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State Of Mah. Thru Police Station … vs Manish Ramkrushnaappa @ Ramkisan … on 15 March, 2018

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THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
NAGPUR BENCH : NAGPUR.

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 203 OF 2007

State of Maharashtra,
Through Police Station Officer,
Ansing, Dist. Washim. … Appellant

VERSUS

(1) Manish Ramkrushnaappa @ Ramkisan
Makhmale, Aged about 29 years,
Occ : Service,

(2) Ramkrushna Appa @ Ramkisan Punjappa
Makhmale, Aged about 51 years,
Agriculturist,

(3) Sau. Indubai W/o Ramkrushnaappa @ Ramkisan
Makhmale, Aged about 48 years,
Agriculturist,

(4) Aruna D/o Ramkrushna Appa Makhmale,
Aged About 29 years,
Household work,

(5) Sau. Jyoti W/o Mahadeoappa Isapure,
Aged About 25 years,
Agriculturist,

Accused No. 1 to 5, r/o Bramha,
Tq. and Dist. Washim. … Respondents

————————————————————————————————-
Shri J. Y. Ghurde, Additional Public Prosecutor for the appellant
Shri R. M. Daga, Advocate for the respondents
————————————————————————————————————————

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CORAM : R. K. DESHPANDE AND
M. G. GIRATKAR, JJ.

Date of reserving the judgment : 21/02/2018.

Date of pronouncing the judgment : 15/03/2018.

Judgment (Per : M.G. Giratkar, J)

The State has preferred the present appeal against the

judgment of acquittal passed by learned Ad-hoc Additional Sessions

Judge, Washim in Sessions Trial No. 78/2006 by which all the

respondents/accused came to be acquitted for the offences punishable

under Sections 498-A, 304-B, 306 read with Section 34 of the Indian

Penal Code.

2. The case of prosecution against all the respondents in short

is as under :

(i) Jayshree was the daughter of Shankarrrao Raghoji Dukandar.

Marriage of Jayshree was solemnized with the respondent no. 1 on

28-5-2002. Respondent nos. 2 and 3 are father-in-law and mother-in-

law of deceased Jayshree. Respondent nos. 4 and 5 are sister-in-laws of

deceased Jayshree.

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(ii) The respondents were residing at Bramha. At the time of

settlement of marriage, respondent no. 1 agreed that after marriage, he

will stay with his wife Jayshree at Ansing by making arrangement of

room.

(iii) After solemnizing marriage, Jayshree went to cohabit with her

husband/respondent no. 1 at Village Bramha on such promise and

assurance given by her husband to reside at Ansing after getting room.

Respondent no. 1 not made any arrangement of residence at Ansing. All

the respondents gave good treatment to her for 1½ years. Jayshree

begotten one female child. Thereafter respondents started ill-treating to

deceased. They were directing her to bring Rs. 50,000/- from her

parents to purchase plot at Ansing.

(iv) In the year 2005, brother of Jayshree, namely, Shivraj had been

to the house of the respondents at Bramha for Rakshabandhan. In his

presence, respondent no. 1 beat deceased Jayshree. On 16-4-2006,

father of deceased had been to Village Rohada for a marriage. After

marriage, he went to Village Bramha. Deceased disclosed him about the

harassment of her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law. She told

that she was beaten by her husband. She disclosed that as he was not

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paying Rs. 50,000/- to purchase plot, therefore, her in-laws were

harassing her. He tried to convince father-in-law and mother-in-law and

husband of Jayshree. They were not in a mood to hear him. They asked

him to take Jayshree with him. So he took his daughter at Jintur.

Jayshree resided with her parents for 2½ months.

(v) On 21-6-2006, husband of Jayshree telephoned her and told her

that she should come with her paternal aunt, namely, Laxmibai. He told

her that if she fail to come for cohabitation, he would commit suicide.

On 23-6-2006, Jayshree came for cohabitation along with Laxmibai. On

25-6-2006, Jayshree committed suicide. Information was given to her

parents. Father-in-law of deceased informed the police about the death

of deceased.

(vi) Father of deceased, P.W. 1 came to Village Bramha. He lodged

report at Police Station, Ansing (Exhibit 50). Crime was registered. PSI

Avghade, P.W. 9 investigated the crime. He prepared spot panchanama,

inquest panchanama etc. and sent dead body for post mortem. As per

the opinion of the Medical Officer, cause of death was due to hanging.

After complete investigation, P.W. 9 filed the charge-sheet before the

Judicial Magistrate First First Class, Washim, who in turn committed to

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the Court of Sessions, Washim for trial.

(vii) Charge was framed at Exhibit 33. Same was readover and

explained to the accused/respondents. They pleaded not guilty and

claimed to be tried. Defence appears to be of total denial.

(viii) Learned trial Court recorded statements of accused under Section

313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. After hearing the prosecution

and defence, learned trial Court acquitted all the accused/respondents

as stated above, hence, the present appeal.

3. Heard learned Additional Public Prosecutor Shri J. Y.

Ghurde for the State/appellant. He has submitted that evidence of

P.W. 1, father of deceased is well supported by P.W. 2 Shivraj Dukandar,

sister of deceased Savita (P.W. 3) and independent witness Aasra.

Learned Additional Public Prosecutor has submitted that there is

sufficient evidence by the prosecution to prove the offences punishable

under Sections 498-A, 304-B of the Indian Penal Code. There is no

dispute that deceased died within a period 7 years from the time of

marriage. Death of Jayshree was unnatural. P.W. 1, P.W. 2, P.W. 3 and

P.W. 4 have stated about ill-treatment by the respondents. Learned trial

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Court not considered evidence properly and wrongly acquitted the

respondents. At last, he prayed to allow the appeal and convict the

respondents for the offences charged against them.

4. Heard learned counsel Shri Daga for the respondents. He

has pointed out material evidence. Learned counsel has submitted that

deceased Jayshree was hot tempered. It was decided before marriage

that her husband should reside at Ansing along with deceased. Being a

only son, he could not reside at Ansing. Deceased was upset and

therefore, she has committed suicide. There was no any ill-treatment or

harassment as alleged against the respondents. Learned trial Court

rightly appreciated the evidence on record and rightly acquitted all the

respondents. There is no merit in the appeal, hence, liable to be

dismissed.

5. Evidence of P.W. 1 itself shows that before marriage of

Jayshree, her husband respondent no. 1 agreed to reside at Ansing along

with his daughter by making arrangement of room. His evidence and

also evidence of other witnesses do not show that there was any demand

of dowry at the time of settlement of marriage. From the perusal of

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evidence of P.W. 1, P.W. 2, P.W. 3 and P.W. 4, it is clear that deceased

had no grievance against any of the respondents for a period of

1½ years. Deceased delivered a female child. Admittedly, her sister-in-

laws were married and residing with their respective husbands. P.W. 1

and P.W. 2 not stated anything against accused nos. 4 and 5. General

allegations are made against father-in-law and mother-in-law saying

that they were instigating respondent no. 1 to beat deceased etc.

6. As per the evidence of P.W. 1 and P.W. 2, deceased was

taken by P.W. 1 on 16-4-2006. She resided with them for about 2½

months. Respondent no. 1 was insisting his wife Jayshree to return to

matrimonial home. On 21-6-2006, respondent no. 1 made a phone call

and requested Jayshree to return with Laxmibai (paternal aunt of

deceased). Deceased returned to Village Bramha on 23-6-2006 and

thereafter she has committed suicide on 25-6-2006. Exact reason for

committing suicide not disclosed, but from overall evidence on record, it

is clear that deceased was insisting her husband to reside at Ansing.

Respondent no. 1 being the only son of his parents, he wanted to

continue to reside at Bramha instead of Ansing. Respondent no. 1 was

in service at Ansing. He was working as a Clerk in Maulana Aazad

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School at Ansing. It was natural for the only son/respondent no. 1 to

look after his old aged parents. His both sisters/respondent nos. 4 and 5

were married and residing with their respective husbands. Therefore,

expectation of parents from their only son to take care of them in their

old age cannot be said to be cruelty.

7. For the first time, after the death of Jayshree, story put

forth by P.W. 1 in respect of demand of Rs. 50,000/- to purchase a plot.

It is pertinent to note that real sister of P.W. 1 was residing at Bramha.

If there was any such cruelty or harassment on account of demand of

Rs. 50,000/-, then it was natural for the parents of deceased to call a

meeting of their relatives.

8. It appears from the evidence that there was some bickering

only on the ground that the respondent no. 1 was not taking deceased to

Ansing and reside only with her.

9. There is no dispute that lastly, deceased return to

matrimonial home at Bramha along with her paternal aunt Laxmibai.

Laxmibai not examined by the prosecution. P.W. 9 PSI Avghade has

admitted in his cross-examination that he had recorded statement of

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Laxmibai Vaijnathappa Isapure and her son Mahadeo Isapure, resident

of Bramha. Both the statements not filed on record. Both witnesses also

not examined by the prosecution.

10. PSI Avghade has specifically admitted in his cross-

examination that both these witnesses, namely, Laxmibai and her son

Mahadeo not shown any knowledge about the harassment to Jayshree.

Evidence of P.W. 3 and P.W. 4 also not material. P.W. 4 Aasra Ghuge

denied portion marked ‘A’ of her statement. It is proved by PSI Avghade.

In her statement before police stated that there was ill-treatment to

deceased from her parents side.

11. There is no evidence to show that there was demand of

dowry by the respondent no. 1. This allegation stated by father and

relatives of deceased after her death. P.W. 1 and P.W. 2 have not stated

in their evidence that they asked husband of deceased in respect of

demand. Moreover, real sister of P.W. 1 was residing at Bramha with

her family. P.W. 1 and P.W. 2 not stated a single word that Laxmibai

disclosed anything about the harassment of deceased in respect of

demand of Rs. 50,000/-. Being a real sister, it was natural conduct of

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Laxmibai to disclose to her brother about the harassment of deceased,

but P.W. 1, P.W. 2 and P.W. 3 not stated so. On the other hand,

evidence of PSI Avghade clearly shows that Laxmibai and her son not

disclosed anything about the harassment to deceased by any of the

respondents. Therefore, it is clear that allegations in respect of demand

of Rs. 50,000/- introduced after death of Jayshree.

12. P.W. 2 admitted both the letters written by deceased.

Those letters are at Exhibit 54 and 55. In both the letters, deceased

not made any allegation. One letter was addressed to P.W. 1. In the

said letter, deceased not shown any harassment to her. Another letter,

Exhibit 55 was addressed to respondent no. 1 by Jayshree from her

parents house. From reading of letter, Exhibit 55, it appears that she

was in deep love with respondent no. 1. Below her signature, she wrote

as hot tempered wife. Admission of P.W. 1 in the cross-examination

itself shows that deceased was hot tempered.

13. There may be some trivial quarrels on household work.

That does not mean that there was cruelty to deceased. In the case of

Shivaji Janaba Patil and others Vs. State of Maharashtra reported in

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2004(1) Mh.L.J. 411, it is held by this Court that every petty bickering

or disagreement cannot be treated to be “cruelty”. There has to be a

nexus between such harassment, ill-treatment, cruelty and the death. It

is further held in paragraph 11 of said judgment as under.

11. For bringing home the guilt in context with Section
498A or 304B of Indian Penal Code there has to be a specific
evidence to show that the bride was harassed, illtreated,
treated with cruelty on number of occasions which was
sufficient enough to prompt her to commit suicide. The Court
cannot afford itself to be aloof or noninformative of normal
human behaviour and humanly transactions which are being
transacted in day to day routine life. There are petty quarrels
or brushings or conflicts on number of counts in day to day
life between a bride, her in-laws, her husband, the sisters or
the brothers of the husband. Every such petty bickering or
disagreement cannot be treated to be “cruelty” in parlance of
law in respect of Sections 498A, 304 B of Indian Penal Code.
If they are to be taken into the sweep of the provisions of these
two sections, then, it would be very difficult for the persons to
survive in normal domestic life. Cruelty should be to such an
extent which would make the bride fade up and to abandon
the matrimonial life by committing suicide. The harassment,
illtreatment or cruelty should be of such an extent which
would make her disinterested in living in matrimonial tie or

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in matrimonial home and that would be sufficient enough to
prompt her to commit suicide. There has to be a nexus
between such harassment, illtreatment, cruelty and the death.

14. In the present case, except the one incident stated by P.W. 2

that respondent no. 1 beat Jayshree, no other incident is stated by any of

the witness in respect of beating etc. P.W. 3 and P.W. 4 only stated that

when Jayshree came to her parents house, she disclosed about the ill-

treatment of respondent nos. 1, 2 and 3. P.W. 1 also not disclosed any

harassment or ill-treatment by the sister-in-laws of deceased even

though they are made accused.

15. From the perusal of evidence, it is clear that prosecution has

suppressed the material evidence from the Court. As per admission of

PSI Avghade, he had recorded statements of Laxmibai and her son

Mahadeo who were residing at Village Bramha. Admittedly, Laxmibai is

real sister of P.W. 1. She would have disclosed before the Court real fact

but prosecution not examined Laxmibai or her son. Moreover, PSI

Avghade has stated in his evidence that Laxmibai and her son not

disclosed anything about harassment or ill-treatment to deceased by all

the accused.

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16. Prosecution has miserably failed to prove that accused

persons were demanding Rs. 50,000/- and on that count beating and ill-

treating deceased. The real fact disclosed by P.W. 1 himself in his

examination-in-chief. He has stated that there was an agreement before

the marriage of Jayshree. At the time of settlement of marriage,

respondent no. 1 agreed to reside with his wife separately at Ansing.

Admittedly, respondent no. 1 not taken Jayshree to Ansing. Jayshree

was residing in joint family, therefore, her expectation to reside

separately with her husband not fulfilled.

17. As per the admission of P.W. 1 and letter, Exhibit 55, it is

clear that deceased was hot tempered. Possibility cannot be ruled out

that deceased might have committed suicide because her husband not

taken her to Ansing as per assurance given by him at the time of

settlement of marriage. Prosecution has not proved any of the

ingredients of Section 498-A, 304-B and 306 of the Indian Penal Code.

Learned trial Court rightly considered all the evidence. There is no

illegality and perversity in the impugned judgment. Hence, we pass the

following order.

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ORDER

(i) The appeal is dismissed with no order as to costs.

(ii) R P be sent back to the trial Court.

JUDGE JUDGE

wasnik

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