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the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
The Indian Penal Code
Section 4 in The Indian Penal Code

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Jharkhand High Court
Prabha Debi Mishra vs State Of Jharkhand & Ors on 25 January, 2012

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND, RANCHI

Cr. Rev. No. 583 of 2011

1.Basudeo Sao

2.Sharwan Kumar Gupta

3.Kalawati Devi. ..... Petitioner(s) Versus

1.The State of Jharkhand

2.Sangita Devi .... Opp. Party(s)

CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE R. R. PRASAD

For the Petitioner(s) : M/s Surendra Pd. Sinha, Advocate. For the State : M/s S. N. Rajgharia, A.P.P. -----

I.A. No.189 of 2012.

Later on

04/25.01.2012. By filing the aforesaid interlocutory application, prayer has been made to exempt the petitioner from filing surrender certificate. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that on being convicted for offences under Section 498A and also under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the petitioner has been sentenced to undergo S.I. for two years and also for three months for offences under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act respectively by the learned trial court. The petitioner preferred an appeal vide Criminal Appeal No.126 of 2004, whereby the appellate court affirmed the judgment of conviction and order of sentence. Thereupon the petitioner filed a revision application bearing No.308 of 2006 along with surrender certificate. The petitioner was admitted to bail, but subsequently Revision Application got dismissed on account of its non-prosecution and therefore, the instant revision application has been filed upon which objection was taken by the office about its non-maintainability, but this Court vide order dated 18.1.2012 over-ruled the objection taken by the office and held the case to be maintainable.

Learned counsel further submits that now the dispute being settled, the parties have compromised the case as a result of which the wife and husband are living together and under this situation, the filing of surrender certificate be dispensed with,.

The circumstances, as stated above, are as such which warrants invocation of power as enshrined under Section 482 of Cr.P.C.. Accordingly, filing of surrender certificate is dispensed with,. Thus, I.A. No.189 of 2012, stands disposed of,. I. A. No.1578 of 2011.

Having heard learned counsel for the parties and on being satisfied with the grounds mentioned in the application, the delay of 1871 days in filing this application is hereby, condoned.

Accordingly, I.A. No.1578 of 2011, stands disposed of,. Cr. Rev. No. 583 of 2011

Heard learned counsel appearing for the petitioners and learned counsel for the State over the main application. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submits that after the appellate court passed the order affirming the judgment of conviction and order of sentence Revision Application bearing No.308 of 2006 was filed which though got dismissed, for default, but the parties thereafter got the dispute settled and arrived at a compromise, whereby the complainant (wife of the petitioner No.2) has been living with the husband (petitioner No.2) quite happily and hence, a joint compromise petition has been filed and therefore, judgment of conviction and order of sentence, passed by the appellate court and also by the trial court be set aside and the petitioners be acquitted. It be stated that offence under Section 498A is non-compoundable in terms of the provision of Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Nevertheless, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in a case of B.S. Joshi and others Vs. State of Haryana and Anr, (2003) 4 SCC 675, allowed the parties to compound the offence by holding that if the compromise between the parties in a case of 498A is not encouraged, it would be counter-productive and would act against the interest of women. Following is the observation of Their Lordships :-

"There is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XX- A containing Section 498-A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498-A was added with a view to punishing a husband and his relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her or her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. The hypertechnical view would be counterproductive and would act against interests of women and against the object for which this provision was added. There is every likelihood that non-exercise of inherent power to quash the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent women from settling earlier. That is not the object of Chapter XX-A of the Indian Penal Code."

In view of the ratio laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, there is no difficulty in accepting the compromise arrived at, in between the parties, even though alleged offence is non-compoundable in the circumstance, stated above which appears to be a special feature. In that view of the matter, it becomes expedient to set aside the judgment of conviction and order of sentence.

Accordingly judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 16.8.2004, passed by the learned S.D.J.M., Palamau at Daltonganj, in Complaint Case No.370 of 2000 (Trial No.277 of 2004) and also judgment passed by the learned 7th Addl. Sessions Judge, Palamau at Daltonganj in Criminal Appeal No.126 of 2004, are set aside and the petitioners are hereby, acquitted.

In the result, this application stands allowed.

(R. R. Prasad, J)

Sandeep/