Section 498A

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Letter of deceased which can not be treated as Dying Declaration, can not be considered as admissible evidence in the absence of corroboration = the High Court found the appellant to be guilty of the offence under Section 498A, IPC, because of some conduct or acts of the appellant of which the deceased has complained of in her letter to the Police Station on 26.03.1992. She submitted that the High Court held that the acts or conduct of the appellant amounted to cruelty for which the appellant was liable for the offence under Section 498A, IPC, but did not amount to abetment of suicide within the meaning of Section 306, IPC. She submitted that the statements of the deceased in the letter of the deceased to the Police Station (Ext.10) were not proof of the acts or conduct of the appellant in the letter and in any case these acts or conduct of the appellant did not amount to cruelty within the meaning of clauses (a) or (b) of the Explanation under Section 498A, IPC. Unless the statement of a dead person would fall within the purview of Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act there is no other provision under which the same can be admitted in evidence. In order to make the statement of a dead person admissible in law (written or verbal) the statement must be as to the cause of her death or as to any of the circumstance of the transactions which resulted in her death, in cases in which the cause of death comes into question. By no stretch of imagination can the statements of Damyanti contained in Exhibit P-7 or Exhibit P-8 and those quoted by the witnesses be connected with any circumstance of the transaction which resulted in her death. Even that apart, when we are dealing with an offence under Section 498-A IPC disjuncted from the offence under Section 306 IPC the question of her death is not an issue for consideration and on that premise also Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act will stand at bay so far as these materials are concerned. 16. In the present case also, except Ext.10, the letter written by the deceased to the Police Station on 26.03.1992, no other witness has spoken about the appellant having starved the deceased of food and having committed acts of mental cruelty to the deceased. On the other hand, the mother of the deceased (PW-3) has stated in her cross-examination: “I have not recorded in my statement before police that Amri was giving her salary to her husband. It is not true that when I went to see Amri, at that time, my daughter was crying she had food problem, I say it is false.” =in this case there is no evidence of any physical harm having been caused by the appellant to the deceased nor any acts of mental cruelty committed by him. Hence, the appellant cannot be held guilty of any cruelty within the meaning of clause (a) of the Explanation under Section 498A, IPC. In the result, we set aside the impugned judgment of the High Court and acquit the appellant of the charge under Section 498A, IPC. Since the appellant is on bail, his bail bonds be discharged.

reported http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40593 Reportable IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 1567 of 2007 Kantilal Martaji Pandor …… Appellant Versus State of Gujarat & Anr. ….. Respondents J U D G M E N T A. K. PATNAIK, J. This is an appeal by way of special leave under Article 136 of … Continue reading

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