- Both husband AND wife are hit
- wife dies, husband survives
- Initially wife's father does NOT allege dowry, just says accident, but later changes version
- Lots of witnesses are there for the accident, third parties remove husband wife to hospital
- Still HUSBAND& famly harrassed with FALSE dowry case
- Cases have been dragging on for a approx 14 years !!
- Who pays for such patently false cases ?
- what is the punishment for filing false cases ??
CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013
* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Reserved on: 20 th May, 2013
Date of Decision: 27 th May, 2013
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 317/2013
SHYAM LAL GUPTA..... Appellant
Through : Mr.V.K. Sharma, Advocate.
STATE & ORS...... Respondent s
Through: Mr.Sanjay Lao, APP.
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 318/2013
SHYAM LAL GUPTA..... Appellant
Through : Mr.V.K. Sharma, Advocate.
STATE & ANR...... Respondent s
Through: Mr.Sanjay Lao, APP.
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SANJIV KHANNA
HON'B LE MR. JUSTICE VED PRAKASH VAISH
VED PRAKASH VAISH, J:
1. The appellant Shyam Lal Gupta, father of the deceased Geeta Gupta has preferred two appeals against the common judgment dated 20 th November, 2012 whereby all the accused persons have been CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013 Page 2 of 8 acquitte d for the offence under Sections 498A/304B/34 IPC. However, Rajesh Gupta was convicted under Section 279/304A IPC and vide order of sentence dated 23 rd November, 2012 in Sessions case No.23/01/09 arising out of FIR No.716/99, P.S. Paschim Vihar, he h as be en sentenced to undergo six months simple imprisonment under Section 279 IPC and two years simple imprisonment under Section 304A IPC. The compensation to the tune of Rs.7 lakhs was also imposed upon Rajesh Gupta, payable to the complainant.
2. Succinct ly stated, Geeta Gupta (deceased) was married with Rajesh Gupta on 17 th July, 1999. O n 15 th August, 1999 at about 10.40 p.m., both were going in a car and met with an accident. HC Ra j Kumar (PW -11) and other police officials were present near the place o f the inc ident. DD No.30 was recorded. Geeta Gupta was declared brought dead in the hospital. FIR No.716/99 under Sections 279/337/304A IPC was registered. Thereafter, Sections 498A/304B/34 IPC were added and charge -sheet was filed against accused Raje sh Gupta, Rajiv Gupta, Pushpa Gupta, Dhajja Ram Gupta, Jwala Prasad, Satpal Gupta, Bimla Gupta and Suman Gupta. Charges were framed against all. However, during the trial, accused Jwala Prasad and Dhajja Ram expired and proceedings against Dhajja Ram aba ted on 16 th January, 2008. Charges against Bimla Gupta, Suman Gupta and Satpal Gupta were set aside in Crl. Rev. No.373/2000 vide order datd 9 th July, 2007 and thereafter, trial continued against Rajiv Gupta and Pushpa Gupta (respondent Nos.2 and 3) and R ajesh Gupta (Respondent No.2 in criminal appeal No.318/2013). After recording evidence of the prosecution, as noticed above vide impugned judgment dated 20 th November, 2012, all the accused persons were acquitted under Section 498A/304B/34 IPC. However, accused Rajesh Gupta ( husband of the CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013 Page 3 of 8 deceased) was convicted under Sections 279/304A and he was sentenced accordingly.
3. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant and perused the trial Court record.
4. Learned counsel for the appellant contended that Geeta expired on 15 th August, 1999 i.e. only after 28 days of the marriage, she was harassed by respondent Nos.2 and 3 and other in -laws on account of dowry and subjected to cruelty during her marital period and the incidence was not an accident. He pointed out that at the time of marriage, new Maruti Zen car was given but Rajesh Gupta (husband) intentionally took h is old Maruti 800 car which shows mala fide intention to kill the deceased. On 15 th August, 1999 at about 8/8.30 p.m., both of them left the house of the appel lant, and suit case/attaichi was put in the dickey of the car which was later on taken out from there and was kept by the husband of the deceased behind the seat where Geeta was sitting so that her seat could not recline at the time of accident. The ap pellant after reaching the spot saw that back seat of driver side had tilted and side seat where the deceased was sitting had not reclined as suit case/attaichi was lying on the back seat. Contention is that if the seat had reclined, t he deceased may have survived. Thus the accident was deliberate and planned to kill the deceased.
5. Counsel for the appellant also urged that 8 -10 days after marriage, Geeta (deceased) came to the house of the appellant and told her mother that her in -laws were demanding Rs.10 lakhs for purchasing a shop for Rajesh Gu p ta as the existing shop was to be given to his younger brother Rajiv Gupta. She requested her mother CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013 Page 4 of 8 not to disclose the said demand to the appellant (father of the deceased) as he was not well. It is lastly contended that when the appellant tried to meet Rajesh Gupta at the Hospital after the incident he was not allowed to do so. Even after R a jesh recovered from injuries no one from his family had visited their home. The appellant c ould not go to Rajesh Gupta's home because they were time and again threatened by them.
6. At the outset, it may be mentioned that the appellant has preferred two appeals against common judgment dated 20 th November, 2012 and order on sentence dated 23 rd No vember, 2012. In Crl.A. No.317/2013, there are two memo of parties, in one memo of parties, Rajesh Gupta has been added as respondent No.2 and in the second memo of parties, Rajiv Gupta and Pushpa Gupta has been arrayed as respondent Nos.2 and 3. In Crl. A. No.318/2013, only Rajesh Gupta has been impleaded as respondent No.2. Two appeals from the common judgment are not maintainable and therefore, we treat both the appeals as one appeal.
7. A perusal of the evidence on record shows that HC Raj Kumar (PW -11), H C Har i s h Kumar (PW -13) and H C Krishan Kumar (PW -14) have deposed that on 15 th August, 1999 at about 10.40 p.m., they were present near the spot. They heard noise of coll i sion of two vehicles. Thereafter, t hey reached at petrol pump near Peera Garh i Chowk and found that a tanker No. UP 13A -2877 was park ed there and one Maruti Car No. DL 2C K -5026, underneath the back portion of the tanker. The car was pushed by them. After opening the door of the Maruti car, they removed one male and a female out o f the car and got them admitted in Sparsh Nursing Home. The female became unconscious. CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013 Page 5 of 8 The injured male disclosed his name as Rajesh Gupta and told that the said lady was his wife, he gave contact number of his house on which PW -11 informed the family me mbers of the injured. PW -11 got DD No.30 recorded regarding the incident. The tanker was standing near pavement and road was three lane on one side. Moreover, Hari K r ishan (PW -15) and Rakesh Pahwa (PW -17) who were empl oyees of Gautam Filling Station, Ro htak Road near the place of incident have also deposed that on 15 th August, 1999 at 10.30 p.m., they heard noise of collision of vehicles, they reached at the spot and saw one tanker was standing in front of petrol pump facing towards Nangloi and one Marut i 800 car hit the tanker from the behind. One male was sitting on driver seat and female was sitting on the rear side of driver in the said car, both sustained injuries. PW -15 along with police officials removed both the injured to Sparsh Hospital. Natu re and how the accident occurred and damage caused, clearly indicate that this was not a case under Section 304B IPC a s contended and submitted by the appellant. The appellant while appearing in the trial Court as PW -4 has stated that whenever Rajesh and his daughter (deceased) came to his house, they used to come in old car as Rajesh was not very comfortable in driving the new car. The trial Court has elaborately analyzed the evidence and rightly it is held that it is not a case under Section 304B/498A I PC.
8. We have noted that on the next day i.e. 16 th August, 1999, the appellant made statement to SDM (Ex.PW9/A) and in his statement he has stated that it was an accident only and he did not raise any suspicion. He did not disclose about harassment or d emand of dowry of Rs.10 lakhs or cruelty to his daughter. Even if it is assumed that the appellant was under the shock of death of his daughter or that appellant CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013 Page 6 of 8 came to know about demand of Rs.10 lakhs after cremation of his daughter, as alleged by him i n his statement in the Court, he should have made statement immediately or within one or two days thereafter or should have given some complaint in writing to the police or SDM. It is only for the first time on 22 nd September, 1999 ( after about 37 days of incident) that the appellant and his wife Suman Gupta made statement to SDM and made allegations regarding harassment and demand of dowry.
9. Further, the appellant has not alleged tha t any demand was made from him rather Suman Gupta (PW -12) has deposed t hat Satpal, uncle of Rajesh Gupta, his mother Pushpa Devi and Suman ( sister -in -law ) used to demand dowry from the deceased Geeta. PW -12 has deposed that after three days of marriage, her daughter came to her house and disclosed that she was being harassed and money was being demanded. It is pertinent to note that no specific allegations are made against the respondents or any other relatives of the husband and the allegations are general in nature and an attempt to implicate all the members of the family of the husband. Even if that be the case, this witness also did not lodge any complaint in this regard. T he allegation is made belatedly and after the death of Geeta. It is apparent after cremation of Geeta, differences for some reason had cropped up. It is also relevant to note that no complaint regarding harassment, cruelty or demand of dowry was lodged by the deceased Geeta during her marital life or shortly thereafter.
10. It is also pertinent to note that at no point in time, in his statement be fore the SDM on 22th September, 1999 exhibited as Ex. PW9/B and his statement under Section 161 Cr. P.C. recorded on CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013 Page 7 of 8 15 th October, 1999, the appellant had stated the fac t um that the husband of the deceased had kept the suitcase/attaichi behind the seat of th e deceased and onl y in his statement under Section 161 Cr. P.C. recorded on 13 th January, 2000, approximate ly 4½ m onths after the date of ac cident, he had mentioned that husband of deceased had deliberately removed the said suit case from the dickey and kep t it b e hind the deceased's seat as a result of which the seat did not recline at the time of the accident. This allegation of the appellant is an afterthought and cannot be taken as a valid ground to impute any deliberate intention on Rajesh Gupta to caus e the death of the deceased. The trial Court after elaborate analysis of the testimonies has reached a considered conclusion that the deceased Geeta lost her life in a car accident and it is not a case under Section 304B IPC. The contention of the appell ant is farfetched and a mere hunch.
1 1. In Crl.A. No.318/2013, the appellant has also prayed for enhancement of punishment. In this regard, it is sufficient to mention that respondent Nos.2 and 3 have not been convicted for any offence. Only Rajesh Gup ta has been convicted under Sections 279/304A IPC and has been sentenced to undergo six months simple imprisonment under Section 279 IPC and two years simple imprisonment under Section 304A IPC. The maximum punishment as prescribed under Section 279/304A has been awarded to him. Moreover, compensation of Rs.7 lakhs ha s also been awarded to the complainant. Hence, ther e is no question of enhancement of sentence. We clarify that observations made in this order will not influence the decision of the appeal against conviction and sentence filed by Rakesh Gupta. CRL.A. No s. 317/2013 & 318/2013 Page 8 of 8
1 2. In view of the above, we are not inclined to issue notice to the respondents.
13. Both t he appeals are, therefore, dismissed.
(VED PRAKASH VAISH ) JUDGE (
SANJIV KHANNA ) JUDGE
May 27, 2013 gm