* PW 5 is the brother in law of A2 !
* Wife commits suicide in PW5's house
* Wife and husband have gone there to see the new born baby
* Still father of dead woman suspects the his daughter was killed so files case
* After 13 years the HC exonerates the hubby
CASE FROM JUDIS NET SITE FOR MADRAS HC
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
DATED : 17.02.2011
THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A. ARUMUGHASWAMY
Criminal Appeal No. 1530 of 2002
2.Rajendran ... Appellants/A.1 and A.2
-- vs --
State by Inspector of Police,
Nagamam Police Station,
Coimbatore District. ... Respondent/Complainant
Criminal Appeal filed under Section 374 of the code of Criminal Procedure, against the conviction and sentence made against them in the judgement dated 8.10.2002 and made in S.C.No.338 of 2000 on the file of the Mahalir Court, Coimbatore.
For Appellants : Mr.T.P.Manoharan
For Respondent : Mr. N.Kumanan, GA (Crl.side)
J U D G M E N T
The appellants are the accused 1 and 2 in S.C.No.338 of 2000 on the file of the Mahalir Court, Coimbatore and they stand convicted for the offence under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and sentenced to undergo six months rigorous imprisonment each and to pay a fine of Rs.1,000/- each, in default, to undergo two weeks simple imprisonment; convicted for the offence under Section 304-B IPC and sentenced to undergo seven years rigorous imprisonment each and convicted for the offence under Section 498-A IPC and sentenced to undergo three years rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs.1,000/-, in default, to undergo three months simple imprisonment and the sentence of imprisonment are ordered to run concurrently. Against the said conviction and sentence, the present appeal has been filed by the appellants.
2. The case of the prosecution is as follows:-
A1 and A3 are husband and wife. Their sons are A2, A4 and their daughter is A5. The marriage of the second accused and the deceased was performed on 1.4.98. On 5.9.98 at about 3.00 p.m., the deceased had committed suicide. The case of the prosecution is at the time of the marriage, the family of the second accused demanded 10 sovereigns of gold jewels from the parents of the deceased. But the father of the deceased agreed to give only 7 sovereigns of gold jewels at the time of marriage and also agreed to give the balance 3 sovereigns of gold jewels in later occasion. After marriage, the second accused and the deceased were lived happily. During the Adi Festival, the father of the deceased has given dresses and Rs.501/- to his son-in-law and they stayed his father-in-law's house for two days. Subsequently, the family of the second accused demanded the balance 3 sovereigns of gold jewels from the parents of the deceased. Since the father of the deceased has not given the agreed jewels and postponed, according to the case of the prosecution, the deceased has committed suicide due to the harassment of dowry demand.
(ii) PW.1 is the father of the deceased, who has spoken about the marriage of the second accused and the deceased as already stated above. According to him, 3 sovereigns of gold jewels have been left out and he agreed to present the same on subsequent dates. PW.1, the father of the deceased had deposed that the demand of the balance jewels was made by his daughter and she informed him that the accused family agreed to establish for her stay with her husband in the separate family in a rental building. On 5.9.98 at 3.00 pm., PW.1 and his wife were working in the field. PW.1's brother's son came to the field and informed him that his daughter was unwell and called them to his house. Then, PW.1 gone to the house. His wife also came behind him. He saw the dead body of the deceased lying. Subsequently, on seeing this, PW.1 gave a complaint-Ex.P1 to the Police.
(iii) PW.2 is the brother of PW.1. PW.3 is wife of PW.2. PW.1 and PW.4 are the husband and wife. PW.5, is the brother in law of A2, who turned hostile and who deposed that the occurrence said to have taken place on 4.9.98, a day before her death, they came here to see a new born baby and the accused and deceased were there. PW.6 is the Village Administrative Officer. PW.7 is the Doctor, who was working at Pollachi Government Hospital conducted post-mortem he who issued the post mortem certificate Ex.P3, mentioning that the death was due to hanging.
(iv) PW8 is the Revenue Divisional Officer, who conducted enquiry and gave his report under Ex.P4. PW.9 is the Inspector of Police, who registered F.I.R. PW.10 is the Sub-Inspector of Police, who conducted investigation and after completing the investigation, he laid a charge sheet against the accused for the offences under section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and under Sections 498-A and 304-B of IPC.
3. On behalf of the prosecution, PWs.1 to 10 were examined and Exs.P1 to P6 were marked. On behalf of the accused, no witness was examined and no document was marked.
4. After considering the oral and documentary evidence, the trial Court has acquitted A3, A4 and A5 from the charges under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act and under Sections 304-B and 498-A of IPC. and convicted only the appellants/accused 1 and 2. Hence, the appellants have preferred this criminal appeal.
5. The vehement contention of the learned counsel for the appellants is that there is no such demand was made by the accused from PW.1 and PW.1 also has not stated that he was subjected to any demand. Further, the occurrence had taken place only in the house of PW.5. Therefore, considering these aspects, the offence against the accused is not proved. Hence, he prayed for acquittal of the appellants.
6. The learned Government Advocate (Crl.Side) contended that admittedly, there was a demand for balance 3 sovereigns of gold jewels. Hence, demand of dowry has been proved. Hence, he has strongly objected the acquittal of the appellants and prayed that the judgement of the trial court has to be confirmed.
7. It is not in dispute that A1 and PW.1 are sister and brother. From the evidence of PW.1, it is clear that at the time of marriage, he has presented 7 sovereigns of gold jewels and he agreed to present the balance 3 sovereigns of gold jewels on subsequent events and the time has not been mentioned. Further, from the evidence of PW1, it is also clear that the newly married couple lived happily and they came to his house at the time of Adi festival. At that time, P.W.1 has given dresses and Rs.501/- to the second accused and he happily accepted it.
8. PW.1, in his entire evidence, he never stated that either A1 or A2 claimed the balance dowry from him. From the entire evidence, further it is seen that only the deceased asked 3 sovereigns of gold jewels and she informed PW.1 that she is going for separate housing and establishment which is close to the house of PW.5. Except these two lines, nothing is available in the evidence of PW.1. Therefore, I am of the view that there is no such demand has been established by the prosecution to show that the demand has been made by the accused 1 and 2.
9. The next question that arises for consideration is, in such a case, why PW.1 gave a complaint to the police. A perusal of the entire evidence, it is seen that PW.1 suspected that his daughter was murdered by the accused and that is the reason he gave a complaint. PW.2, mother of the deceased during chief examination, stated as follows:-
VERNACULAR (TAMIL) PORTION DELETED
10. From the evidence of PW.2, it is clear that they suspected that their daughter was murdered by the accused. It is pertinent to note that in this case, the occurrence had taken place in the house of PW.5, where they were gone to see the new born baby of PW.5. The trial court has not properly considered this aspect.
11. Therefore, I am of the view that the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court for the offence under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and for the offences under Sections 304-B IPC and 498-A, are set aside and this criminal appeal is allowed. The appellants/accused 1 and 2 are acquitted of the charges. The bail bond executed by the appellants/accused 1 and 2 shall stand cancelled and the fine amount paid, if any, shall be refunded to them.
2. Inspector of Police,
Nagamam Police Station,
3.The Public Prosecutor