IF wife dies ALL relatives of wife will testify against husband, MIL+ all in husb family. how 50yr old wmn jailed 4yrs & finally HC had to relieve her...... i am completely saddened BY such deaths and I want the culprits punished, BUT I cannot but mention that men commit 65% of ALL suicides in Indian and women commit 35% ...still NOTHING happens when a man dies
The honourable HC says "....As such any demand for jewels or cash by the accused subsequent to the marriage, cannot be termed as demand of dowry. ....", still MOTHER in law convicted under sec 498a and 306 and sentenced for approx four years jail term , because the unlawful demands must have driven her to suicide
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CASE FROM JUDIS DOT NIC DOT IN SITE
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE T.SUDANTHIRAM
Crl.A.No.239 of 2006
Boopathy .. Appellant
Deputy Superintendent of Police,
(Cr.No.125/03 of Marudhur
Police Station). .. Respondents
Appeal filed under Section 374(2) of C.R.P.C against the Judgment dated 14.11.2005, passed in S.C.No.121 of 2005 by the learned principal Sessions Judge, Cuddalore and prays this Court to set aside the conviction and sentence passed against her and acquit her.
For petitioner : Mrs.Jayasri Baskar
For respondent : J.C.Durairaj
Govt. Advocate (Crl. Side)
The appellant herein, who is an accused in S.C.No.121 of 2005 on the file of the principal Sessions Judge, Cuddalore, stands convicted for the offences under Section 498-A, 304-B r/w 306 I.P.C and also under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months and to pay a fine of Rs.500/- in default to undergo simple imprisonment for one month for the offence u/s 498-A I.P.C; to undergo and seven years rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.2000/- in default to undergo simple imprisonment for two months for the offence u/s 304-B r/w 306 I.P.C and sentenced to undergo simple imprisonment for six months and also to pay a fine of Rs.500/- in default to undergo simple imprisonment for one month for the offence under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and the sentences of imprisonment are to run concurrently.
2. The case of the prosecution in brief is that accused Jothi got married to the son of the accused about one year prior to the occurrence. After marriage, both the husband and wife lived in the house at Vadakku Street along with the accused, mother-in-law of the deceased. The accused used to demand dowry after the marriage and she often quarrelled with the deceased and demanded jewels and money to be brought by the deceased. The accused abused the deceased in filthy language. The deceased complained this matter to her husband and her husband also questioned his mother and asked her not to indulge in such sort of abuse. Normally the husband of the deceased go to the job and return back after two or three days as he was a lorry driver. On 07.09.2003 at about 4.00 p.m., the day on which the deceased husband also was away from the house, the accused demanded three sovereigns of jewels to be brought by the deceased and the accused also abused her in filthy language. The deceased unable to bear such abuse went and locked herself into the room and poured kerosene and set fire. The neighbours also assembled in the house and P.W.6 and others broke open the door and the deceased was taken to the hospital by the accused. P.W.8, the doctor examined her. The deceased informed the doctor that she herself set fire by pouring kerosene. Ex.P.3 is the Accident Register of the deceased issued by P.W.8 and she was admitted in the hospital. P.W.8, the doctor gave a requisition to the Judicial Magistrate for recording the dying declaration of the patient Jothi. P.W.12, the Judicial Magistrate No.I, Chidambaram after receiving the requisition went to the hospital at 10.50 p.m.,on 07.09.2003 and recorded the dying declaration-Ex.P.10 which is attested by the doctor, P.W.8. On 08.09.2003, the Sub Inspector of Police of Marudhur Police station received the complaint Ex.P.13 given by the deceased and Ex.P.14 is the First Information Report. P.W.14 prepared the observation mahazar and recovered articles from the scene of occurrence and also examined the witnesses. On 08.09.2003, the deceased was transferred from Government Hospital, Chidambaram to the private hospital Kanna Hospital and she was admitted as in patient. Thereafter on 08.11.2003, the deceased died in the hospital and intimation was also sent to the police. The First Information Report was altered by incorporating the additional penal sections viz., 302 and 304 I.P.C and Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act and alteration report, Ex.P.17 was prepared. P.W.11, the Revenue Divisional Officer held the inquest on 08.11.2003 at 2.20 p.m. He recorded the statement of witnesses and also the accused. He prepared the inquest report Ex.P.9. According to the Revenue Divisional Officer, it was not a case of dowry death. After the inquest the body was sent for post mortem examination. The doctors P.W.9 and P.W.10 conducted the post mortem examination of the body of the deceased. Ex.P.8 is the post mortem certificate. The doctors opined that the deceased died of 70% burns with scepticamiea. P.W.14, the Deputy Superintendent of Police after completing the investigation laid the final report for offences under Sections 498-A, 304-B, 302 IPC and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act.
3. To prove the case of the prosecution, P.Ws. 1 to 14 were examined and Exs.1 to 17 were marked and 4 material objects were produced. After the examination of the witnesses, the accused was questioned under Section 313 Cr.P.C and she denied her complicity. No defence witness was examined. But Ex.D1 to D5 were marked during the cross-examination of the witnesses.
4. The Trial Court after considering the evidence acquitted the accused from the charge under Section 302 I.P.C and convicted and sentenced the accused as stated above.
5. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that according to the Revenue Divisional Officer's enquiry, there was no dowry demand and P.Ws 1 to 3 were related to the deceased and they have not stated anything during the enquiry before the Revenue Divisional Officer about any dowry demand. Learned counsel further pointed out that even from the evidence of P.Ws 1 to 3, it is seen that the accused has not demanded any dowry and the jewels and articles were given voluntarily at the time of marriage. Learned counsel for the appellant further submitted that even as per the statement given by the deceased to the police there was only a quarrel between the deceased and the accused on the date of occurrence and mere abusing the deceased would not attract the ingredients of the offence under Section 306 IPC.
6. Per contra, the learned Government Advocate (Criminal side) submitted that the Trial Court had acquitted the accused from the charge under Section 302 IPC. Inspite of Ex.P.10, Dying Declaration recorded by the Magistrate from the deceased being available in which the deceased told that kerosene was poured on her by the accused and there was a demand for jewels from the accused and there was a quarrel for a period of one year. Learned Government Advocate further submitted that as the deceased had informed to the doctor that she poured kerosene and set fire herself, the Trial Court acquitted the accused from charges under Section 302 IPC. Still in Ex.P.10, dying declaration there was mentioning about the demand for dowry and further as per Ex.P.13 complaint given by the deceased against the appellant cruelty committed to the deceased by the accused was mentioned.
6. This Court considered the submissions made by both parties and perused the materials available on records.
7. P.Ws.1 to 3 are the relatives of the deceased. P.W.1 is the paternal aunt of the deceased. P.W.2 is the elder brother of the deceased and P.W.3 is the cousin of the deceased. In their chief examination they have said that at the time of marriage, the deceased was given 10 sovereigns of jewels and other articles and vehicle TVS 50 and cash of Rs.20,000/- were given as gift. They did not say that the accused demanded any dowry at the time of marriage. P.W.1 , who was examined by Revenue Divisional Officer, P.W.11 has not stated that there was any demand of dowry either at the time of marriage or after the marriage. It is only the evidence of P.Ws 2 and 3 that the accused demanded 3 sovereigns of jewels after the marriage, which cannot be termed as dowry but it can be termed as unlawful demand. In Ex.P.13, the complaint given by the deceased to the police which now amounts to dying declaration, it is stated that the accused used to demand money and jewels after the marriage, since the accused felt that what was given at the time of marriage was not sufficient. Even according to Ex.P.13, it is not the statement of the deceased that at the time of marriage any demand was made by the accused. As such any demand for jewels or cash by the accused subsequent to the marriage, cannot be termed as demand of dowry. But it is to be termed only as unlawful demand, made by the accused.
8. As far as PWs 1 to 3 are concerned they did not speak about any ill-treatment by the accused to the deceased. It is their evidence that only after meeting the deceased in the hospital, they were informed by the deceased about the ill-treatment given to her by the accused. In Ex.P.13, the statement of the deceased to the police based on which complaint is registered, the deceased has stated that the accused demanded for 3 sovereigns of jewels and for which the accused abused the deceased using filthy language. She also attempted to attack her. It is also mentioned in Ex.P.10, dying declaration of the deceased for the past one year, there was a demand for which the deceased was ill-treated by the accused. **Ultimately, the ill-treatment drove the deceased to commit suicide.**
9. For the above said reasons, this Court is of the considered view that there was no dowry demand. The conviction and sentence imposed on the accused under Sections 304-B I.P.C and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act are set aside. The conviction for the offences under Sections 498-A and 306 I.P.C are confirmed.
10. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that though the appellant was granted bail pending the appeal, she has not executed surety and continued to be in jail, she had been in jail for the past 3 years and 10 months and prayed for leniency.
11. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the petitioner is also aged about 50 years, the sentence for the offence u/s.498-A I.P.C is confirmed which appellant had already undergone and the sentence of imprisonment for the offence u/s. 306 I.P.C is reduced to the period already undergone and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs.2000/- in default to undergo one month Simple Imprisonment. Appeal is partly allowed.
The Principal Sessions Judge,