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The State Of Maharashtra vs Govindrao Dhairyashil Jadhav & … on 27 September, 2018

1 APEAL 62-03 Judgment.doc

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.62 OF 2003

The State of Maharashtra. ]
(Through Koregaon Police Station) ] … Appellant /
Orig. Complainant
Versus

1. Govindrao Dhairyashil Jadhav. ]
Age – 28, ]
R/o. – Bhaktawadi, Tal. Koregaon. ]

2. Smt. Suhila Dhairyashil Jadhav. ]
Age – 55, ] … Dismissed vide
R/o. – Bhaktawadi, Tal. Koregaon. ] Order dtd.19/08/06

3. Kum. Anita Dhairyashil Jadhav. ]
Age – 22, ]
R/o. – Bhaktawadi, Tal. Koregaon. ]

4. Sou. Vanita Laxman Jagdale. ]
Age – 32, ]
R/o. – Vyankatesh Society, Godoli, Satara. ]

5. Laxman Tukaram Jagdale. ]
Age – 30, ]
R/o. – Vyankatesh Society, Godoli, Satara. ]

6. Ajit Dnyanadev Phalake. ]
Age – 35, ]
R/o. – Rahimatpur, Tal. Koregaon. ]

7. Sudhakar Marutrao Mane. ]
Age – 35, ]
R/o. – Rahimatpur, Tal. Koregaon. ] … Respondents

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Ms. S. S. Kaushik, APP for State – Appellant.
None for Respondents.

CORAM :- SARANG V. KOTWAL, J.
DATE :- 27 SEPTEMBER, 2018

JUDGMENT :-

1. This Appeal is preferred by the State of Maharashtra

challenging the Judgment and Order dated 21/02/2002 passed by the

learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Koregaon (‘JMFC’), in Regular

Criminal Case No.166 of 1996 on his file. By the impugned Judgment

and Order, the Respondents herein were acquitted from the charges of

commission of offences punishable under Sections 498A, 323, 504 and

506 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The Respondent Nos.1 to

7 herein were the original accused nos.1 to 7. During the pendency of

the present Appeal, the Respondent No.2 expired and therefore, the

Appeal did not survive against her.

2. The prosecution case, in brief, is as under :

The FIR was lodged by Sangeeta Jadhav who was the wife

of the Respondent No.1. The Respondent No.2 was the mother of the

Respondent No.1. The Respondent Nos.3 and 4 are the sisters of the

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Respondent No.1. The Respondent No.5 is the husband of the

Respondent No.4. The Respondent Nos.6 and 7 are the cousins of the

Respondent No.1. Sangeeta got married with the Respondent No.1 on

29/03/1992. It is the case of the first informant Sangeeta that she

was treated properly for about a year after her marriage. In 1993, the

Respondent No.5’s mother was hospitalized in Mumbai. The

Respondent Nos.1 and 5 had gone to Mumbai to see her. At that time,

Sangeeta’s father was residing in Mumbai and therefore, these 2

Respondents visited him. According to Sangeeta, the Respondent

No.1 claimed that he and the Respondent No.5 were not treated

properly by Sangeeta’s father and they were offended because of this

indifferent behaviour. On returning to Bhaktawadi, District – Satara,

the Respondent No.1 quarreled with Sangeeta. According to

Sangeeta, the Respondent Nos.1, 2 and 3 beat her. Sangeeta has

further alleged that the Respondent Nos.1, 2 and 4 told her to bring 2

tolas gold or money for the purpose of laying a pipeline in the field.

On Sangeeta’s refusal, she was harassed further. On one occasion, the

Respondent Nos.1, 4, 5 and 6 dropped her at Arabwadi and asked her

to go to her parental house. After that, Sangeeta’s father gave 2 tolas

gold to the accused – Respondents but the harassment continued. On

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this occasion, the harassment was for coercing her to bring colour TV,

tape-recorder and motorcycle. Sangeeta was informed that the

Respondent No.1 had contracted second marriage and the

Respondents drove Sangeeta out of her matrimonial house. She came

back to her parental house and lodged her FIR at Koregaon Police

Station vide C.R.No.98 of 1996 under Sections 498A, 323, 504 and

506 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The investigation was

carried out. Sangeeta produced 2 letters and a chit written by her to

her father, brother and uncle at the relevant time. At the conclusion

of the investigation, charge-sheet was filed. The case was tried before

the learned JMFC, Koregaon vide R.C.C.No.166 of 1996. The

Respondents faced the charges under the afore-mentioned Sections of

the Indian Penal Code.

3. During trial, the prosecution examined first informant PW

1 Sangeeta Jadhav. PW 2 Vishwanath Bhilare was the father of the

PW 1. PW 3 Sanjay Bhilare was the brother of the PW 1 and PW 4

ASI Subhash Tarate is the Investigating Officer. The Respondents did

not examine any witness on their behalf. Their defence is that a false

case was lodged against them to harass them.

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4. PW 1 Sangeeta is the first informant, as mentioned earlier.

She has deposed that after her marriage on 29/03/1992 with the

Respondent No.1, for one year, she was treated properly. They were

residing together at Bhaktawadi. In the year 1993, Respondent No.5’s

mother was hospitalized in Mumbai. The Respondent Nos.1 and 5

visited her at Mumbai. At that time, PW 2 was residing at Mumbai.

When the Respondent No.1 came back to Bhaktawadi, he complained

that he was not treated properly by PW 2 and on that count, picked-

up quarrel with Sangeeta. She has deposed that the Respondent

Nos.1, 2 and 3 beat her on that ground. She has further deposed that

at that time, the Respondent No.1 was laying a pipeline in his field

and asked Sangeeta to bring two tolas of gold or money for that

purpose from her parents. Sangeeta refused to oblige and therefore,

again she was beaten by the Respondent Nos.1, 2 and 4. She was

deprived of food and clothes. She has further deposed that after this,

she was treated properly for one month. It is her case that the

Respondent Nos.1, 4, 5 and 6 then dropped her to Arabwadi and

asked her to bring 2 tolas of gold. She has further deposed that the

Respondent No.6 threatened her. Thereafter, she came to her father’s

(PW 2) house. She resided there for about four months. After that,

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Sangeeta’s father and brother gave 2 tolas told to the Respondent

No.1. Sangeeta then resided with the Respondent No.1 for a few days

and she was treated properly, but again the harassment started. On

this occasion, she was harassed for a demand of colour TV, tape-

recorder and motorcycle. She has further deposed that the

Respondent No.1 informed her that he had contracted second

marriage and thereafter drove her our of her matrimonial house.

Sangeeta then again came back to her father’s house and lodged her

FIR with Koregaon Police Station. The FIR is produced at Exhibit.42.

Sangeeta also produced 2 letters and a chit which she had written to

her father, brother and uncle at the relevant time. These three

documents are produced on record at Exh.43, 44 and 45.

5. She was cross-examined extensively on behalf of the

Respondents. In the cross-examination, she has accepted that she was

not able to tell as to when the Respondent No.1 fought with her on

the ground that PW 2 i.e. complainant’s father, did not treat him well

in Mumbai. She further admitted that the Respondent No.1 laid a

pipeline in his field in the year 1993 itself. She was unable to state as

to when the Respondent Nos.1 to 4 asked her to bring 2 tolas of gold.

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She has admitted that she did not take any treatment from a doctor

when she was assaulted on her leg by the Respondent No.1. She was

also unable to tell when exactly or approximately the Respondent

Nos.4, 5 and 6 dropped her at Arabwadi. She was also unable to tell

as to when her father gave 2 tolas of gold to the Respondents. Her

cross-examination revealed that the Respondent No.3 Anita was

handicapped. She has further admitted that the Respondent Nos.4 to

7 were not concerned with the daily routine of the Respondent Nos.1

to 3. She has further admitted that there was no mention of the letters

Exh.43. 44 and 45 in her FIR.

6. PW 2 Vishwanath Bhilare is the father of PW 1 Sangeeta.

He has deposed about Respondent Nos.1 and 5’s visit to his house at

Mumbai. He has deposed that Sangeeeta informed him subsequently

that the Respondent No.1 was unhappy with the treatment PW 2 gave

the Respondent No.1 during his visit to Mumbai and on that count,

the Respondent No.1 was harassing PW 1. He has further deposed

that the Respondents demanded money for laying a pipeline in the

field. He has further deposed that he gave 2 tolas of gold to the

Respondents but the harassment of Sangeeta continued. He has

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further deposed that Sangeeta was harassed on the ground that the

Respondents considered her to be unlucky. He has further deposed

that the Respondent Nos.5 to 7 were instigating the Respondent No.1

to live separately from Sangeeta as she was unlucky. He has further

deposed that on 11/05/1996, the Respondents had beaten Sangeeta

and drove her out of her matrimonial house and she came to reside in

his house. When she came back to PW 2’s house, she lodged her FIR.

7. In the cross-examination, PW 2 has admitted that in the

year 1996, he was ill and Sangeeta had gone to meet him in the

hospital and since then, Sangeeta was residing with him. He has

deposed in his cross-examination that the police did not record his

statement, neither did they record the statement of his wife.

8. PW 3 Sanjay Bhilare was the brother of PW 1 Sangeeta.

He has deposed about the Respondent Nos.1 to 5’s visit to Mumbai

and Sangeeta’s harassment at their hands after their visit. But, of

course, he did not have any personal knowledge about this

harassment and he was informed about it by Sangeeta. He has

deposed that he himself and his uncle Kashinath went to the house of

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the Respondents to convince them to treat Sangeeta properly. He has

further deposed that at that time, they offered 2.½ tolas of gold to the

Respondents. PW 3 has further deposed that even thereafter, the

Respondents continued demanding colour TV, tape-recorder and

motorcycle and on non-fulfillment of such demand, the harassment

continued. He has further deposed that the Respondents also

demanded money for pipeline. He has further deposed that the

Respondent beat Sangeeta and drove her out of her matrimonial

house and therefore, she came to her parental house. It is his case

that the Respondent Nos.4 to 7 used to instigate the Respondent No.1

to beat Sangeeta and used to advise him to stay separately from

Sangeeta as she was unlucky. He has deposed that on 05/11/1996,

the Respondent Nos.1 to 3 beat Sangeeta and drove her out of her

matrimonial house. Thereafter, he went with Sangeeta to police

station to lodge her FIR.

9. He has admitted that he did not remember the date when

2.½ tolas of gold were given to the Respondents.

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10. PW 4 ASI Subhash Tarate had investigated the C.R.No.98

of 1996 of Koregaon Police Station. He has deposed that he had

recorded statements of the family members and relatives of PW 1

Sangeeta. According to him, PW 1 had given him letters which are

produced at Exh.43, 44 and 45. After completion of investigation, he

had filed the charge-sheet.

11. I have heard Ms. S. S. Kaushik, learned APP for the State -

Appellant. Nobody appeared on behalf of the Respondents. With her

assistance, I have gone through the entire evidence and have perused

the record and proceedings. I have also gone through the reasoning

given by the learned trial Judge while acquitting the Respondents.

12. The prosecution case rests only on the evidence of PW 1

Sangeeta Jadhav, PW 2 Vishwanath Bhilare and PW 3 Sanjay Bhilare.

Except the first informant, her father and brother, no other

independent witness is examined by the prosecution. From the

perusal of their evidence, it appears that following are the

circumstances alleged against the Respondents in an attempt to prove

their guilt for the offences charged against them.

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(i) harassment of Sangeeta because the Respondent Nos.1

and 5 were not treated properly by PW 2 at Mumbai,

(ii) harassment on the ground of demand of money for laying

pipeline,

(iii) harassment on the demand of 2.½ tolas of gold,

(iv) harassment for non-fulfillment of demand of colour TV,

tape-recorder and motorcycle,

(v) harassment on the ground that she was considered

unlucky,

(vi) Sangeeeta being forced to go to her parental house by

dropping her at Arabwadi,

(vii) driving her out of her matrimonial house after beating her.

13. Apart from the oral evidence, the prosecution has

produced on record letters at Exh.43, 44 and 45. These letters are

brought on record through the evidence of PW 1. According to the

prosecution case, these are the letters written by Sangeeta herself to

her uncle, father and brother. Obviously, once these letters are

posted, they were in custody of these 3 persons. No evidence is

brought on record to show that these 3 persons had produced these

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letters before the police. Obviously, Sangeeta could not have had any

control or any connection with these letters after she had posted them.

Importantly, neither PW 2 nor PW 3 make any reference to such

letters. Therefore, in this background, I am not inclined to take these

letters into consideration in support of the case of the prosecution.

14. Insofar as the harassment due to not giving proper

treatment to Respondent Nos.1 and 5 at Mumbai by PW 2 is

concerned, it appears to be a trivial incident and PW 1 has not been

able to tell around what time she was harassed and beaten on that

count. The evidence of PW 2 and PW 3 will not take the prosecution

case further. Only PW 1 could have been aware of any such

harassment if it was there at all. Since PW 1's evidence in that behalf

is not very specific and cogent, this circumstance is not proved by the

prosecution.

15. Insofar as the allegations of demand of money for laying

pipeline is concerned, the evidence shows that the pipeline was laid by

the Respondent No.1 in the year 1993 itself. According to the PW 1,

her marriage was solemnized on 29/03/1992 and for a year she was

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treated properly. Thereafter, the incident of Respondent No.1 and 5's

visit to Mumbai had taken place. Till then, there were no allegations

of the demand of money for laying down a pipeline in the

Respondents' field. Therefore, even this circumstance is not proved

properly by the prosecution.

16. The prosecution has further alleged that the Respondents

demanded 2 tolas of gold of money. In this regard, the evidence of

PW 3 Sanjay shows that when he had gone to the house of the

Respondents, at that time, he had given 2.½ tolas of gold to the

Respondent. It is not his case that he had given that gold on demand

made by the Respondents.

17. Insofar as the demand of colour TV, tape-recorder and

motorcycle is concerned, the PW 2 has not deposed in his deposition

that there was such demand by the Respondents. PW 2 would have

been the best witness if he was expected to fulfill such demand. PW 2

has not mentioned any such demand made by the Respondents.

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18. Regarding the incident of dropping Sangeeta at Arabwadi

against her wishes, PW 1 Sangeeta could not mention even

approximately the period when such incident had taken place. At

least in this case, it was possible for the prosecution to examine an

independent person from Arabwadi who could have witnessed such

incident. Such evidence is not forthcoming and therefore, even this

circumstance is not established by the prosecution.

19. About the allegations of branding her as unlucky, these

are vague allegations and there are not specifically directed in respect

of a particular incident. PW 1 herself has not deposed that she was

harassed on that ground.

20. Insofar as the allegation that Sangeeta was driven out of

her matrimonial house is concerned, the evidence shows that the PW

2 had taken ill and Sangeeta had visited him in the hospital and since

then, she had not returned to her matrimonial house. Therefore, it

cannot be said that she came to her parental house as the accused

beat her and drove her out of her matrimonial house. Therefore, even

this circumstance is not properly proved by the prosecution.

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21. Thus taking into consideration all the allegations and the

evidence led by the prosecution, it appears that the prosecution could

not prove its case against any of the Respondents. The learned trial

Judge has given cogent reasoning in acquitting all the Respondents. I

find no perversity in the approach of the learned trial Judge. The

view taken by the learned trial Judge is a possible view and therefore,

I do not find it necessary to interfere with the decision.

22. As a result, the Appeal fails and is dismissed accordingly.

(SARANG V. KOTWAL, J.)

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