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Sec.498 A, 304 B – death within 9 months of marriage – burnt – the woman was subjected to cruelty soon before her death – prosecution proved its case – trial court and High court rightly convicted the accused – No grounds to interfere – Apex court dismissed the appeal = PRADEEP KUMAR … APPELLANT VERSUS STATE OF HARYANA … RESPONDENT = 2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41725

 Sec.498 A, 304 B – death within 9 months of marriage – burnt – the woman was subjected to cruelty soon before her death – prosecution proved its case – trial court and High court rightly convicted the accused – No grounds to interfere – Apex court dismissed the appeal = 

whether the accused has  committed

the dowry death of the woman.  (This  means  that  the  presumption  can  be

raised only if the accused is being tried for the offence under Section 304-

B IPC.)

(2) The woman was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband  or  his

relatives.

(3) Such cruelty or harassment was for or in connection with any demand  for

dowry.

(4) Such cruelty or harassment was soon before her death.”

19.   In the present case, it is not in dispute that marriage took place  on

20th June, 1995. Manju, wife of the accused Pradeep Kumar got burnt  on  1st

March, 1996 and  died  on  12th  March,  1996  within  nine  months  of  her

marriage. Death of Manju was caused  by  burns  i.e.  otherwise  than  under

normal circumstances. It has already been seen that soon  before  her  death

she was subjected to cruelty and harassment in  connection  with  demand  of

dowry. All the five  ingredients  were  proved  by  the  prosecution.  Under

Section 113-B of the Evidence Act when a question arises  whether  a  person

committed dowry death and it is proved that the death of  woman  took  place

within seven years of marriage; such  death  took  place  not  under  normal

circumstances and soon before the death deceased was  subjected  to  cruelty

or harassment by such person for  or  in  connection  with  any  demand  for

dowry, the Court shall presume that such person had caused the dowry  death.

The prosecution having successfully proved the dowry death, the Trial  Court

and the High Court correctly held the accused Pradeep Kumar  guilty  of  the

offence under Section 304B.

20.   Section 498-A IPC reads as follows:

“498A. Husband  or  relative  of  husband  of  a  woman  subjecting  her  to

cruelty.—Whoever, being the husband or the relative  of  the  husband  of  a

woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be  punished  with  imprisonment

for a term which may extend to three years  and  shall  also  be  liable  to

fine.

Explanation.—For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means—

(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to  drive  the

woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb  or

health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or

(b) harassment of the  woman  where  such  harassment  is  with  a  view  to

coercing her or any person related to her to meet any  unlawful  demand  for

any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or  any

person related to her to meet such demand.”

21.   In the present  case,  on  the  basis  of  the  evidence  of   Subedar

Sapattar Singh (PW-8) and dying declaration, it  can  be  clearly  concluded

that the Trial Court and the  High  Court  rightly  held  that  the  accused

Pradeep Kumar had subjected Manju to harassment as defined under Clause  (b)

of explanation to Section 498-A.

22.   In view of the aforesaid observation and finding, we  find  no  ground

to interfere with impugned judgment. In absence of any merit, the appeal  is

dismissed. Bail bond stands cancelled. Appellant is  directed  to  be  taken

into custody forthwith to serve the remainder period of sentence.

2014 – July. Part – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41725- for full text – LAW FOR ALL

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