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The Indian Penal Code
Section 498 in The Indian Penal Code
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Delhi District Court
State vs . Aman Sahi on 13 March, 2014
Author: Dr. Kamini Lau
   IN THE COURT OF Dr. KAMINI LAU: ADDL. SESSIONS 
    JUDGE­II (NORTH­WEST): ROHINI COURTS: DELHI

Sessions Case No. 107/2013
Unique Case ID: 02404R0807742007 

State                        Vs.           Aman Sahi
                                           S/o S. K. Sahi
                                           R/o B­35, Brij Vihar, 
                                           Pitam Pura, Delhi. 
                                           (Acquitted)

FIR No.                      :             214/2006
Police Station               :             Mangolpuri
Under Section                :             498­A/406/307/34 Indian Penal Code.

Date of committal to Sessions Court  : 09.05.2013
Date on which orders were reserved  : 30.01.2014
Date on which judgment pronounced : 13.03.2014

JUDGMENT

Brief Facts:

(1) As per the allegations on 17.02.2002 to 26.03.2006 the accused Aman Sahi being the husband of complainant Sweta subjected her with cruelty for demand of dowry and harassed her and also caused beatings to her. It is further alleged that on 10.06.2014 the accused Aman Sahi tired to strangulate Sweta with such intention or knowledge and that under such circumstances that if he by that act caused death of Sweta, he would be guilty of murder. It is also State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 1 of 42 alleged that on 29.12.2005, the accused Aman Sahi criminally intimidated the parents of Sweta and threatened them to kill and set all their three daughters on fire.

Case of Prosecution in brief:

(2) The present case FIR was registered on 26.3.2006 on the basis of a complaint received from CAW, Cell, North West District filed by the complainant Smt. Sweta wherein she alleged physical and mental torture by her husband Aman Sahi and the other members of the family i.e. father­in­law, mother­in­law and sister­in­law. She also alleged that ever since her marriage with the accused Aman Sahi on 17.2.2012 which was a arranged marriage solemnized at Shipra Hotel, Ghaziabad, U.P., the accused Aman started physical violence on her on the aspect of not giving the sufficient dowry articles to them in the marriage. She further alleged that after the marriage she came to know that accused Aman was alcoholic and Bhaang addict and he used to commit physical violence upon her and on one occasion he also tried to strangulate her. She has also alleged that he used to often beat her many times very mercilessly and used to repeat his behaviour of assaulting, beatings and torturing her due to less dowry articles and to fulfill his unlawful demand of dowry. (3) On the basis of the above complaint, investigations were conducted and thereafter a charge sheet was filed in the court. State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 2 of 42 CHARGE:

(4) Charge under Section 498­A/307/506 Indian Penal Code was settled against the accused Aman Sahi to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

EVIDENCE:

(5) In order to discharge the onus upon it, the prosecution has examined as many as six witnesses:

Public Witnesses:

(6) PW3 Sweta Sahi has deposed that she was married to Aman Sahi on 17.02.2002 but after some time of the marriage, the accused Aman started physical violence on her on the aspect of not giving the sufficient dowry articles to them in the marriage. According to the witness, after the marriage she came to know that accused Aman was an alcoholic and Bhaang addict. She has deposed that soon after the marriage accused Aman gave she a heavy blow on her face as a result of which blood oozed from her throat. She has further stated that one day he applied hot iron on her left arm and on another day he gave her a heavy blow on her right eye and blood started oozing from her right eye after which she was taken to Jaipur Golden Hospital where she gave a false statement to doctor that she slipped in bathroom and due to which she got injury on her eye. State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 3 of 42 According to the witness, in the year 2005 one day he tried to strangulate her and he used to often beat her many times very mercilessly and accused Aman used to repeat his behaviour of assaulting, beatings and torturing her due to less dowry articles and to compel her to fulfill his unlawful demand of dowry. The witness has deposed that the parents of the accused were completely involved in his act and conduct in torturing and they used to instigate him to beating and torturing her.

(7) The witness has further deposed that the accused Aman used to threat her in the court also that "tera murder kara doonga aur teri behan to kidnap karva doonga aur iss kaam ke liye maine Supari de rakhi hai." She has further deposed that the accused had abused her and insulted her by saying that she is a prostitute and her parents are dependent on the earnings of the money which she earn from the prostitution. According to the witness, although her father is a retired official from Ministry of Defence and accused used to repeat all such episode as stated by her on each and every occasion. (8) The witness has deposed that after being fed up from the the cruelty extended to her by the accused, he made a complaint before CAW Cell in which accused Aman had confessed that he had pressed her throat to strangulate her. Her complaint in this is regard is Ex.PW3/A (running into four pages) which bears her signatures at point X. She has deposed that during investigations she handed over State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 4 of 42 the photographs of marriage to the Investigating Officer and her statement was also recorded by the Investigating Officer. The witness deposed that the accused threw her on ground and sat on her and then pressed her neck with his hands in order to strangulate her. (9) In her cross examination, the witness has admitted that she took a divorce from accused Aman Sahi from Ghaziabad Court in the year 2009. According to the complainant, her marriage with Aman was an arranged marriage and her parents did not get the background of Aman and his family verified and adds that had the background been verified, she is sure that the marriage would not have taken place. She has deposed that the match was found from the matrimonial site. She has deposed that she belongs to the same community, and even after coming to know the details of the family background, her family did not verify the background of the accused family. The witness has deposed that she was aware even before the marriage that both the parents of Aman Sahi were government employees. According to the witness, her parents had made some inquiries regarding the background of Aman's family from the office of his parents and has voluntarily explained that this inquiry was confined to their job. She has denied that a detailed inquiry had been made by her parents not only with regard to the job details of the accused Aman and his parents but also with regard to their family details and background.

State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 5 of 42 (10) The witness has admitted that ring ceremony which took place on 09.12.2001 took place with the intervention and consent of both the families and has voluntarily explained that her mother in law pressurized them for having a ring ceremony at Shipra Hotel. She has denied that her mother in law never pressurize to perform the ring ceremony at the Shipra Hotel or that the expenses incurred in the ring ceremony were shared by both the families. Witness admits that no furniture or electronic goods were given in the ring ceremony or in the marriage and has voluntarily explained that only cash was given in the marriage so that accused could purchase the items according to their wish and on their choice. She further admits that there is no proof about aforesaid cash given to the accused. She has denied that no cash was given in the marriage.

(11) The witness has deposed that she made complaint to the CAW Cell in the year 2004 and admits that she did not make any complaint to any authority about the physical assault give to her by accused Aman and has voluntarily explained that all the time the father of accused Aman tendered his apology for the act and conduct of Aman, before her father with folded hands. The witness has denied that there was no such incident about the apology made by the father of the accused to her father. She is unable to tell the date when accused Aman gave heavy blow on her face as a result of which blood started oozing from her throat and has voluntarily explained State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 6 of 42 that as far as she remembers it was in the month of June 2002. The witness has deposed that she did not get herself medically checked up from any hospital and has voluntarily explained that her father in law refused for the same and in this regard she gave information to her parents. She has denied that no such incident had taken place or that it is for this reason that she did not get herself medically examined. The witness has deposed that after the aforesaid incident her parents took her to her parental house and she stayed there for about two months. The witness has admitted that after she went to the house of her parents she did not get her self medically examined and has voluntarily explained that soon after this incident she was not permitted to go to her parents house due to the marriage of her sister in law. According to the witness, her sister in law was married in the month of April 2002. Witness admits that she can not show to the court any signs of branding by hot iron on her hands and has voluntarily added that the said signs are not visible today but were present initially. On the asking of the court, the witness has stated that there are no signs. She has deposed that she did not take any medical treatment when she was branded and has voluntarily added that her father in law did not permit her to visit doctor. He deposed that she also did not show this sign to any neighbour or relative and has voluntarily added that she was not permitted to go out and also did not show this sign to any friends or relatives. According to the State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 7 of 42 witness, her sister in law was a frequent visitor and she had shown the signs to her and has voluntarily added that her parents had also seen the said signs. She has denied that there was no such incident of branding and therefore no medical treatment in this regard was taken by her. The witness has deposed that she did not hand over any documents regarding the treatment received by her at Jaipur Golden Hospital to the IO and has voluntarily added that all the documents were with the accused. The witness has deposed that she does not recollect the name of doctor who had provided her the treatment. She further deposed that she also cannot tell the date of the treatment and has voluntarily added that it was in the year 2004. Witness has denied that she is unable to give any details as there was no occasion for doing so. The witness has deposed that in respect of the threats given to her by the accused in the court, she did not bring this to the notice of the court and has voluntarily added that the incident took place after the court hearing. According to the witness, she did not lodge any police complaint in the police with regard to this incident which had allegedly taken place in the High Court. She has denied that no such incident had taken place and that is why she did not report the same to any authorities including the court and the police. (12) According to the witness, she made a complaint in CAW Cell in the year 2005. She has deposed that it was in the CAW Cell that accused had confessed regarding the incident of pressing her State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 8 of 42 throat in order to strangulate her which he had confessed before Mrs. Teja Rani. The witness has deposed that she is not aware of the credentials of Mrs. Teja Rani but she is some officer of CAW Cell whose detail she cannot tell. Witness has denied that no such confession had been made by accused Aman to any person at any point of time. According to the witness, she had told the IO of the present case that Aman had confessed to Mrs. Teja Rani. Witness has pointed out her statement Ex.PW3/A wherein this incident finds a mentioned in the complaint given to the CAW Cell. The witness has deposed that the incident relating to the confession to Mrs. Teja Rani took place after she had filed a complaint with the CAW Cell. She does not recollect the date or the month when the incident of strangulation took place and has voluntarily added that it was in the year 2005 and perhaps in the month of June but she is not sure. According to the witness, when this incident of strangulation took place, only her daughter was at home and there was nobody else and the incident took place in the after noon. She does not remember the exact time, but it must be around 2.00 to 3.00 PM. Witness admits that a land line telephone was installed in the house. She has deposed that she was not maintaining any mobile phone at that time and admits that her husband Aman was having a mobile phone. According to the witness, she did not make any call to the police from the land line phone but states that had raised an alarm after the State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 9 of 42 incidents. She has deposed that she used to resident in an apartment having two units on each floor and when she raised an alarm, nobody came and has voluntarily added that her next door neighbours were government servant. She has deposed that she did not go either to the ground floor or top floor, neighbour to seek their help and has voluntarily explained that she was prevented from doing so by her husband by using of force. According to the witness, she had received injuries in the incident but did not get any medical treatment for the same. She has deposed that she only informed her parents in laws in the evening about the incident but did not give any information to her neighbours or other family members about the same. She has deposed that she did not disclose about the strangulation incident to her parents because she felt that her mother would be shocked to hear about the same. She has denied that no such incident of strangulation took place and it is for this reason that she did not obtain any medical treatment or inform any authorities or relatives including her parent regarding the incident. Witness further denied that no cruelties were inflicted upon her by the accused or that this ground has been created only on legal advice. She admits that now she has obtained a divorce from the accused but she has not been given any maintenance in the divorce proceedings which was by mutual consent. Witness admits that she has received a sum of Rs.1,50,000/­ form the accused at the time of anticipatory bail of the State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 10 of 42 accused which was on the direction of the court. She further admits that her father had made a settlement with her in laws that he will not pursue any complaint and has voluntarily added that the settlement was under pressure as her female child was with the accused and she was not permitted to take her. The witness has further denied that all the allegation of dowry demand, cruelties are false and on legal advice.

(13) PW4 Vijay Kumar Pathak is the father of the complainant and has deposed that the marriage of his daughter Sweta was performed with the accused Aman Sahi on 17.2.2002 at Shipra Hotel Ghaziabad wherein about two hundred people participated in the marriage ceremony. According to the witness, the ring ceremony was performed on 9.12.2001 in Shipra Hotel Ghaziabad. The witness has deposed that he was forced to perform the ring ceremony at Shipra Hotel Ghaziabad by the family members of accused Aman. He has deposed that in the ring ceremony 50 to 60 members / guest joined in the party from the side of accused Aman and his family members. According to the witness, after the marriage, his daughter Sweta was subjected to physical violence by accused Aman and his family members. He further deposed that accused Aman was jobless and was an alcoholic and bhang addict and they used torture his daughter for not bringing sufficient dowry according to their demands. The witness has deposed that at the time of marriage State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 11 of 42 sufficient cash amount and gifts to the accused and his family members. Witness has further deposed that in the marriage he had given rupees two lacs cash so that they could purchase articles according to their wish and choice. According to the witness, he had also given jewelry articles at the time of marriage to the accused Aman. He has deposed that his daughter was badly thrashed on number of occasions by the accused Aman Sahi. The witness has deposed that his daughter informed him that Aman had given a heavy blow on her face as a result of which blood oozed from her throat. According to the witness, Sweta also informed him that on one occasion accused Aman had given a blow on her face as a result of which her right eye got injured. The witness has deposed that is daughter also time to time told him about the ill­treatment and physical violence inflicted upon her by the accused Aman. According to the witness, the parents of accused Aman used to instigate him to harass his daughter.

(14) The witness has deposed that specifically in June 2004, accused Aman tried to strangulate his daughter Sweta and she hardly escaped the attempt on her life and at that time he was in his office. The witness has deposed that when he received information he immediately reached her matrimonial home at Brij Vihar Apartment Pitampura. According to the witness, he was bent upon to took his daughter back to his house but the father of accused Aman bent upon State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 12 of 42 his feet and tendered an apology for the act and conduct of accused Aman. The witness has deposed that subsequently a complaint was made before CAW Cell and the inquiry was conducted by ACP Ms. Teja Rani where due to her intervention the matter was patched up. According to the witness thereafter there was no change in the behaviour of the accused and they continued physical violence upon his daughter. The witness has deposed that on 29.12.2005 he was informed by his daughter that she was badly thrashed by the accused Aman with intention to kill her and thereafter, he went to the matrimonial home of his daughter and he made a call at 100 number and he took her and her two and half year old daughter to his house. (15) In his cross examination by Ld. Defence Counsel, the witness has deposed that the marriage between his daughter and Aman was arranged through the internet from a matrimonial site. According to the witness, they do not belong to the same community and therefore they could not find any common relation or friends through whom he could verify the credentials or details of the family of the accused. The witness has deposed that he has himself conducted the verification after going to the house of the accused. He admits that both the parents of the accused are government servants. The witness has deposed that he did not make any verification from the office of the parents of the accused who are both government servants and has voluntarily explained that at that State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 13 of 42 time he was on deputation in the Ministry of Defence and the father of the accused also in the Ministry of Defence and hence whatever little verification he could do was from there. The witness has deposed that his daughter had told him on a number of occasion that she was being beaten and manhandled by her husband but on every occasion his parents used to assure him that they would ensure that nothing would happen and that the accused would improve as he was being given treatment. Witness has denied that the accused was not addicted to any drugs or alcohol or that this story has been created only to bring up a ground for divorce. According to the witness, prior to 2004 he did not make any complaint to the police and has voluntarily explained that their entire approach was to save the marriage of his daughter. He admits that parents of the accused Aman had never inflicted any cruelty on his daughter and has voluntarily explained that they were silent spectators of the act of their son and never tried to protect his daughter. According to the witness, when accused had given a blow on the head of his daughter she at her level had gone to Narender Mohan Hospital but he cannot tell the date or details. He has deposed that he did not take his daughter to any hospital for treatment at any point of time and has voluntarily explained that by the time his daughter used to come to him, her injuries were healed. Witness has denied that he did not get any treatment for his daughter at any point of time because no such State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 14 of 42 injuries were ever inflicted or that he was never compelled to hold the ring ceremony at Shipra Hotel by the mother of the accused. The witness has deposed that apart from his daughter, his grand daughter (daughter of Sweta) also informed him that her father Aman Sahi is addicted to alcohol. He has deposed that his grand daughter informed him about the same in June 2013. Witness has denied that prior to the complaint in the year 2004 he never heard about the habit of taking liquor by Aman. According to the witness, he had given the cash of Rs.2,00,000/­ before his wife and the parents of the accused but he does not recall the date when Rs.2,00,000/­ were given to the accused. Witness has denied that he never gave any cash amount to the accused for purchase of any article. He does not recall the date when his daughter informed him that she was given a blow on her face as a result of which blood oozed out from her throat. Witness admits that he did not get his daughter medically treated at that time and has voluntarily added that at the time of incident she was at her matrimonial house. The witness has deposed that he does not recollect the exact date when accused Aman tried to strangulate his daughter but it was in the month of June 2004. According to the witness, in this regard he made a police complaint in the month of October 2004. He has denied that no such incident of strangulation had taken place and therefore no police complaint in this regard was made. He has denied that the accused Aman did not made any State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 15 of 42 confessional statement before any authority. Witness has admitted that he made a statement at the time of taking his daughter with him that he does not want to file or pursue any complaint against the accused and has voluntarily explained that it was under compulsion as his daughter was badly beaten by her husband on that day. Witness has denied that the statement was not given by him under any compulsion. According to the witness, he did not make any complaint with regard to this incident and has voluntarily explained that he had made a 100 number call to the police in this regard after which the matter was closed after verbal inquiry. He has denied that there was no such incident or that he made false statement only in order to implicate the accused in false criminal cases. (16) PW5 Varun Dutt Tyagi has deposed that Vijay Kumar was residing on rent at his premises at First Floor, B­139, Lohia Nagar, Ghaziabad U. P. along with his family members and they resided there from 2000 to 2004 on rent. The witness has deposed that the marriage of daughter of Sh. Vijay Kumar namely Sweta was solemnized on 17.2.2002 at Shipra Hotel, Ambedkar Road, Ghaziabad with accused Aman (correctly identified by the witness) according to Hindu rites and customs and he also attended the said marriage. The witness has further deposed that after two three months of the marriage, he came to know about the physical violence upon the Sweta by her husband Aman. According to the witness, State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 16 of 42 when Sweta came to her parental house, he saw the signs of physical violence on her body i.e. burning marks on her left hand with hot iron press and on her face on both her eyes. The witness has deposed that on every occasion Sweta came to her parental house, there were always signs of physical assault on her face and neck. According to the witness, when Vijay Kumar and his family vacated his premises, on one occasion he came to know that Sweta was assaulted by Aman by strangulation with hands and tried to kill her after which she had to left her matrimonial house leaving behind her two and a half year daughter to save herself. The witness has deposed that he was inquired by the IO and his statement was recorded on 21.5.2006. (17) In his cross examination by Ld. Defence Counsel, the witness has deposed that he is known to the family of the complainant since the year 2002 when they had come to his house as tenants and he is having very good relations with them since then. According to the witness, for the last two years he is into property dealing business but prior to that he was doing a job. He has deposed that whenever he saw the signs of injuries on the body of Sweta he did not tell her parents to take her to the doctor or to the police and has voluntarily explained that he did not find the injuries requiring medical attention. Witness admits that in his presence there was no incident of violence upon Sweta at any point of time and that came to know about these incidents through Sweta and her family and has State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 17 of 42 voluntarily explained that he had advised family of Sweta to take up the matter to the police but the family of Aman used to come in order to make compromise but he never participated in any compromise proceedings. He has denied that whatever he is deposing is on the basis of hear say and on the basis of what was told him by the family of Sweta and has voluntarily explained that he used to observe all these happenings because he used to reside in the same house on the ground floor, first floor backside and top floor which were in their possession as only first floor front portion was in possession of Sweta's family. Witness has denied that he is deposing falsely on the tutoring of family of Sweta having family relations with them. He has denied that he is a planted witness.

Police Witnesses:

(18) PW1 ASI Hari Singh has tendered his examination­in­ chief by way of affidavit which is Ex.PW1/1 wherein he has relied upon the FIR No. 214/06 copy of which is Ex.PW1/A bearing his signatures at point A (original seen and returned) and endorsement on rukka which is Ex.PW1/B bearing his signatures at point A. (19) In his cross examination, the witness has deposed that he received the complaint through the Reader of the SHO of Police Station Mangol Puri and the same had been received at 2.40 PM, the time is already been mentioned in the FIR. He admits that does not State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 18 of 42 have any personal knowledge about the case.

(20) PW2 SI Dharam Pal has tendered his examination­in­ chief by way of affidavit which is Ex.PW2/1 bearing his signatures at points A and B. He has relied upon the inquiry report which is Ex.PW2/A.

(21) In his cross examination, the witness is unable to tell the time when he received the complaint. He states that he received the same through Reader of the ACP. According to him, he made the inquiries from the father of the complainant Sweta and also the complainant Sweta and on basis of what was told to him by these persons to be compatible to the contents of the complaint and it is for this reason he felt that a detailed verification of complaint is not required. He admits that he had mentioned in his examination­in­ chief that the allegation leveled in the complaint were found to be true, he meant that the contents were found to be matching with the oral statement made to him by complainant and her father and has voluntarily added that whether it is true or not was required to be investigated. Witness has denied that the complaint was sent for registration of FIR in a routine manner.

(22) PW6 SI Badami Lal has deposed that on 26.3.2006 he was posted at Police Station Mangolpuri and on that day the duty officer handed over him the copy of FIR and original rukka of the present case after which he inquired the matter and recorded the State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 19 of 42 statements of the complainant and her parents and the persons who had participated in the marriage of Sweta and accused Aman (correctly identified). The witness has deposed that during investigations, the accused Aman was formally arrested as he was on anticipatory bail. The witness has further deposed that during investigations, the complainant Sweta handed over him the details of marriage expenditure which is Ex.PW6/A.

(23) In his cross examination, the witness has deposed that apart from the family and friends of the complainant, he did not interrogate any neighbour of the accused to verify the allegations made by the complainant. He admits that residence of Aman is situated in an apartment where most of the residents are government servants. He has deposed that he has not cited the neigbours of Aman as witnesses and has voluntarily explained that he tried to make inquiries from the neighbours but they were reluctant. He is unable to tell the names of the neighbours of Aman from whom he had made the inquiries and who were reluctant to say anything. According to the witness, he did not mention this fact regarding inquiries from neighbours in the case diaries. He has denied that he had deliberately not made inquiries from the neighbours of Aman as it did not suit the case of the complainant. According to the witness, he did not make any inquiry from the servant / maid servant of Aman regarding the infliction of cruelty and beatings given to Sweta State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 20 of 42 by Aman. He has deposed that he did not examine or cite Teja Rani, ACP as witness. He has denied that he did not conduct proper inquiries regarding the allegations made in the complaint by the complainant and the correctness of the same or that it is for this reason that he did not interrogate Teja Rani. According to the witness the complainant did not hand over to him any documents or medical record regarding the treatment obtained by her. He has deposed that he did not join any lady constable in the investigations nor got her medical examination conducted for ascertaining if there were any signs of burn injuries etc. received by the complainant as alleged by her. Witness has denied that he did not carry out fair investigations or that his investigations was led by the complainant and her family. Witness has denied that he had wrongly and deliberately invoked the provisions of higher offence under Section 307 IPC only in connivance with the family of complainant for extorting money from the accused or that the witness Varun Tyagi has been planted in this case at the instance of family of the complainant. He admits that apart from the oral testimony of the complainant and her father, there is no other documentary record in the form of police complaint or medical certificate to substantiate the allegations of physical injuries.

State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 21 of 42 STATEMENT OF ACCUSED & DEFENCE EVIDENCE:

(24) After completing the prosecution evidence, statement of accused was recorded under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure in which all the incriminating evidence / material was put to him which he has denied.

(25) The accused Aman has stated that he is innocent and has been falsely implicated by the complainant. He has further stated that from the first day of marriage, the father of the complainant as well as complainant was having a evil eye upon our properties. According to him, she always insisted to reside separately from the matrimonial home along him which was not agreeable to him as he is the only son of his parents. The accused Aman Sahi further stated that the father of complainant also insisted upon him to reside at their home as Gharjamai which was not acceptable to him and his parents for this reason the complainant always used to quarrel even on small issues in order to achieve her malafide intentions. According to the witness, they alleged false and frivolous allegations against him in order to implicate him in false criminal cases thereby trying to compel him to succumb to their illegal demands for living separately from his parents. He has stated that at no point of time, he abused or harassed or raised any dowry demand or inflicted any cruelty upon the complainant and all the allegations in this regard are false, mischievous and frivolous.

State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 22 of 42 (26) DW1 Aman Sahi has examined himself under Section 315 Cr.PC. He has deposed that he got married with the complainant on 17.2.2012 in accordance with Hindu rites and rituals at Ghaziabad U.P. and after the marriage he along with the complainant started living together our house i.e. R/o B­35, Brij Vihar, Pitampura, Delhi­34. He has deposed that from this wedlock a female child was born on 26.11.2002. According to him immediately after the marriage the attitude and behaviour of the complainant towards him and his family became rude and she started creating a big havoc in the family. The witness has deposed that the complainant is a lady having a short temper and she was in a habit of using filthy language not only to him but also upon his parents. The witness has deposed that the complainant used to put pressure on him to live separately from his parents. According to the witness however, he being only son of his parents always tried to inculcate in her mind that it is his moral obligation to live with his old aged parents. The witness has deposed that his mother Asha Sahi is 75 percent physically handicapped lady and fully depends on others even for her routine work. The witness has further deposed that his father is a retired government servant from Ministry of Defence. According to the witness, the complainant used to refuse his request to live amicably with his parents and consequently she started the quarrels in the family even on small issues. The witness has further deposed that State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 23 of 42 the complainant and her father were having an evil eye over property which was in the name of his parents. The witness has deposed that the complainant had also evil eyes on the substantive amount of money which was received by his parents after retirement of his father and for that purpose, they started pressurizing him and his parents to transfer the entire amount as well as the property in the name of complainant. According to the witness his sister Sanjeet got married in May 2002 with Gaurav and since then she had been living separately in her own matrimonial home. The witness has deposed that both Sanjeet and Gaurav are working couple and from morning to evening they used to remain busy in their own work and their visit to their house was few and far during the period when the alleged incident as stated by the complainant in her complaint. According to the witness, the complainant has falsely alleged that his parents had demanded Rs.1,00,000/­ at the time of ring ceremony from the family of the complainant and at the time of his marriage no demand of dowry was made by his parents. The witness has deposed that after the marriage he never harassed the complainant at any point of time either physically or mentally. The witness has deposed that all the allegations in this regard are false and fabricated. He deposed that the complainant has falsely alleged that he is an alcoholic and bhang addict. According to the witness, at the time of his marriage he was doing trading of kitchen wares which was in the knowledge State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 24 of 42 of the complainant and her parents and all the allegations regarding concealing this fact are false. The witness has deposed that after the marriage he was being emotionally blackmailed to live at the house of complainant and her parents at Gaziabad along with their child as his in­laws have no son. According to the witness, the complainant used to take their child with her to her parental home at Gaziabad in order to compel him to accompany her and reside with her. The witness has also deposed that the complainant has falsely alleged that he had put a heated electric iron on her arm and there is no such mark on her arm to establish the same. The witness has further deposed that on 29.12.2005 the complainant left their house after taking her belongings with her along with her father and at that time her father gave in writing that they would not initiate any legal action against them which document is Ex.DW1/A and the list of belongings is Ex.DW1/B. The witness has deposed that during the pendency of this case, they have obtained divorce and are living separately. According to the witness, all the allegations made by his wife regarding physical and mental torture are false and on the legal advise and no such incidents have ever taken place. (27) In his cross examination by Ld. Addl. PP for the State, the witness has admitted that in the initial stages of marriage there was no problem and has voluntarily added that all the problem were after the birth of his daughter. The witness has deposed that he did State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 25 of 42 not take his wife to any professional doctor for treatment for her alleged fits of anger. He has denied that the complainant did not suffer from any psychological problem and that is why she was not taken for any kind of treatment. Witness admits that his marriage with Sweta was an arranged marriage. He has deposed that this family had made no inquiry regarding the background of Sweta and her family. He admits that the father of Sweta and his father were working in the same establishment and were known to each other. He has denied that it was only on account that he was wanting a male child that the harassment to his wife started after the birth of the female child and has voluntarily explained that there was no harassment. The witness has deposed that neither he nor his family made any complaint to the police or to the courts with regard to the repeated demands of his in laws for a separate house for Sweta and for transferring the property in her name and for the harassment on that count. He has denied that there was no such complaint because this is a false allegation which he has made against Sweta and her family on legal advice. He has further denied that he was a drug addict and frequently abused his wife Sweta verbally and physically under the influence of drugs or that Sweta did not report this to the police or other authority only because of repeated pleadings of his parents who used to save her from him. The witness has further denied that his parents used to request her to save the family honour State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 26 of 42 on account of which she did not report his conduct because she felt about their helplessness. Witness denied that he had tried to strangulate his wife and kill her only after which she separated from him. The witness has deposed that Sweta was also being physically abused and on one occasion he had branded her with hot irons and has voluntarily explained that the medical examination would prove that there are no signs on her body. He has denied that Sweta frequently received injuries but was never treated from any medical expert because his family did not want this issue to go out in the public or that whatever he has deposed in his examination in chief is on the basis of legal advice only to save himself from penal consequences.

(28) DW2 S. K. Sahi is the father of accused Aman. He has deposed that his son Aman was married to the complainant Sweta on 17.2.2002 which was simple marriage and no dowry demand was made either by him or by his wife or by his son. According to him, he and his wife both were working as government servants and used to leave the house in the morning and used to come back home in the evening at about 7:00 PM. He has deposed that the allegations made by the complainant regarding physical and mental torture and harassment by his son Aman are totally false and on legal advice and no such incident had ever taken place. The witness has deposed that they never instigated his son Aman at any point of time to inflict any State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 27 of 42 type of cruelty upon the complainant. According to the witness, Sweta is quarrelsome girl and used to quarrel on small issues and time and again she (complainant) and her father used to pressurize him to transfer his property in the name of Aman and Sweta on which he told him that after his death all his property would go to them but the complainant and her father said "marne ke bad mila to kya mila". The witness has deposed that Sweta was also pressurizing his son Aman to live separately from him and his wife. He has deposed that Sweta used to tell Aman to reside with her at her parental house which was not acceptable to his son and on this she started quarreling with Aman frequently and on some occasions she used to leave the house along with the child and used to residing at her parental house. The witness has deposed that the complainant also used to threaten them to implicate them in criminal cases. The witness has added that Sweta was also taking treatment for some mental disorder.

(29) In his cross­examination by Ld. Addl. PP, the witness has deposed that the marriage between Aman and Sweta was an arranged marriage through internet and has voluntarily added that the father of his daughter in law was also working with him in the Ministry of Defence and they were known to each other. According to the witness, the entire dispute between his son and daughter in law started when after every few days she started to insist upon going to State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 28 of 42 Gaziabad where she celebrated all the festivals with her own family. He has deposed that he had even called the father of his daughter in law and spoken to him about this but he is unable to tell the exact date and states that it was in June 2004. According to him he did not speak to any of his other family members about the matrimonial dispute between his son and daughter in law and has voluntarily added that he has no brothers. The witness has deposed that he did not inform any of his office colleague nor included them in any talk between him and the father of his daughter in law. According to the witness, he did not make any complaint to police or to any other authority regarding demands raised by his daughter in law's family for transferring the property in her name and for giving her a share nor he filed any petition in the court. He has deposed that he did not separate his son and daughter in law and has voluntarily explained that he had asked them to leave but they insisted and continued to stay with him and his wife. Witness has denied that his son was an abusive husband and used to physically abuse and torture his wife Sweta both in his presence and also when he was not at home. He further denied that for the injuries which were received by his daughter in law on account of harassment by his son, in order to save the family honour he did not take here to any doctor nor she was provided any treatment and has voluntarily explained that there was no such occasion. He denied that his daughter in law was compelled State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 29 of 42 to separate out because of his son had tried to strangulate her in a fit of rage and when she complained to him he did not take any action. He admits that his grand daughter is with his daughter in law and has voluntarily explained that there was a court case in which visitation rights have been given to them to meet his grand daughter. He has denied that whatever he has stated in the court on oath is false and for saving his son from penal consequences.

FINDINGS:

(30) I have heard the arguments advanced before me by the Additional Public Prosecutor and the Defence Counsel and also considered the testimonies of various witnesses examined by the prosecution. I have also gone through the memorandum of arguments filed by the parties. My findings are as under:

Identity of the Accused:

(31) In so far as the identity of the accused Aman Sahi is concerned, the same is not disputed. He is the husband of complainant Sweta.

Medical Forensic Evidence:

(32) The entire case of the prosecution is based upon oral testimony of complainant Sweta. Neither any medical record nor any forensic evidence has been collected by the investigating agency. State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 30 of 42 Evidence against the Accused Aman Sahi:

(33) The case of the prosecution is that the accused Aman Sahi was married to the complainant Sweta on 17.2.2002 and after some time of the marriage, he started physical violence upon her and harassed her for not giving sufficient dowry articles. It is alleged that soon after the marriage, the complainant came to know that the accused Aman Sahi was an alcoholic and drug addict and on one occasion he gave blow on her face and blood started oozing out from her throat and on another occasion he gave a heavy blow on her right eye as a result of which blood started oozing out from her right eye and thereafter she was taken to Jaipur Goldan Hospital where she given a false statement to the doctor that she had slipped in bathroom and received injuries on her eye. It is further alleged that one day in the year 2005, the accused Aman Sahi tried to strangulate Sweta and often used to beat her mercilessly on number of occasions. (34) I may observe that all the allegations made against the accused Aman Sahi are of verbal and physical abuse. On the basis of a complaint given by the complainant Sweta to CAW Cell, the present case was registered on 26.3.2006 after which the charge sheet was filed in the court.

(35) Initially all the accused were discharged from by the court and it was on allowing of a Criminal Writ Petition by Ld. Sessions Judge vide order dated 18.4.2013 that the provisions of State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 31 of 42 Section 307/506 and 498­A Indian Penal Code were invoked against the accused Aman Sahi.

(36) The prosecution in support of its case has examined as many as six witnesses whereas the accused Aman Sahi has examined himself as his own witness as DW1 and his father S. K. Sahi as DW2.

(37) Before coming to the allegations involved, I may observe that in order to succeed in charge under Section 498­A of the Indian Penal Code, the prosecution is required to prove that the accused had subjected deceased to cruelty, as defined in the explanation to the section. It is not every cruelty which is punishable under Section 498­A of the Indian Penal Code. The cruelty, so as to attract penal provisions, contained in Section 498­A of Indian Penal Code, has necessarily to be a willful conduct which is of such a nature that it is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or cause grievous injury or danger to her life or health. The use of the expression "willful" in the explanation to Section 498­A of Indian Penal Code indicates that the conduct attributed to the accused, in order to be culpable, needs to be deliberate, aimed at causing injury to the health of the woman or bringing misery to her. If the accused knows or is reasonable expected to know that his conduct is likely to cause injury to the life, limb or health of the aggrieved woman or if his conduct is of such a nature, that causing injury to the life, limb or health can be State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 32 of 42 a natural consequence for the woman, who is recipient of such a conduct, it will attract criminal liability on the part of the husband or his relative, as the case may be. Everyone is presumed to intend the natural consequences of his act and such a presumption must necessarily be drawn even if there is no intention to cause any injury or harm to the woman. Whether the conduct in question is likely to drive the woman to cause injury to her life, limb or health, will depend upon a number of factors such as social and economic status of the parties, the level of awareness of the aggrieved woman, her temperament, state of her health, physical as well as mental and how she is likely to perceive such a behavior. If a woman is harassed with a view to coerce her or any of her relatives to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security, it will also constitute cruelty, as defined in the explanation to Section 498­A of Indian Penal Code.

(38) The expression "Cruelty" takes in its ambit mental cruelty as well as physical torture of the woman. If the conduct of the accused with a woman is likely to cause a reasonable apprehension in her mind that her living with the husband will be harmful and injurious to her life and safety, such a conduct would attract criminal liability, envisaged in Section 498­A of Indian Penal Code. (39) If the woman has harassed on account of her failure or the failure of her relatives to meet an unlawful demand for property State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 33 of 42 or valuable security, that also constitutes cruelty, within the meaning of Section 498­A of IPC. The expression "harassment" has not been defined in Section 498­A of IPC, but its dictionary meaning is to subject someone to continuous vexatious attacks, questions, demands or other unpleasantness, etc. However, it is not harassment of every nature which is punishable under section 498­A of IPC. In order to attract criminal liability, there should be torture physical or mental, by positive acts. Such acts should be aimed at persuading or compelling the woman or her relatives to meet an unlawful demand of any property or valuable security or it should be actuated by the failure of the woman or her relative to meet such a demand. (40) Applying the above settled principles of law to the facts of present case, I may observe that the entire case of the prosecution is based upon the testimony of the complainant Sweta who has been examined as PW3 in the court. Apart from her oral testimony, the prosecution has also placed its heavy reliance on the oral testimonies of her father Vijay Kumar Pathak (PW4) and also their land­lord Varun Tyagi (PW5).

(41) In so far as the aspect of marriage on 17.2.2002 between the accused and the complainant is concerned, the same is not disputed. It is admitted that the marriage had taken place on 17.2.2002 at Shipra Hotel, Ghaziabad according to the Hindu rites and ceremonies which marriage has now been dissolved on 9.6.2010. State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 34 of 42 Out of the said wedlock, a female child was born to the couple on 26.11.2002 which child is presently with the complainant Sweta whereas the accused Aman Sahi and his parents are having visiting rites, on which aspect there is no dispute. It is further evident that apart from the oral testimonies of above three witnesses, there is no other documentary material either in the form of medical or otherwise to corroborate the testimonies of Sweta regarding the physical violence which had been allegedly inflicted upon her. (42) I may further observe that there was serious allegations made by the complainant Sweta that the accused Aman Sahi had even burnt her with hot iron and alleged that on another occasion he had given her a blow on her face resulting into bleeding from her throat. In her cross­examination, Sweta has admitted that she cannot produce any medical record to substantiate the allegations of physical torture which she had made in her examination­in­chief and states that she had not gone to any hospital for any treatment. She further stated that she cannot show the signs of the burns on her body pursuant to her being allegedly burnt with iron and when she was asked to show the signs if any to court, she confirmed that there were no signs. She further informed that she did not take any medical treatment when she was branded and states that her father­in­law did not permit her to visit doctor. It is not possible for this court to believe that the complainant had been branded with hot iron and not State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 35 of 42 treated for the same and there are no tell­tale signs or scars of this injury on her body whatsoever. The signs of branding and scratch last for number of years and sometimes for life time, particularly when they are not treated. I am not convinced with the oral allegations made in this regard since the complainant Sweta who is herself an educated and informed girl was staying in good locality. It is not possible to believe that she was not in a position to seek any help or treatment from any doctor or that she required her father­in­ law or husband to take her to the doctor. She has not been able to prove any medical treatment paper from Jaipur Goldan Hospital or any other hospital from where she had allegedly taken for treatment for her injuries.

(43) Further, in so far as the incident of strangulation is concerned, the complainant admits that she did not make any police complaint in this regard but has explained that it was in the year 2005 that in CAW Cell where she had made her complaint, the accused Aman Sahi had appeared and confessed before IO Teja Rani about the incident of pressing her throat in order to strangulate her, which aspect again is not very convincing since neither this Teja Rani the then ACP has been examined to prove the aspect of such a confession made by the accused before her (which even otherwise if proved would have been inadmissible in evidence being a statement made to police officer) nor those allegations are backed by any State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 36 of 42 medical record. She has admitted that a land line phone had been installed in the house and even the accused was having a mobile phone. She has further admitted that they were residing in an apartment having two units in each floor and her next door neighbour was also a government servant but there is nothing on record that the neighbour had come to save her and made any complaint to the police.

(44) It is again not possible for this court to believe that in case of such an alarm being raised in a building complex fully occupied by persons many of whom are government servants, nobody would have come to the rescue of the complainant even to get medical aid or police help. Further it is admitted by the complainant that she had obtained a divorce from the accused by mutual consent and there was no maintenance given to her but states that at the time of grant of Anticipatory Bail to the accused, on the asking of the court, a sum of Rs.1,50,000/­ was given to her. She has further admitted that her father had made a settlement with her­in­ laws that he will not pursue any complaint and has voluntarily added that the settlement was under pressure as her female child was with the accused and she was not being permitted to take her. I am sure that had that been a case, the complainant would not have agreed to mutual consent divorce petition.

(45) In so far as the father of the complainant is concerned, he State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 37 of 42 has orally in his testimony confirmed whatever has been stated by the complainant. Further, in so as the landlord Varun Tyagi is concerned, he is having extremely good relations with the family and is apparently an interested witness on this count. I am sure that if the complainant had been receiving such physical injuries as noticed by her father and also by the landlord Varun Tyagi, they would have got the complainant medically treated and made complaint to the police which is not the case. No medical record has been placed on record. None of the witness is able to give the details of the doctors or the hospital from where the complainant was got treated at any point of time, raising serious questions on the aspect of the authenticity and correctness of the allegations made.

(46) In view of the above, I hereby hold that all issues relating to the marriage between the accused Aman Sahi and the complainant Sweta having already been put to rest on finalization of their divorce petition and present case has been revived after the said divorce decree. In this background, an hyper technical view shall not help the cause of any of the parties i.e. either the complainant or the accused under the given circumstances and that too in the absence of any credible corroboration to the oral allegations from an independent source. In this background, in the interest of justice benefit of doubt is given to the accused Aman Sahi who is hereby acquitted of the charges under Section 498­A/307/506 Indian Penal State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 38 of 42 Code.

FINAL CONCLUSION:

(47) In the case of Sharad Birdhichand Sarda­vs­State of Maharastra, reported in AIR 1984 SC 1622, the Apex Court has laid down the tests which are pre­requisites before conviction should be recorded, which are as under:

1. The circumstances from which the conclusion of guilt is to be drawn should be fully established. The circumstances concerned 'must or should' and not 'may be' established;
2. The facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other hypothesis except that the accused is guilty;
3. The circumstances should be of conclusive nature and tendency;
4. They should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved; and
5. There must be a chain of evidence so complete as not to leave any reasonable ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must show that in all human probability the act must have been done by the accused.

(48) Applying the above principles of law to the facts of present case, it is evident that the investigation conducted including the documents prepared in the present case have been substantially State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 39 of 42 proved by the police witnesses including the Investigating Officers. The identity of the accused Aman Sahi stands established and proved. The facts regarding marriage between the accused Aman Sahi and complainant Sweta on 17.2.2002, is not disputed. All the allegations made against the accused Aman Sahi are oral and not supported by any other evidence i.e. medical or forensic or circumstantial. Initially the accused was discharged from by the court and it was on allowing of a Criminal Revision petition by Ld. Sessions Judge vide order dated 18.4.2013 that the provisions of Section 307/506 and 498­A Indian Penal Code, were invoked which was much after all matrimonial matters between the parties were put to rest. The fact regarding divorce between the accused and the complainant as on 9.6.2010 is also not disputed. It stands established that apart from the oral testimonies of prosecution witnesses, there is no other documentary material either in the form of medical or otherwise to corroborate the testimonies of Sweta conclusively establishing the aspect of the mental and physical harassment and the extent of attempt to take her life. Also the allegations of threats to the complainant are vague and non­specific in respect of time and place.

(49) In view of the above, I hereby hold that the circumstances reflected from the material on record do not stand conclusively established. The facts are also not consistent only with State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 40 of 42 the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused. The material brought on record by the prosecution are insufficient to hold that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Further, each circumstance has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution has also not established a conclusive link connecting each individual circumstance with the other, and the accused Aman Sahi. Crucially, the materials and evidence on record do not bridge the gap between "may be true" and must be true" so essential for a court to see, while finding the guilty of an accused.

(50) Lastly keeping in view the fact that all other disputes between the complainant Sweta and the accused Aman Sahi relating to their matrimonial life have attained finality by way of their Divorce Decree dated 9.6.2010, no useful purpose would be served by flogging a dead horse. As the famous poet Sahir Ludhyanvi had aptly put it:

.....Taaruf rog ban jaye to usko bhulna behtar, Taaluk bojh ban jaye to usko torna achcha.....

(51) It is necessary for the complainant Shweta a young girl of 33 years and so also the accused Aman Sahi to realize that they need to move on in life by leaving their past and bitter memories behind. With these observations, I acquit the accused Aman Sahi of the charges under Section 498­A/307/506 Indian Penal Code the State Vs. Aman Sahi, FIR No. 214/06, PS Mangolpuri Page 41 of 42 prosecution having failed to establish the same beyond reasonable doubt. The surety of the accused be discharged, as per rules.

(52)           File be consigned to Record Room.




Announced in the open Court                             (Dr. KAMINI LAU)
Dated: 13.03.2014                                     ASJ (NW)­II: ROHINI




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