HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH
Heard learned counsel for the appellant and Shri Aniruddh Kumar Singh, learned A.G.A. and perused the record.
2. The present appeal was filed under Section 374 (2) Cr.P.C. against the judgment and order dated 04.04.2003 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge (F.T.C.-2), Lakhimpur Kheri in Sessions Trial No.729 of 1999 convicting under Section 306 I.P.C. and sentencing him to 4 years R.I. Fine of Rs.1,000/-, in default of payment of fine, further 2 months R.I.
3. The factual matrix of the case is that the F.I.R. as Case Crime No.157 of 1999, under Section 306 I.P.C., P.S. Maigalganj, District Kheri was registered on the written complaint of the informant that about two years ago, the marriage of daughter of the informant was solemnized with the appellant and after her marriage, most of the time she was residing in her matrimonial house and she was being victimized by her in-laws due to domestic work and that about 15 days ago from the date of incident, she was beaten by her brother-in-law (devar), therefore, she committed suicide on 08.10.1999, in the night by hanging from a tree. After registering the F.I.R., the Investigating Officer prepared the site plan (Ex. Ka.10), the inquest (Ex. Ka.2) was also prepared by him and the post mortem (Ex. Ka.4) of the body was conducted by the doctor on 09.10.1999. On the same day, after recording the statement of informant and others, the charge sheet (Ex. Ka.11) dated 04.11.1999 was filed by the Investigating Officer against Sundar Lal S/o Chote, Chote S/o Mullu Smt. Krishna Devi W/o Chote and on the aforesaid charge sheet, the court below had taken cognizance and thereafter, the case was committed to the court of Session and it was registered as S.T. No.729 of 1999, charges were framed on 05.01.2000 and the accused persons denied the charges and prayed for trial. The prosecution relied on four witnesses i.e. Ganeshi – P.W.1 (informant), Satish – P.W.2, Dr. A.K. Tyagi – P.W.3 S.I. Saroj Devraj – P.W.4. After completion of the prosecution witnesses, the statement of accused persons were recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C. Thereafter, the impugned judgment of conviction was passed and the learned court below acquitted the accused persons namely Chote and Smt. Krishna Devi (Parents-in-law) and convicted the appellant Sunder Lal under Section 306/34, then the present appeal is filed.
4. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the learned court below has not applied his mind, as Section 34 I.P.C. has no relevancy in the present case when the sole accused is convicted. He further submitted that no offence under Section 306 I.P.C. is made out and he relied on the statement of the P.W.1, who deposed that his daughter was having no difficulty in fooding and lodging and before her death, they have never made any complaint in relation to the victimization of the deceased. P.W.1 also deposed that whenever he went for Vidai of his daughter to her matrimonial house, then her in-laws always allowed him and when her in-laws came for Vidai of his daughter from his house, then they were also welcomed and he also deposed that his daughter was having serious objection with the appellant who was visiting some other women and sometimes appellant did not come back to house in the night, as a result, quarrel used to take place on this issue.
5. Learned counsel for the appellant also relied on the statement of P.W.2 and submitted that P.W.2 deposed in his statement that the deceased was being victimized by giving beatings by her in-laws and he also deposed that the appellant was having illicit relation with some other women and he used to go in the morning and come back in the night and whenever his sister raised objection then she was beaten by the appellant and her sister stated the aforesaid fact whenever P.W.2 visited matrimonial house of the deceased or deceased visited P.W.2’s house. He also stated that P.W.2 specifically deposed in his statement at para 5 that his sister was annoyed with the appellant because he was having relation with some other women and he was fond of another women and not her sister.
6. Learned counsel for the appellant also relied on the statement of P.W.3 and submitted that P.W.3 deposed in his statement that the cause of death of deceased is due to asphyxia and no anti-mortem injury is found at the body of the deceased and he further submitted that the presumption under Section 113A of India Evidence Act can not be taken without considering all other circumstances of the case, as no any cruelty is established in the deposition of the P.W.1 P.W.2 but its admission in both the statement that appellant was having illicit relation with someone else and the deceased was raising objections, as a result, quarrel used to take place between them, therefore, the appeal is liable to be allowed.
7. Learned counsel for the appellant also relied on the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Kishori Lal Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh reported in 2007 (58) SC 1069 and submitted that there is no any content of abetment. He also relied on the decision of the case of Mangat Ram Vs. State of Haryana reported in 2014 12 SCC 595 and submitted that though a presumption could be drawn and the court may presume having regard to all other circumstances of the case that such suicide has been abetted by her husband or in-laws, it could not be presumed that if the suicide is taken place within seven years of marriage by married lady then it was due to cruelty of the in-laws, as defined under Section 498A I.P.C.
8. Learned A.G.A. opposes the prayer of the appellant and submitted that deceased committed suicide within seven years of marriage, therefore, as per the provision of Section 113A Indian Evidence Act, it is presumed that she committed suicide subjected to cruelty of her in-laws.
9. Considering the arguments of learned counsel for the appellant as well as learned A.G.A. and going through the records, it is evident that as per the prosecution case, the marriage of appellant was solemnized with the deceased about two years ago from the date of incident and she was residing mostly in her in-laws house but she committed suicide. As P.W.1 deposed in his statement that the deceased was residing most of the time in her in-laws’ house and the deceased told to her mother that the appellant was staying outside the home in the night and when the deceased raised objection then she was beaten and this fact was also admitted by the brother of the deceased Satish (P.W.2). As the possibility cannot be ruled out that the deceased committed suicide due to annoyance, as the appellant is having relation with some other women, as Section 113B of Indian Evidence Act provides that the presumption be taken against the accused that the deceased committed suicide due to cruelty of her husband or other relatives but all the other circumstances of the case must be considered. In the present case, the deceased committed suicide within seven years of her marriage but P.W.1 P.W.2 deposed in their statements that the deceased had not any complaint about the fooding and lodging but she was having complaint that the appellant was having illicit relation with some other women and the learned trial court ought to have considered this evidence but it hadn’t, therefore, learned trial court committed error in passing the impugned order.
10. After taking into consideration all aspects of the matter, this court is of the view that the prosecution has failed to establish the offence under Section 306/34 I.P.C. against the appellant.
11. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed and the conviction and sentence awarded by the trial court vide impugned judgment and order dated 04.04.2003 is hereby set aside. The appellant is acquitted from the charge levelled against him under Section 306/34 I.P.C. It appears that the appellant Sunder Lal is on bail, thus he is discharged from the liability of bail bonds furnished by him.
12. Let the copy of this judgment as well as the lower court record be transmitted to the concerned Trial Court forthwith for necessary compliance.