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498-A and 306 of the IPC. = wife beating is a normal facet of married life. Does that mean giving one or two slaps to a wife by a husband just does not matter? We do not think that that can be a right approach. It is one thing to say that every wear and tear of married life need not lead to suicide and it is another thing to put it so crudely and suggest that one or two assaults on a woman is an accepted social norm. Judges have to be sensitive to women’s problems. Perhaps learned Sessions Judge wanted to convey that the circumstances on record were not strong enough to drive Girija to commit suicide. But to make light of slaps given to Girija which resulted in loss of her eyesight is to show extreme insensitivity. Assault on a woman offends her dignity. What effect it will have on a woman depends on facts and circumstances of each case. There cannot be any generalization on this issue. Our observation, however, must not be understood to mean that in all cases of assault suicide must follow. Our objection is to the tenor of learned Sessions Judge’s observations. We do not suggest that where there is no evidence the court should go out of its way, ferret out evidence and convict the accused in such cases. It is of course the duty of the court to see that an innocent person is not convicted. But it is equally the duty of the court to see that perpetrators of heinous crimes are brought to book. The above quoted extracts add to the reasons why learned Sessions Judge’s judgment can be characterized as perverse. They show a mindset which needs to change. There is a phenomenal rise in crime against women and protection granted to women by the Constitution of India and other laws can be meaningful only if those who are entrusted with the job of doing justice are sensitized towards women’s problems. In the ultimate analysis we are of the opinion that the appellant has not been able to rebut presumption under Section 113A of the Evidence Act. Girija committed suicide within seven years from the date of her marriage in her matrimonial home. Impact of this circumstance was clearly missed by the trial court. The evidence on record establishes that Girija was subjected to mental and physical cruelty by the appellant in their matrimonial home which drove her to commit suicide. The appellant is guilty of abetment of suicide. The High Court has rightly reversed the judgment of the trial court acquitting the appellant. Appeal is, therefore, dismissed.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 12 OF 2013 [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.)No. 2038 of 2012] Vajresh Venkatray Anvekar … APPELLANT Versus State of Karnataka … RESPONDENT JUDGMENT (SMT.) RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, J. 1. Leave granted. 2. The appellant (original accused 2 – A2) was … Continue reading

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