Karnataka High Court State Of Karnataka vs S Ravi S/O Sadashivareddy on 13 December, 2012Author: A.S.Pachhapure
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE DATED THIS THE 13TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2012 BEFORE
THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE A.S.PACHHAPURE CRIMINAL APPEAL No.1534/2006
State of Karnataka
by Hebbagodi Police. … Appellant (By Sri. Satish R.Girji, HCGP)
Aged about 26 years,
R/at Kudlu Village,
Bangalore District. … Respondent (By Sri. D. Nagaraj, Advocate)
This Crl.A filed under Section 378(1)&(3) Cr.P.C by the State. P.P. for the State praying that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to grant leave to file an appeal against the Judgment Dt.30.1.2006 passed by the Addl.C.J (JR.DN.) & JMFC., Anekal, in C.C.No.84/1998 – acquitting the respondent/accused No.1 for the offences -2-
punishable under Sections 498A, 506 of IPC R/w Section.3, 4 & 6 of D.P.Act.
This appeal coming on for Hearing this day, the Court delivered the following:
The State has filed this appeal challenging the judgment and order acquitting the respondent for the charge under Section 498-A and 506 IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act (for short called as ‘DP Act’), on a trial held by the JMFC, Anekal.
2. The facts relevant for the purpose of this appeal are as under;
PW.1 – Shivaleela is the wife of respondent No.1 and their marriage was performed on 22.11.1996 at Dharmasthala. During the marriage negotiations, it is alleged that, a sum of Rs.1,00,000/-, Gold Ornaments weighing about ½ k.g. and Silver articles were agreed to be given at the request of respondent No.1 and the -3-
marriage was performed on the aforesaid date and the dowry agreed upon, is said to have been given. After the marriage they led a happy married life for about 4 – 5 months. She alleges that her husband and parents- in-law i.e, respondent Nos.2 and 3 were abusing her and were giving pills so that she would not be pregnant and subjected her to cruelty and harassment, claiming that, respondent No.1 intent to marry another wife and insisting her to leave their house and to go to her parental home. She further claims that, after about 3- 4 months of the married life, she was driven out from the house by the respondent. She waited for some time and as the respondent did not take any steps to take her back, a complaint came to be filed by PW-1 Shivaleela, before the Police. During the investigation, the police recorded the statement of the witnesses and seized the documents and M.O.1 – Lagna Patrike, M.O.2 – Receipt, M.O.3 – 3 Photographs and M.O.4 – 2 Photographs and on completion of the -4-
investigation, a charge sheet was filed against the respondent for the said charges.
3. During the trial, prosecution has examined PW’s-1 to 5 and got marked Exs.P1 and P2 and M.O’s.1 to
4. Respondent No.2 died during the pendency of the trial, whereas the case against respondent No.3 was split up. The trial Court after hearing the learned counsel for the parties and on appreciation of the material available on record has acquitted the respondent for the aforesaid charges. Aggrieved by the order of acquittal, the present this appeal is filed.
4. I have heard the learned Government Pleader for the state. The learned counsel appearing for the respondent is absent.
5. It is the contention of the learned Government Pleader that, the evidence of PW.1- Shivaleela and that of PW.2 – Thippareddy is sufficient, under the circumstances to attract Section- -5-
498A IPC and as PW.1 is independent witness, the trial Court committed an error in acquitting the respondent for the said charges. Hence, he submits to allow the appeal and award conviction.
6. As could be seen from the defence of the respondent he claims that, after the marriage negotiations he came to know that PW.1-Shivaleela has a boy-friend and she was not willing to marry him. Though, he was not willing to marry Shivaleela, with the force of the parents of his wife Shivaleela he married her. It is also his defence that, after the marriage, for a few days his wife stayed with him as she had no interest in the matrimonial tie and went to her parental house. In this context, he has filed a petition for Divorce and the copy of the petition is produced at Ex.D1. A perusal of the petition in M.C.NO.1/97, would reveal the same defence and it is relevant to note that, this petition came to be filed on 07.01.1997 i.e., within a span of 1½ months of the -6-
marriage. PWs.1 to 5 admit about the Divorce petition filed by her husband as per Ex.D1. Therefore, her claim that, she was staying with him for about 3 – 4 months and during that period she was subjected to cruelty and harassment appears to be not true.
7. The scrutiny of her evidence reveals that at the time of the marriage negotiations the respondent had demanded a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- as Dowry, Gold Ornaments weighing about ½ k.g. and silver articles, on this aspect of the matter she has not examined her parents who are said to have given the cash, gold ornaments and silver articles. Instead of examining her parents the prosecution has examined PW.2 – Thippareddy, who has stated in his evidence that, the gold ornaments and the cash was given in installments before and at the time of the marriage. The MO.1 is a document related to settlement of marriage of PW.1- Shivaleela with the respondent. This document does not reveal any such agreement to pay dowry at the time of -7-
the marriage. She admits in the cross-examination that no invitation cards were printed or distributed:
8. That apart, though she claims that after she went back to her parental house, she did not file any complaint to the police for about 4 – 5 months. The said complaint was filed only after the divorce petition was filed by the respondent. Therefore, her explanation that, the circumstances would change her husband in future and she waited for a change, appears to be improbable as the respondent had filed the petition for divorce much earlier to the filing of the complaint as per Ex.P1, so the scrutiny of this material placed on record reveals doubtful conduct of PW’s-1 to 5. It is for this reason, the trial Court did not accept the evidence of the prosecution and granted an order of acquittal.
9. In an appeal against acquittal, the Appellate Court will be slow in interfering with the such orders, even if a second view is possible, the one accepted by -8-
the trial court cannot be disturbed. Scrutiny of this material placed on record, in this context of the circumstances stated above reveal no grounds to interfere with the judgment and order of acquittal.
10. In the result, appeal fails and it is dismissed.