//
you're reading...
legal issues

Section 106,113 A,113 B of Evidence Act, 498 A 304 B and 210 /34 = When prosecution proved death with in 7 years due to dowry harassment, the burden shift on accused to prove his innocence, else court can draw presumption under sec. 113 B of Evidence Act = Section 106 of the Evidence Act does not relieve the burden of prosecution to prove guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt but where the prosecution has succeeded to prove the facts from which a reasonable inference can be drawn regarding the existence of certain other facts and the accused by virtue of special knowledge regarding such facts fail to offer any explanation then the Court can draw a different inference. 16. The ingredients necessary for application of Section 304­B IPC and the applicability of Section 113­B of the Evidence Act was discussed by this Court in State of Rajasthan v. Jaggu Ram, (2008)12 SCC 51. In the said case, this Court held as follows: “11.The ingredients necessary for the application of Section 304­B IPC are: 1. that the death of a woman has been caused by burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances; 2. that such death has been caused or has occurred within seven years of her marriage; and 3. that soon before her death the woman was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband in connection with any demand for dowry. 12. Section 113­B of the Evidence Act lays down that if soon before her death a woman is subjected to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with any demand for dowry by the person who is accused of causing her death then the court shall presume that such person has caused the dowry death. The presumption under Section 113­B is a presumption of law and once the prosecution establishes the essential ingredients mentioned therein it becomes the duty of the court to raise a presumption that the accused caused the dowry death. 13. A conjoint reading of Section 304­B IPC and Section 113­B, Evidence Act shows that in order to prove the charge of dowry death, prosecution has to establish that the victim died within 7 years of marriage and she was subjected to cruelty or harassment soon before her death and such cruelty or harassment was for dowry. The expression “soon before her death” has not been defined in either of the statutes. Therefore, in each case the court has to analyse the facts and circumstances leading to the death of the victim and decide whether there is any proximate connection between the demand of dowry, the act of cruelty or harassment and the death.” In the present case, the prosecution proved that the death of Santosh Kaur has occurred otherwise than under normal circumstances. Such death has occurred within a period of 9 months of her marriage i.e. much before seven years. The statements of PW­2 and PW­3 are trust­worthy and they stated that Santosh Kaur was subjected to harassment by her husband and other accused relatives in connection with demand for dowry just prior to death. The prosecution having established essential ingredients, it becomes the duty of the Court to raise a presumption that the accused caused dowry death. In the present case, the accused has failed to explain as to why he was in a hurry to cremate the deceased in the early morning of 24th January, 1993 while she died in the mid night of 23rd/24th January, 1993 i.e. within few hours. The village of deceased’s parents was just 17­18kms far from the village of the accused but the reason as to why they were not informed about the incident on the same day and why the accused had not waited for them to come is not explained. The accused has also failed to explain as to why according to the F.S.L. Report, an Organo Phosphorus Pesticide was found in the vomiting of the deceased. Therefore, the Trial Court rightly drew an inference that the accused­appellants were guilty of the offence for which they were charge.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40516

Page 1
1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.14 OF 2007
RAJINDER SINGH …APPELLANT
Versus
STATE OF HARYANA     …RESPONDENTS
With
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.15 OF 2007
J U D G M E N T
SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J.
These two appeals are directed against  the common
judgment dated 9th December, 2005 passed by the learned
Single Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at
Chandigarh in two separate Criminal Appeal Nos. 392­SB
of 1995 and 151­SB of 1995, whereby the learned Single
Judge   dismissed   the   appeals   preferred   by   the   accused
and affirmed the conviction and sentence awarded by the
Additional Session Judge, Yamuna Nagar at Jagadhri.
2.The   appellants   were   tried   for   offences   under
Sections   498­A  ,  304­B  and  201/34  IPC  and  after
hearing the parties the learned Additional Session
Judge,   Jagadhri     by   its   judgment   dated   22nd
February,   1995   convicted   the   appellant   RajinderPage 2
2
Singh for the offences under Sections 498­A , 304­
B   and   201   IPC  whereas   other   appellants,   namely,
Surinder Singh, Pritam SinghGurvinder Singh were
convicted   for   offences   under   Section   201/34IPC.
Accused­Appellant Rajinder Singh  was sentenced to
undergo RI for a period of two years and to pay a
fine of Rs.500/­ for offence under Section 498­A
IPC,   in   default   of   payment   of   fine,   he   had   to
undergo   further   RI   for   six   months;   for   offence
under   Section   304­B   IPC   he   was   sentenced   to
undergo RI for a period of seven years and for the
offence under Section 201 IPC, he was sentence to
undergo RI for a period of two years and to pay a
fine of Rs.500/­ in default of payment of fine, he
was   to   undergo   further   RI   for   a   period   of   six
months. The other accused, namely, Surinder Singh,
Pritam Singh and Gurvinder Singh were sentenced to
undergo RI for a period of 2 years and to pay a
fine   of   Rs.500/­   each   for   the   offence   under
Section 201/34 IPC, in default of payment of fine
they   were   to   undergo   RI   for   a   period   of   six
months. Accused, Madan Lal had been acquitted by
that judgment.
During the pendency of the appeal before the High
Court,   appellant­Pritam   Singh   died   and   his   case   gotPage 3
3
abated. Thus the case was confined   to  rest of   the
accused.
3. The case of the prosecution against the accused­
appellant­   Rajinder   Singh   is   that   Santosh   Kaur,
daughter   of   Nahar   Singh   was   married   with   the
accused­appellant on 22nd April, 1992.  Sufficient
dowry   articles   were   given.     On   11th   December,
1992, accused­appellant left his wife Santosh Kaur
in   her   parents   house   for   one   month   when   Santosh
Kaur told her father­ Nahar Singh that her father­
in­law;   Pritam   Singh,   husband­Rajinder   Singh,
brother­in­laws;   Gurvinder   Singh   and   Surinder
Singh and Madan Lal, brother­in­law of her husband
has   been   harassing   her   for   bringing   less   dowry.
She   also   told   that   they   were   demanding
Rs.25,000/­     and   asked   her   to   bring   that   amount
when she came back to her in­law’s house on Lohri.
Nahar   Singh   was   not   in   a   position   to   pay   the
amount demanded and assured his daughter that he
might arrange some money when she would go back to
her­in­law’s house.   On 15th January, 1993, when
Sukhbir Singh, brother of Santosh Kaur, was taking
her to her­in­law’s house, his father­Nahar Singh
told him to make the accused understand that some
money would be sent by 20th January,1993  and that
they should not harass her. He also informed  thisPage 4
4
fact   to   Sucha   Singh,   Sarpanch   of   the   village.
Finally,   money   could   not   be   arranged   by   20th
January, 1993. On 24th January, 1993, one Pritam
Singh   came   to   the   house   of   Nahar   Singh   and
informed   him   that   his   daughter­Santosh   Kaur   had
died   during   the   intervening   night   of   23rd/24th
January,   1993   and   she   had   also   been   cremated   in
the   morning   of   24th   January,   1993.   On   25th
January, 1993, Nahar Singh,   Sucha Singh, Sukhbir
Singh   and   some   other   family   members   went   to
Mamliwala   to   the   house   of   the   accused   and   after
verifying the facts, lodged a report before Police
Station, Chhachhrauli.   A case was registered and
accused were sent for trial.
4. After trial, case was found to be proved against
Rajinder Singh for the offence under Sections 498­
A,304­B   and   201   IPC   and   against   Surinder   Singh,
Pritam Singh and Gurvinder Singh for the offence
under   Section   201/34   IPC;   hence   they   were
convicted   for   the   same   whereas   Madan   Lal   was
acquitted.
5. Learned   counsel   for   the   appellant   submitted   that
no demand of dowry and threat was ever made to the
deceased   or   her   family   members.     In   fact   no
complaint   in   this   regard   was   ever   made     by   the
complainant or the deceased or by anybody else toPage 5
5
the police.  No letter was written by the deceased
about the demand of dowry or cash. Therefore, the
impugned order is liable to be set aside.
6. Learned   Counsel   for   the   appellant   further
submitted that the Court below failed to consider
the   fact   that   the     cremation   was   never   done
secretly.   Cremation   ceremony   was   attended   by
persons very much close to the complainant family.
The   deceased­   Santosh   Kaur   never   complained   to
anybody   at   neighborhood   about   her­in­laws   or
about torture or harassment or demand of dowry or
cash by them.   Therefore, the present case was a
false and concocted story made by the prosecution.
Further,   according   to   him   PW­2,   Nahar   Singh,
father   of   the   deceased   in   his   deposition   stated
that his daughter after marriage never complained
about the accused­appellant.
7. Learned   counsel   for   the   prosecution   per   contra
relied   upon   the   evidence   and   submitted   that   the
ingredients   necessary   for   the   application   of
Section   304­B   IPC   were   established   beyond
reasonable doubt. Therefore, the presumption under
Section   113­B   of   the   Indian   Evidence   Act   arises
and hence it is proved  that the accused­appellant
caused the dowry death.Page 6
6
8. The admitted position in the present case is that
the   deceased   was   married   with   the   accused­
appellant   on   22nd   April,   1992.   She   died   in   the
night intervening by 23rd/24th January, 1993.  The
cremation of the dead body was done in the morning
of   24th   January,   1993   without   waiting   for   the
parents   of   the   deceased.     Pritam   Singh(PW­7)
stated   in   his   deposition   that   about   about   12.00
noon,   he   was   standing   on   the   bus   stand   of
Khizrabad and was talking with  some people. Then
he came to know that Santosh Kaur, daughter­in­law
of   Pritam   Singh   had   died   and   was   cremated.   Then
he told this fact  to Nahar Singh(PW­2), father of
the deceased who stayed in the Village Kotian. On
the   next   day,     PW­2   alongwith   Sucha   Singh   and
other   persons   went   to   Village   Mamliwala   and
verified the fact that Santosh Kaur had died and
has also been cremated. The distance between the
villages Mamliwala and  Kotian was not so much and
it was only about 17­18 kms. It was winter season;
month of January   but it has not been made clear
why     the   accused­appellant   cremated   the   body   of
the deceased in the early morning of 24th January,
1993   without   even   calling   the   parents   of   the
deceased   which   shows   that   there   was   something
which the accused­appellant wanted to conceal.  Page 7
7
9. As   per   statement   of   Nahar   Singh(PW­2),   Sukhbir
Singh(PW­3) who were the father and the brother of
the   deceased,   accused­appellant   Rajinder   Singh
left deceased in her parents’ house for about one
month   in   December,   1992.   PW­2   stated   that   her
daughter­Santosh Kaur told him that her father­in­
law;   Pritam   singh,   husband,   Rajinder   Singh,
brother­in­laws;   Gurvinder   Singh   and   Surinder
Singh and Madan Lal, brother­in­law of her husband
were   harassing   her   for   bringing   less   dowry.   She
also   told   that   they   were   demanding     Rs.25,000/­
and told her to bring that amount when she came
back on Lohri.   Nahar Singh(PW­2)   was not in a
position to meet the said demand at that stage. He
assured   his   daughter   that   he   would   arrange   some
money and give her by the time she leaves back to
her matrimonial house. On 15th January, 1993, his
son Sukhbir Singh took Santosh Kaur to her­in­laws
house.  He told him to make the accused understand
that   they   would   pay   some   money   by   20th   January,
1993 and they should not harass her. This fact was
also   informed   to   Sucha   Singh,   Sarpanch   of   the
village.   But the money could not be arranged by
20th January, 1993 and after about  3­4 days, i.e.
on 24th January, 1993, Pritam Singh (PW­7) came to
PW­2   and   told   about   the   death   of   Santosh   KaurPage 8
8
whose   death   took   place   during   the   intervening
night of 23rd/24th January, 1993.
10. Sukhbir Singh (PW­3), brother of the deceased also
corroborated   the   statements   made   by   his   father   Nahar
Singh(PW­2). He stated that the deceased told them that
her husband Rajinder Singh, brother­in­laws; Gurvinder
Singh and Surinder Singh, father­in­law; Pritam Singh
and   Madan   Lal,   brother­in­law   of   her   husband   were
harassing   her   for   not   bringing   sufficient   dowry.   He
further   told   that   they   were   demanding     Rs.25,000/­.
PW­3     then   told   her   sister   that   they   would   pay   the
amount by 20th January, 1993.   Then on 15th January,
1993 he took her sister to the house of her­in­laws and
came back next day after telling his sister that the
amount of 25,000 will be paid by 20th January, 1993.
PW­3   further   stated   that   the   accused   were   harassing
his sister even prior to 11th December, 1992. He also
stated  that on hearing about her death,  he alongwith
his father, Pritam Singh (PW­7), Sucha Singh, Sarpanch
of the village, went to the village Mamliwala.   They
found   the   accused   weeping   and   it   was   found   that   the
dead   body   of   his   sister   had   already   been   cremated
before they reached there.   Then his father reported
the matter to the police.
11. Pritam   Singh(PW­7)   stated   that   on   24th   January,
1993  he came to Khizrabad to see his  brother­in­law.Page 9
9
At   12.00   noon   while   standing   on   the   bus   stand   of
Khizrabad, he heard some people talking that Pritam’s
Singh   dauther­in­law   Santosh   Kaur   died   and   had   been
cremated.     Therefore,   he   told   this   fact   to   Nahar
Sing(PW­2) at Kotian. Then on next day he came to the
village Mamliwala alongwith 10 other persons where they
came to know that Santosh Kaur had been cremated.  Then
all   of   them   went   to   Police   Station   and   lodged   the
report.
12. Nar   Singh   (PW­9),   SHO,   Police   station
Parakhpur,   stated   that   on   25th   January,   1993   he
was   posted   as   SI/SHO   of   Police   Station,
Chhachhrauli. On that day, complainant (PW­2) came
to police station and lodged the FIR (Ex.P.B.). He
recorded   statement,   inspected   the   spot   and   the
place of occurrence and took into possession the
clothes   of   the   deceased   vide   memo(Ex.P.E.)   which
was   stained   with   “vomiting   and   latrine”.   Clothes
were sealed  into a parcel with the seal of the 6­
B.R., which was handed over to Sucha Singh(PW­4).
Ex.P.E.   was   attested   by     Sucha   Singh(PW­4)   and
Sukhbir   Singh(PW­3).   Thereafter   he   went   to   the
place   of   cremation   and   prepared   the   rough   site
plan of the cremation ground (Ex.P.M.).   The ash
and bones were taken into possession vide recovery
memo   (Ex.P.E.)   which   was   also   attested   by     PW­4Page 10
10
and   PW­3.     Statements   of   PW­3   and   PW­4   were
recorded (Ex.P.N.). He arrested the   accused. The
parcel   of   clothes   and   ash   &   bones   were   sent   to
forensic laboratory.
No contradiction could be found during the cross
examination of prosecution witnesses.
13. The accused in their examination under Section 313
Cr.P.C. admitted the factum of marriage but denied the
allegation relating to demand of dowry.   In reply to
question no. 14, accused­Rajinder Singh stated that his
wife Santosh Kaur died a natural death on account of
heavy vomiting and loose motions.  He also stated that
they neither demanded  any dowry nor pressurized her to
bring Rs.25,000/­ from   her father and that they were
falsely implicated in the case.
14. Admittedly,   Santosh   Kaur   died   in   the
intervening   night   of   23rd/24th   January,   1993   and
she   was   cremated   in   the   early   morning   of   24th
January,   1993.   The   distance   between   Village
Mamliwala and Kotian was not much  and it was just
17­18kms. It was the month of January and winter
season, the necessity of the accused­appellant to
cremate the dead body   within few hours of death
in the early morning of 24th January, 1993 without
informing the parents of the Santosh Kaur has not
been   explained.   The   Police   took   into   possessionPage 11
11
the   ash   and   bones   from   the   cremation   ground   and
clothes of the deceased and sent the same to the
Deputy Director­cum­Assistant Chemical Examiner to
the Government of Haryana, F.S.L. Madhuban. As per
report   an   “Organo   Phosphorus   Pesticide”   was
detected   on   the   salwar   stained   with   dirty   brown
material,   one   printed   lady’s   shirt   stained   with
dirty brown material and one green coloured woolen
shawl of the deceased. As per report of F.S.L. (Ex
P.L.1), the bones were found of the human being.
Therefore,   it   is   clear   that   Santosh   Kaur   died
other   than   under   normal   circumstances.   The
accused­appellants have also failed to explain the
presence   of   an   “Organo   Phosphorus   Pesticide”   in
the vomiting of the deceased.
15.Section 106 of the Evidence Act does not relieve
the   burden   of   prosecution   to   prove   guilt   of   the
accused   beyond   reasonable   doubt   but     where   the
prosecution has succeeded to prove the facts from
which   a   reasonable   inference   can   be   drawn
regarding the existence of certain other facts and
the   accused   by   virtue   of   special   knowledge
regarding such facts fail to offer any explanation
then the Court can draw a different inference.
16. The   ingredients   necessary   for   application   of
Section 304­B IPC and the applicability of SectionPage 12
12
113­B   of   the   Evidence   Act   was   discussed   by   this
Court in State of Rajasthan v. Jaggu Ram, (2008)12
SCC   51.  In   the   said   case,   this   Court   held   as
follows:
“11.The   ingredients   necessary   for   the
application of Section 304­B IPC are:
1.  that   the   death   of   a   woman   has   been
caused   by   burns   or   bodily   injury   or
occurs   otherwise   than   under   normal
circumstances;
2. that such death has been caused or has
occurred   within   seven   years   of   her
marriage; and
3.  that soon before her death the woman
was subjected to cruelty or harassment by
her   husband   or   any   relative   of   her
husband in connection with any demand for
dowry.
12. Section 113­B of the Evidence Act lays
down   that   if   soon   before   her   death   a
woman   is   subjected   to   cruelty   or
harassment for, or in connection with any
demand   for   dowry   by   the   person   who   is
accused   of   causing   her   death   then   the
court shall presume that such person has
caused   the   dowry   death.   The   presumption
under   Section   113­B   is   a   presumption   of
law and once the prosecution establishes
the   essential   ingredients   mentioned
therein it becomes the duty of the court
to   raise   a  presumption   that   the   accused
caused the dowry death.
13.  A conjoint reading of Section 304­B
IPC and Section 113­B, Evidence Act shows
that   in   order   to   prove   the   charge   of
dowry death, prosecution has to establishPage 13
13
that   the   victim   died   within   7   years   of
marriage and she was subjected to cruelty
or   harassment  soon   before  her  death  and
such cruelty or harassment was for dowry.
The   expression   “soon   before   her   death”
has   not   been   defined   in   either   of   the
statutes.   Therefore,   in   each   case   the
court   has   to   analyse   the   facts   and
circumstances leading to the death of the
victim   and   decide   whether   there   is   any
proximate   connection   between   the   demand
of   dowry,   the   act   of   cruelty   or
harassment and the death.”
17. In the present case, the prosecution proved that
the death of Santosh Kaur has occurred otherwise than
under   normal   circumstances.   Such   death   has   occurred
within a period of 9 months of her marriage  i.e. much
before seven years. The statements of PW­2 and PW­3 are
trust­worthy   and   they   stated   that   Santosh   Kaur   was
subjected   to   harassment   by   her   husband   and   other
accused relatives in connection with demand for dowry
just prior to death. The prosecution having established
essential ingredients, it becomes the duty of the Court
to raise a presumption   that the accused caused dowry
death.
18. In  the  present  case,    the accused has failed  to
explain   as   to   why   he   was   in   a   hurry   to   cremate   the
deceased   in   the   early   morning   of   24th   January,   1993
while she died  in the mid night of 23rd/24th January,
1993 i.e. within few hours.  The village of deceased’s
parents was just 17­18kms far from the  village of the
accused but the reason as to why they were not informedPage 14
14
about the incident on the same day and why the accused
had not waited for them to come is not explained. The
accused has also failed to explain  as to why according
to   the   F.S.L.   Report,   an   Organo   Phosphorus   Pesticide
was found in the vomiting of the deceased.  Therefore,
the   Trial   Court   rightly   drew   an   inference   that   the
accused­appellants were guilty of the offence for which
they were charge.
19. Hence,   we   find   no   merit   in   these   appeals.
These are accordingly, dismissed.   Bail bonds of
the appellants are cancelled. They shall surrender
within   a   period   of   two   weeks   to   undergo   the
remaining sentence.
………………………………………………………………………………J.
(A.K.PATNAIK)
………………………………………………………………………………J.
(SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)
NEW DELHI,
JULY 3,2013.

 

About advocatemmmohan

ADVOCATE

Discussion

Comments are closed.

Blog Stats

  • 2,897,192 hits

ADVOCATE MMMOHAN

archieves

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,907 other followers
Follow advocatemmmohan on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: