Sunil Bajaj vs State Of M.P on 11 October, 2001
Author: S V Patil
Bench: S.V.Patil, U.C.Banerjee
Appeal (crl.) 1029 of 2001
Special Leave Petition (crl.) 4537 of 2000
STATE OF M.P.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/10/2001
SHIVARAJ V. PATIL J.
The appellant has filed this appeal, aggrieved by the order dated 19.8.2000 passed by the High Court confirming the order of conviction passed under Section 304-B IPC and sentencing the appellant to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years by the trial court. The appellant was tried for offences under Section 304-B and in the alternative under Section 306 IPC. The trial court acquitted the appellant of the charge punishable under Section 306 IPC and convicted him under Section 304-B IPC. The prosecution case in brief was that the appellant married Suman on 19.3.1991 at Saharanpur in U.P. He was asking his wife Suman to bring money from her parents and her parents were giving money to her from time to time. In June, 1995, Suman came to Saharanpur and told her mother that the appellant was demanding an amount of Rs. 20,000/- and she further told that the appellant had illegal relations with the girls of doubtful character and used to bring those girls to his house; those girls had beaten her; the appellant was ill-treating and harassing her; he subjected her to cruelty with the result Suman within a period of seven years of marriage committed suicide after burning herself by sprinkling kerosene oil on her on 28.8.95 in Nanak Complex, New Market, Govindpura at Bhopal. On the information from Dr. Anup Debey about hundred percent burns of Suman Bajaj on tlephone, Aishbag Police registered a case and F.I.R. was lodged on 30.8.1995 under Section 304-B IPC. The prosecution in all examined 12 witnesses to prove the case. One defence witness was also examined. The conviction was based upon the evidence of PW4, PW5, PW6 and PW9. PW4, PW5 and PW6 are the mother, father and brother of the deceased respectively and PW9 is the doctor who conducted post- mortem examination on the dead body. The appellant pleaded not guilty and his defence was that pecuniary condition of the parents of the deceased was not good; he himself is well off and had advanced money to the father of the deceased on several occasions; he was unable to return the money to the appellant and that he was falsely implicated in the case.
The learned counsel for the appellant urged that no reliance can be placed on the evidence of PW4, PW5 and PW6, being close relatives of the deceased; the evidence given by them as to demand of dowry was too general and vague; their evidence suffered from contradictions on material points and they had motive to speak against the appellant. He further submitted that both the courts have failed to see that the economic condition of