divorce petition

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ACQUITTAL under Section 302 read with Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘IPC’).= Admittedly, there was a divorce between the parties. Therefore, the question of demand of dowry or ill-treatment or harassment could not arise after 8 years of divorce decree by the court. The mother of Ratna has deposed about the illicit relationship of the appellant and another woman and the appellant wanted to marry that woman. In case the parties had separated by a divorce through court, we fail to understand how Ratna (deceased) or her parents were concerned about such a relationship. 15. It is a settled legal proposition that in case there are apparent discrepancies in two dying declarations, it would be unsafe to convict the accused. In such a fact-situation, the accused gets the benefit of doubt. In case of plural/multiple dying declarations, the court has to scrutinise the evidence cautiously and must find out whether there is consistency particularly in material particulars therein. In case there are inter-se discrepancies in the depositions of the witnesses given in support of one of the dying declarations, it would not be safe to rely upon the same.= whether they are material or not and while scrutinising the contents of various dying declarations, the court has to examine the same in the light of the various surrounding facts and circumstances. In case of dying declaration, as the accused does not have right to cross-examine the maker and not able to elicit the truth as happens in the case of other witnesses, it would not be safe to rely if the dying declaration does not inspire full confidence of the court about its correctness, as it may be result of tutoring, prompting or product of imagination. The court has to be satisfied that the maker was in a fit state of mind and had a clear opportunity to observe and identify the assailant (s). – In exceptional cases where there are compelling circumstances and the judgment under appeal is found to be perverse, the appellate court can interfere with the order of acquittal. The appellate court should bear in mind the presumption of innocence of the accused and further that the trial Court’s acquittal bolsters the presumption of his innocence. Interference in a routine manner where the other view is possible should be avoided, unless there are good reasons for interference. The High Court did not consider the matter in correct perspective nor observed the parameters laid down by this court to interfere against the order of acquittal. In view of the above, the appeal is allowed and the judgment and order of the High Court is set aside. The judgment and order of the Sessions Court is restored. The appellant is on bail. His bail bonds stand discharged.

Page 1     REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.248 of 2007 Bhadragiri Venkata Ravi …Appellant Versus Public Prosecutor High Court of A.P., Hyderabad …Respondent J U D G M E N T Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J. 1. This appeal has been filed against the judgment and order dated … Continue reading

`shared household’ within the meaning of Section 2(s) of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’). Section 2(s) states: “`shared household` means a household where the person aggrieved lives or at any stage has lived in a domestic relationship either singly or along with the respondent and includes such a household whether owned or tenanted either jointly by the aggrieved person and the respondent, or owned or tenanted by either of them in respect of which either the aggrieved person or the respondent or both jointly or singly have any right, title, interest or equity and includes such a household which may belong to the joint family of which the respondent is a member, irrespective of whether the respondent or the aggrieved person has any right, title or interest in the shared household”. Smt. Taruna Batra was married to Amit Batra, son of the appellants, on 14.4.2000. After the marriage respondent Taruna Batra started living with her husband Amit Batra in the house of the appellant no.2 in the second floor. It is not disputed that the said house which is at B-135, Ashok Vihar, Phase-I, Delhi belongs to the appellant no.2 and not to her son Amit Batra. Amit Batra filed a divorce petition against his wife Taruna Batra, and it is alleged that as a counter blast to the divorce petition Smt. Taruna Batra filed an F.I.R. under Sections 406/498A/506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and got her father-in-law, mother-in-law, her husband and married sister-in-law arrested by the police and they were granted bail only after three days. It is admitted that Smt. Taruna Batra had shifted to her parent’s residence because of the dispute with her husband. She alleged that later on when she tried to enter the house of the appellant no.2 which is at property No. B-135, Ashok Vihar, Phase-I, Delhi she found the main entrance locked and hence she filed Suit No. 87/2003 for a mandatory injunction to enable her to enter the house. The case of the appellants was that before any order could be passed by the trial Judge on the suit filed by their daughter-in- law, Smt. Taruna Batra, along with her parents forcibly broke open the locks of the house at Ashok Vihar belonging to appellant No. 2, the mother- in-law of Smt. Taruna Batra. The appellants alleged that they have been terrorized by their daughter-in-law and for some time they had to stay in their office. It is stated by the appellants that their son Amit Batra, husband of the respondent, had shifted to his own flat at Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad before the above litigation between the parties had started. The learned trial Judge decided both the applications for temporary injunction filed in suit no.87/2003 by the parties by his order on 4.3.2003. He held that the petitioner was in possession of the second floor of the property and he granted a temporary injunction restraining the appellants from interfering with the possession of Smt. Taruna Batra, respondent herein. Against the aforesaid order the appellants filed an appeal before the Senior Civil Judge, Delhi who by his order dated 17.9.2004 held that Smt. Taruna Batra was not residing in the second floor of the premises in question. He also held that her husband Amit Batra was not living in the suit property and the matrimonial home could not be said to be a place where only wife was residing. He also held that Smt. Taruna Batra had no right to the properties other than that of her husband. Hence, he allowed the appeal and dismissed the temporary injunction application. Aggrieved, Smt. Taruna Batra filed a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution which was disposed of by the impugned judgment. Hence, these appeals. The learned Single Judge of the High Court in the impugned judgment held that the second floor of the property in question was the matrimonial home of Smt. Taruna Batra. He further held that even if her husband Amit Batra had shifted to Ghaziabad that would not make Ghaziabad the matrimonial home of Smt. Taruna Batra. The Learned Judge was of the view that mere change of the residence by the husband would not shift the matrimonial home from Ashok Vihar, particularly when the husband had filed a divorce petition against his wife. On this reasoning, the learned Judge of the High Court held that Smt. Taruna Batra was entitled to continue to reside in the second floor of B-135, Ashok Vihar, Phase-I, Delhi as that is her matrimonial home.

CASE NO.: Appeal (civil) 5837 of 2006 PETITIONER: S.R. Batra and Anr. RESPONDENT: Smt. Taruna Batra DATE OF JUDGMENT: 15/12/2006 BENCH: S.B. Sinha & Markandey Katju JUDGMENT: JUDGMENT MARKANDEY KATJU, J. Leave granted. This appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment of the Delhi High Court dated 17.1.2005 in C.M.M. No. 1367 of 2004 … Continue reading

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