10.45 p.m., accused informed
C.W.1, the mother of deceased, that her daughter
committed suicide and that he will bring the dead body to
Kollegal for cremation. Thereafter, he took the dead body
and the body was buried hurriedly. After two and a half
moths of burial, complainant and her relatives suspected
the conduct and attitude of the accused and on 30.5.2007
accused threatened C.W.1 to return his son to his custody
and also lodged a complaint in this regard. However,
C.W.1 handed over the son to the custody of the accused.
Subsequently, complainant lodged the complaint as per
Ex.P1. After investigation, charge sheet was filed for the
offence punishable under Sections 498A, Section306 and Section201 of
IPC. Thereafter, by following the procedure, case was
committed and the Sessions Court took cognizance of the
offence and secured the presence of the accused. After
hearing the learned counsel for the accused and the
learned Public Prosecutor, charge was prepared and read
over to the accused. Accused pleaded not guilty and
claimed to be tried, as such, trial was fixed. In order to
prove the case of prosecution, it has examined 22
witnesses as P.Ws.1 to 22 and got marked Exs.P1 to P31.
During the course of cross-examination of P.W.1, the
accused got marked Exs.D1 and D2. Thereafter, statement
of the accused was recorded under Section 313 of Cr.P.C.
He has not examined any witnesses on his behalf.
However, he denied all the incriminating materials. After
hearing the learned counsel appearing for the parties, the
trial Court acquitted the accused. Challenging the legality
and correctness of the said judgment, the State is before
5. The main grounds urged by the learned High Court
Government Pleader are that the judgment of acquittal
passed by the Court below is contrary to law and evidence
placed on record. It is his further submission that P.W.1-
mother of the complainant, P.W.3-sister of the deceased,
P.W.4-brother of the deceased have categorically deposed
about the ill-treatment and harassment caused by the
accused to the deceased. They have also clearly deposed
that the deceased committed suicide because of the
demand of site made by the accused. The conduct of the
accused clearly shows that he has hidden the act
committed over the deceased and has hurriedly took the
body without informing to the police and by threatening
the witnesses has buried the body. It is his further
submission that P.W.6, the owner of the house of accused
has clearly stated that when they asked about the death of
deceased, he has confessed that deceased committed
suicide. The said fact has not been properly appreciated by
the trial Court. Even though there was ample material,
without considering the same, the trial Court has wrongly
acquitted the accused. When the accused has suppressed
the material of deceased committing suicide that itself goes
to show that he has removed the ligature and has
destroyed the evidence. Under such circumstances, the
accused ought to have been convicted for the offence under
Section 201 of IPC. On these grounds, he prayed to allow
the appeal and to convict the accused by setting aside the
6. Per-contra, learned counsel appearing on behalf of
the respondent-accused has vehemently argued that there
is a delay of seven months in filing the complaint. It is his
submission that when the body of the deceased was
buried, the relatives and friends of deceased were present
and at that time no such allegations were made. Even the
evidence of P.W.1 clearly shows that when they demanded
to give back their grand son, the accused refused and as
such, with an intention to take revenge, a false complaint
has been registered. It is his further submission that the
post mortem report Ex.P21 and the opinion given as per
Ex.P22 clearly shows that there were no signs of deceased
having committed suicide. The FSL report Ex.P16 also
clearly shows that no toxic material has been detected to
come to the conclusion that it is a homicidal death. It is
his submission that all the witnesses have subsequently
stated with regard to the ill-treatment and harassment by
the accused. When the body was present, at that time,
they have not raised any objection and if really, there was
ill-treatment and harassment demanding site, definitely
they could have informed the police. He further submitted
that during the course of cross-examination of P.W.1, she
has admitted the execution of Ex.D1, which clearly shows
that deceased and accused were cordial and no such ill-
treatment and harassment was there and they have also
categorically admitted that she has died a natural death.
When all the materials are taken into consideration, it
clearly shows that the trial Court has come to a right
conclusion and has rightly acquitted the accused. There
are no good grounds to interfere with the judgment of the
trial Court. On these grounds, he prayed to dismiss the
7. I have carefully and cautiously gone through the
submissions made by the learned counsel appearing for
the parties and perused the records, including the lower
8. The prosecution, in support of its case, has
examined 22 witnesses.
P.W.1 is the mother of the deceased and she is also
the complainant. In her evidence, she has deposed
that her deceased daughter has been given in marriage to
the accused on 7.7.2002 and thereafter they started living
at Bengaluru. After one and half years of marriage, her
daughter gave birth to a male child. When her daughter
used to come to her parental house, she used to tell that
there was ill-treatment and harassment by the accused.
The accused used to insist for transfer of site standing in
the name of the complainant to the name of the deceased
and if not, she can go and stay in her parental house. She
has further deposed that on 4.3.2007 accused and
deceased came to marriage ceremony and on that day,
accused did not allow her to speak with her daughter and
as such, she did not exchange her feelings on that day.
Further on 14.03.2007 at about 10.45 p.m., accused called
to the mobile phone of her son and intimated that her
daughter Veena has committed suicide and asked them to
come to Kollegal. He did not reveal any details properly
and when they called back, he did not respond to the call.
Thereafter, they went to Kollegala in a car. At about 1.30
p.m. in the midnight they were taken to P.G.Palya and
there the accused and his other relatives brought the body
of her daughter in a Tata Sumo vehicle and took inside the
house. When she asked as to why deceased committed
suicide, accused told that she had become pregnant. As
they did not wanted a child, for that reason, she has
committed suicide. Accused had told that deceased
committed suicide by locking the door and by breaking
open the door, body was removed. At that time, she did not
suspect the accused and subsequently, after she came to
know that because of ill-treatment and harassment meted
– 10 –
out to her, her daughter has committed suicide, she went
to the police station and filed the complaint as per Ex.P1.
During the course of cross-examination, she has admitted
that earlier it was decided to perform the marriage in ‘Guru
Nanjappa choultry’, but because of financial difficulty,
marriage has been performed in the choultry belonging to
the joint family of her first son-in-law free of cost.
She has further deposed that after the marriage of
the deceased till her death no complaint has been filed
before the police. The burial was made by taking
procession in the village and she has attended the burial.
She has further deposed that her first daughter Hemavathi
tried to commit suicide when her maternal family members
refused to give them property. Other suggestions have
been denied by this witness.
P.W.2 is the resident of P.G.Palya. He has deposed
that about 2-3 years back, Bengaluru police exhumed the
body and he was not in the village on that day. During the
course of cross-examination he has deposed that when the
– 11 –
burial was done, mother of deceased, her sister and
brother were present and about 300-400 persons were
present at the time of burial of the dead body.
P.W.3 is the sister of the deceased. She has also
reiterated the evidence of P.W.1.
P.W.4 is the brother of the deceased. He has also
reiterated the evidence of P.W.1.
P.W.5 is the seizure mahazar pancha of the marriage
invitation card and marriage photographs of accused and
deceased, as per Exs.P4 and P5.
P.W.6 is the owner of the house. In her evidence, she
has not supported the case of prosecution. But, however,
she has deposed that about 8-10 days after the incident
accused came to their house and she made an enquiry. At
that time, accused told that deceased committed suicide
when he had been to work. When he came back and
knocked the door, there was no reply, as such, he along
with neighbours broke open the door and saw that
– 12 –
deceased had committed suicide by hanging. During the
course of cross-examination nothing has been elicited.
P.W.7 is the witness to Exs.P6 and P11. He has
partly turned hostile.
P.W.8 is the spot mahazar pancha to Ex.P2. He has
not supported the case of prosecution and was treated
P.W.9 speaks about the ill-treatment and harassment
said to have been caused by the accused. During the
course of cross-examination nothing has been elicited so as
to discard his evidence.
P.W.10 is the seizure mahazar pancha to Ex.P6. He
has not supported the case of prosecution.
P.W.11 is also witness to Ex.P6. He has also not
supported the case of prosecution.
P.W.12 is the witness to spot mahazar and his
statement is as per Ex.P12. But, he has not supported the
case of prosecution and has been treated as hostile.
– 13 –
P.W.13 participated in the burial. He has deposed
that deceased committed suicide by hanging and some
people were telling that she died because of heart failure
and some were telling that she was not keeping well for a
week. This witness has also been treated as hostile.
P.W.14 is the priest who performed pooja of the dead
body. He has deposed that the body was brought to
P.G.Palya and at the request of elders he performed pooja.
At that time, he enquired with the police as to how she died
and the villagers told that it is a natural death, but he did
not ask the accused as to how she died and as per the
rituals, burial was done. This witness has also been treated
P.W.15 is the Assistant Director of FSL who
conducted the FSL and issued the report as per ExP15.
P.W.16 is the Assistant Director of DNA Centre. He
has examined the hairs and other materials sent for
examination and has given the report as per Ex.P16.
– 14 –
P.W.17 is the PSI who has sent the requisition to the
Assistant Commissioner for exhuming the dead body.
P.W.18 is the Doctor who has examined the materials
sent, after exhuming the dead body and he has given his
opinion as per Ex.P21 and final report as per Ex.P22.
P.W.19 is the Chairman of the P.G.Palya Gram
Panchayat. He has deposed that the body has been
brought to P.G.Palya for burial and the body has been
buried in the land situate in front of Gram Panchayath
office and she has given the certificate as per Ex.P23.
P.W.20 is the Police Constable who carried the seized
articles to FSL for chemical examination.
P.W.21 is the Dy.S.P. who received the complaint and
conducted part of investigation.
P.W.22 is also the Dy.S.P. who investigated the case
completely and filed the charge sheet as against the
9. On a close reading of the material on record, the
first and foremost aspect urged by the learned counsel for
– 15 –
the respondent is that there is a delay of 7 months in filing
the complaint. Though it is contended by the learned High
Court Government Pleader that since the accused had
threatened the complainant and her family members there
is a delay in filing the compliant, in order to substantiate
the said fact nothing has been stated in the complaint. As
could be seen from Ex.D1, the letter written by the
complainant and her son, the brother of the deceased, the
deceased and accused were cordial without any differences
and they had a son aged about three and half years. Two
and half months prior to that date, on 14.3.2007 her
daughter by name H.V.Veena Kumari died suddenly and
they have received back all the gold articles and other
articles given at the time of marriage to the accused and
they are not having any suspicion on the accused. Even
during the course of cross-examination of P.W.1, she has
deposed that she has not filed any complaint about the ill-
treatment and harassment to the deceased. She has also
deposed that because of financial crisis the marriage which
– 16 –
was arranged to be held in Guru Nanjappa Choultry was
not performed and it was performed free of cost in the
choultry belonging to her first son-in-law. All these
materials if taken into consideration, the contention of the
complainant that there was an ill-treatment and
harassment to the deceased for transferring the site
standing in the name of the complainant, appears to be
suspicious. The contention of the learned High Court
Government Pleader that due to the harassment and ill-
treatment she committed suicide by hanging is
unacceptable. Be that as it may.
10. Even as could be seen from Ex.P16, the FSL
report, it indicates that no poisonous substance or toxic
material was found in the body of the deceased. Further,
Ex.P22, the opinion of the doctor of the FSL clearly shows
that most of the soft tissues including the neck tissues of
the deceased were missing and no poison was detected in
FSL examination. On going through all the materials,
the prosecution has failed to establish the fact that
– 17 –
deceased died a homicidal death. Though the learned High
Court Government Pleader vehemently argued that P.W.6,
the owner of the house has stated in her evidence that
accused confessed the fact of deceased committing suicide
and if the said confession statement is taken into
consideration, it may establish the fact that deceased
might have committed suicide by hanging, but does not
throw any light to the fact that because of ill-treatment and
harassment and instigation made by the accused, she
committed suicide by hanging.
11. It is a settled proposition of law that though the
statement of the accused could be considered as an extra
judicial confession, but it is considered to be very weak
piece of evidence unless it is corroborated by substantive
evidence. Further, it is also well settled proposition of law
that in case of presumption if any doubt arises, under such
circumstances, the benefit of doubt should go to the
– 18 –
12. On a close scrutiny of the entire evidence on
record, it would not point out the guilt of the accused and
the prosecution has failed to establish the fact that the
deceased committed suicide because of the intolerable
torture and harassment caused by the accused. There are
no good grounds to interfere with the judgment of the trial
Court. The trial Court has rightly appreciated the evidence
and material placed on record and has come to a right
conclusion in acquitting the accused. There is no
perversity or illegality in the impugned order and as such,
it deserves to be confirmed.
Petition being devoid of merits, same is liable to be
dismissed and accordingly, it is dismissed.