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Section 498A in The Indian Penal Code
Section 304 in The Indian Penal Code
State Of U.P. And Another vs V. Ram Gopal Shukla on 10 April, 1981
Section 306 in The Indian Penal Code
The Indian Penal Code

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Delhi District Court
This Judgment Is Only Regarding ... vs Unknown on 25 January, 2017
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     IN THE COURT OF MS. NIVEDITA ANIL SHARMA,
          SPECIAL JUDGE (NDPS) NORTH WEST,
  ADDITIONAL SESSIONS JUDGE, ROHINI COURTS, DELHI


New Sessions Case Number                                           : 52004/2016.
Old Sessions Case Number                                           : 10 of 2015.

State
                                                       Versus

1.                  Mr. Ram Gopal
                    Son of Mr. Bhure Lal,
                    Resident of E-119, Rajiv Nagar Extn,
                    Begum Pur, Delhi. (Facing trial)

2.                  Ms. Tara Devi
                    Wife of Mr. Bhure Lal.
                    (Already discharged vide order dated 19.03.2015).

First Information Report Number : 847/2014.
Police Station : Begum Pur.
Under sections 498A/304 B of the Indian Penal Code.

Date of filing of the charge sheet before                                        : 07.11.2014.
the Court of the Metropolitan Magistrate
Date of receipt of file after committal                                          : 17.01.2015.
Arguments concluded on                                                           : 24.01.2017.
Date of judgment                                                                 : 25.01.2017.

Appearances: Ms.Nimmi Sisodia, Additional Public Prosecutor for
             the State.
             Accused Mr.Ram Gopal on bail.
            Accused Ms.Tara Devi has already been discharged vide
            order dated 19.03.2015.
            Mr.B.S.Gautam, counsel for accused Mr.Ram Gopal.
********************************************************

New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.
Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.
FIR No. 847/2014 , Police Station Begum Pur,
Under sections 498A/304 B of the Indian Penal Code.
State v. Ram Gopal and anr.                                              -:: Page 49 of 49 ::-
                                                       -:: 49 ::-




JUDGMENT

1. This judgment is only regarding accused Mr.Ram Gopal as accused Ms.Tara Devi has already been discharged vide order dated 19.03.2015 by the learned predecessor of this Court.

2. Mr. Ram Gopal and Ms. Tara Devi, both the accused persons, have been charge sheeted by Police Station Begum Pur, Delhi for the offences under sections 498A and 304 B of the Indian Penal Code (hereinafter referred to as the IPC) on the allegations that accused Mr.Ram Gopal, who was the husband of Ms.Bindu who was the daughter of Mr.Sant Kumar and Ms.Munni Devi, between 06.05.2013 to 11.08.2014 at House No. E-119, Rajiv Nagar Ext. Delhi, and at other places on different dates and times, particularly, the time soon before 11.08.2014, he had subjected deceased Ms.Bindu, his wife, to cruelty and harassment in connection with demand for dowry, due to which the deceased died an unnatural death within seven years of her marriage. Thus, soon before her death the deceased was subjected to cruelty and harassment for demand of dowry by the accused.

CHARGE SHEET AND COMMITTAL

3. After completion of the investigation, the charge sheet was filed before the Court of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate on New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

FIR No. 847/2014 , Police Station Begum Pur, Under sections 498A/304 B of the Indian Penal Code. State v. Ram Gopal and anr. -:: Page 49 of 49 ::-

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07.11.2014 and after its committal, the case was assigned to the learned predecessor of this Court for 17.01.2015.

CHARGE

4. After hearing arguments, charge for the offences under sections 304B and 498A of the IPC was framed against accused Mr.Ram Gopal vide order dated 19.03.2015 by the learned predecessor of this Court to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

5. Accused Ms.Tara Devi was discharged vide order dated 19.03.2015 by the learned predecessor of this Court.

PROSECUTION EVIDENCE

6. In order to prove its case, the prosecution has examined as many as 19 witnesses i.e. Mr.Sant Kumar, father of the deceased Ms.Bindu, as PW1; Ms.Munni Devi, mother of the deceased, as PW2; Mr.Naresh, brother of the deceased, as PW3; Ms.Ahilya, sister in law of the deceased, as PW4; Ct.Sandeep Kumar, Photographer in Mobile Crime Team, as PW5; ASI Ajeet Singh, Incharge of Mobile Crime Team, as PW6; Ct.Jagdish Kumar, who had deposited the viscera of deceased in the office of the FSL, as PW7; ASI Kailash Chand, the Duty Officer, who had recorded the DD entry, as PW8; Ct.Pankaj, who had deposited the dead body to the mortuary of BSA Hospital, as PW9; Mr.Amit Kumar Singh, Executive New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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Magistrate, as PW10; Dr.Mukesh Kumar, SR Forensic Medicine, who had conducted the post mortem on the body of deceased Ms.Bindu, as PW11; HC Sukram Pal, the Duty Officer, who had recorded the formal FIR of the case, as PW12; Dr. Kanak Lata Verma, FSL Expert, as PW13; Mr. Bhim Singh, village neighbour of the father of the deceased, as PW14; Ms.Vidya, who is distant relative of father of the deceased as well as father of the accused, as PW15; HC Prahlad Singh, the MHCM of the case, as PW16; SI Rajesh Kumar, the first Investigation Officer of the case, as PW17; Inspector Sudhir, the second Investigation Officer of the case, as PW18; and Inspector Rajesh Kumar, the third Investigation Officer of the case, as PW19.
7. The accused and his counsel have preferred not to cross examine PWs 7, 8. 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 18 due to which their evidence remains uncontroverted and unrebutted and can be presumed to have been admitted as correct by the accused.
8. Vide order dated 02.11.2016, accused Mr.Ram Gopal has admitted the evidence of Dr. Brijesh Narayan Singh and the documents prepared by him.

STATEMENT OF ACCUSED UNDER SECTION 313 OF THE CR.P.C. AND DEFENCE EVIDENCE New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

FIR No. 847/2014 , Police Station Begum Pur, Under sections 498A/304 B of the Indian Penal Code. State v. Ram Gopal and anr. -:: Page 49 of 49 ::-

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9. In his under section 313 of the Cr.P.C., accused Mr.Ram Gopal has controverted and rebutted the entire evidence against him and submitted that he is innocent. He has submitted that he is presently residing at A-168 B, Rajiv Nagar Extension, Delhi since about one year ago. He has further submitted that he has not committed any offence and been falsely implicated in this case. Accused has preferred not to lead evidence in his defence.

ARGUMENTS

10.I have heard arguments at length. I have also given my conscious thought and prolonged consideration to the material on record, relevant provisions of law and the precedents on the point. I have also carefully perused the written arguments filed on behalf of accused Mr.Ram Gopal.

11.The Additional Public Prosecutor for the State has requested for convicting accused Mr.Ram Gopal for having committed the offences under sections 304 B and 498A of the IPC, submitting that the prosecution has been able to bring home the charge against the accused by examining its witnesses whose testimonies are corroborative and reliable.

12.The counsel for accused Mr.Ram Gopal, on the other hand, has requested for his acquittal submitting that there is nothing incriminating against the accused on the record. There is an New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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unexplained delay in the registration of the FIR. The evidence of the prosecution witnesses is unreliable as it suffers from numerous contradictions, improvements and inconsistencies which are fatal for the prosecution case. The Investigation Officer as well as the Crime Team did not visit the alleged spot of occurrence but visited the adjoining property. The investigation has not been properly and fairly conducted.

DISCUSSION, ANALYSIS, OBSERVATIONS AND FINDINGS

13.The question is how to test the veracity of the prosecution story especially when it has some variations in the evidence. Mere variance of the prosecution story with the evidence, in all cases, should not lead to the conclusion inevitably to reject the prosecution story. Efforts should be made to find the truth, this is the very object for which the courts are created. To search it out, the Courts have been removing chaff from the grain. It has to disperse the suspicious cloud and dust out the smear as all these things clog the very truth. So long chaff, cloud and dust remains, the criminals are clothed with this protective layer to receive the benefit of doubt. So it is a solemn duty of the Courts, not to merely conclude and leave the case the moment suspicions are created. It is the onerous duty of the Court within permissible limit to find out the truth. It means, on the other hand no innocent man should be punished but on the other hand to see no person committing an offence should get scot-free. If New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

FIR No. 847/2014 , Police Station Begum Pur, Under sections 498A/304 B of the Indian Penal Code. State v. Ram Gopal and anr. -:: Page 49 of 49 ::-

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in spite of such effort suspicion is not dissolved, it remains writ at large, benefit of doubt has to be created to the accused. For this, one has to comprehend the totality of facts and the circumstances as spelled out through the evidence, depending on the facts of each case by testing the credibility of the witnesses, of course after excluding that part of the evidence which are vague and uncertain. There is no mathematical formula through which the truthfulness of the prosecution or a defence case could be concertized. It would depend upon the evidence of each case including the manner of deposition and his demeans, clarity, corroboration of witnesses and overall, the conscience of a Judge evoked by the evidence on record. So the Courts have to proceed further and make genuine efforts within judicial sphere to search out the truth and not stop at the threshold of creation of doubt to confer benefit of doubt.
14.Under this sphere, I now proceed to test the submissions of both the sides.

CASE OF THE PROSECUTION, ALLEGATIONS AND PROVED DOCUMENTS

15.The prosecution story unveils on 11.08.2014 when ASI Kailash Chand (PW8) received information regarding bringing of the dead body of one lady namely Ms.Bindu by her husband. This information was recorded by ASI Kailash Chand (PW8) vide New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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DD No. 43 A(Ex.PW8/A). Copy of DD No. 43A (Ex.PW8A1) was sent to SI Rajesh (PW17) through Ct. Pankaj (PW9). PW Dr. Brijesh Narayna Singh, CMO BSA Hospital (evidence admitted) had examined Ms.Bindu vide MLC of deceased Bindu dated 11.08.2014 (Ex.PX-1).
16.On 11.08.2014, SI Rajesh Kumar received the DD No.43A (Ex.PW8/A) regarding bringing of a lady, who had been declared brought dead. SI Rajesh Kumar (PW17) along with Ct. Pankaj (PW9) reached BSA Hospital. On enquiry, it was revealed that the deceased had married around 1½ years ago and the incident of hanging took place in the matrimonial home of the deceased. Investigation Officer SI Rajesh Kumar (PW17) shared this information to his senior officers and SDM. On the directions of SDM, dead body was preserved in mortuary.

Ct.Pankaj (PW9) deputed out side the mortuary. On next day, IO SI Rajesh Kumar (PW17) again visited the hospital, where Mr.Amit Kumar Singh, Executive Magistrate (PW10) met the him and Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) and Ms.Munni Devi (PW2), the parents of deceased Bindu. SDM Mr.Amit Kumar Singh (PW10) examined the dead body of Ms.Bindu, who died in suspicious circumstances within seven years of marriage with accused Mr.Ram Gopal. SDM Mr.Amit Kumar Singh (PW10) recorded the statements of Mr. Sant Kumar and Ms.Munni Devi, parents of the deceased (Ex.PW1/C and Ex.PW2/A New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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respectively) wherein they had levelled allegations regarding harassment of their daughter Bindu on account of dowry by her husband i.e. accused Mr.Ram Gopal. SDM Mr. Amit Kumar Singh (PW10) filled up the inquest form and prepared the requisite form for conducting post mortem examination on the dead body of Bindu (Ex.PW10/A and Ex.PW10/B). SDM recorded the statements (Ex.PW1/A and Ex.PW3/A respectively) of Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) and Mr.Naresh Kumar (PW3) regarding identification of the dead body. On 12.08.2014, Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) went to BSA Hospital and identified the dead body of Ms.Bindu and his statement of identification (Ex.PW1/A) was recorded. SDM Mr.Amit Kumar Singh (PW10) made endorsement on the statements (Ex.PW1/C and Ex.PW2/A respectively) of Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) and Ms.Munni Devi (PW2) and gave directions to the SHO Police Station Begum Pur to take immediate action as per rules.

17.Dr. Mukesh Kumar (PW11) had conducted the post mortem examination on the body of deceased Ms. Bindu and prepared post mortem report (Ex.PW11/A). On 05.11.2014, on receipt of request for opinion vide application dated 03.11.2014 (Ex.PW11/C) from Insp.Sudhir Kumar, Dr.Mukesh Kumar (PW11) gave opinion (Ex.PW11/B). After the post mortem, doctor had handed over one carton duly sealed with the seal of New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

FIR No. 847/2014 , Police Station Begum Pur, Under sections 498A/304 B of the Indian Penal Code. State v. Ram Gopal and anr. -:: Page 49 of 49 ::-

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DEPT. OF FM DR. BSH GOVT. OF DELHI and one plastic container duly sealed with same seal along with sample seal, which were seized by the IO vide seizure memos (Ex.PW17/A and Ex.PW17/B). After the post mortem of Ms.Bindu, her dead body was handed over to Mr. Sant Kumar (PW1) vide receipt (Ex.PW1/B). His statement (Ex.PW1/C) was recorded by the SDM in BSA Hospital.
18.On the direction of SDM Mr.Amit Kumar Singh (PW10) for registration of FIR, IO SI Rajesh Kumar (PW17) had handed over the rukka to HC Sukram Pal, Duty Officer (PW12) for registration of the FIR. On the basis of said rukka, HC Sukram Pal, Duty Officer had registered the FIR (Ex.PW12/A) on computer. HC Sukram Pal, Duty Officer (PW12) had made endorsement on rukka (Ex.PW12/B) and prepared the certificate under section 65 B Evidence Act (Ex.PW12/C).

After the registration of FIR, IO along with SHO and SDM reached the spot i.e. E-119, Rajiv Nagar, Begam Pur. ASI Ajeet Singh, Incharge Mobile Crime Team (PW6) along with Ct.Sandeep, photographer (PW5) had also reached the spot and inspected the crime scene and prepared report. On the instruction of ASI Ajeet Singh, Incharge Mobile Crime Team (PW6), Ct.Sandeep, photographer (PW5) had obtained 08 photographs (Ex.PW5/A1 to Ex.PW5/A8) of the crime scene and the negatives of these photographs (Ex.PW5/B1 to New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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Ex.PW5/B2).
19.The further investigation of this case was marked to SHO/Insp.
Rajesh Kumar (PW19). IO/Insp. Rajesh Kumar (PW19) along with SI Rajesh (PW17) and Mr. Sant Kumar (PW1) went to the spot i.e. H. No. E 118-119, Rajiv Nagar Extension, Begumpur. The deceased used to reside at house no.119 and she committed suicide in house no. 118. Both these house are adjacent. At the spot, Mr. Bhure Lal, father of accused Mr.Ram Gopal met the IO. IO prepared the site plan (Ex.PW19/A) at the instance of Mr. Bhure Lal. IO made local enquiry at the spot but no public person became ready to join the investigation. IO along with SI Rajesh and complainant Mr.Sant Kumar returned to Police Station.
20.During investigation, Mr.Sant Kumar, complainant (PW1) had handed over one invitation card of marriage card of his daughter Ms.Bindu, 10 photographs of marriage and list of dowry articles (Ex.PW1/D1, Ex.PW1/D2 and Ex.PW1/D3). All the documents were seized by IO vide seizure memo (Ex.PW1/D).

21.IO Insp. Rajesh Kumar (PW19) along with SI Rajesh (PW17) again went to the spot i.e. house no. E-118-119, where accused Mr.Ram Gopal met them. IO interrogated accused Mr.Ram Gopal and arrested him in the present case vide arrest memo New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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(Ex.PW17/C). His personal search was conducted vide personal search memo (Ex.PW17/D). Thereafter, IO Insp. Rajesh Kumar (PW19) along with SI Rajesh Kumar (PW17) and accused Mr.Ram Gopal returned to Police Station. On the next day, IO produced accused Mr.Ram Gopal before the Court.
22.IO Insp. Rajesh Kumar (PW19) had deposited the case property in the Malkhana and recorded the statements of Ms.Munni Devi mother of deceased (PW2), Mr.Naresh, brother of deceased (PW3), Ms.Ahilya (PW4), Mr.Bhim Singh (PW14), Ms.Vidya (PW15) and other witnesses. Thereafter, Insp. Rajesh Kumar (PW19) was transferred and further investigation of this case was marked to Insp. Sudhir (PW18).
23.On 12.08.2014, SI Rajesh (PW17) had deposited one sealed plastic container with sample seal of DEPT OF FM DR. BSAH GOVT OF DELHI and one sealed carton with sample seal of DEPT OF FM DR BSAH GOVT OF DELHI in Malkhana.

MHCM HC Prahlad Singh (PW16) had made the relevant entry in register no. 19 at serial no. 383/14 (Ex.PW16/A). On the instruction of IO, Ct. Jagdish (PW7) deposited one sealed plastic container with sample seal of DEPT OF FM DR. BSAH GOVT. OF DELHI to the FSL vide RC No. 93/21/14 (Ex.PW16/B). Entry in this regard made in register no. 19 against the main entry (Ex.PW16/B1). After depositing the New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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property in FSL, Ct. Jagdish (PW7) deposit the original RC and acknowledgement receipt (Ex.PW16/B2) in the malkhana.
24.Dr.Kanak Lata Verma, Asstt Director, Chemistry, RFSL(PW13) had examined the exhibits of the case and prepared report (Ex.PW13/A). After examination, the remnants of exhibits were sealed with the seal of KLV FSL DELHI and forwarded to the forwarding authority. Specimen seal was also mention in the report. The forwarding letter of Director to the SHO concerned (Ex.PW13/B).
25.During investigation, Insp. Sudhir (PW18) collected the PM report of the deceased Ms.Bindu from the concerned hospital, deposited viscera of the deceased in the FSL and prepared the charge sheet and filed it before the Hon'ble Court.

26.The allegations against accused Mr.Ram Gopal are that he being husband of Ms. Bindu, between 06.05.2013 to 11.08.2014 at House No. E-119, Rajiv Nagar Ext. Delhi, and at other places on different dates and times, particularly, the time soon before 11.08.2014, subjected deceased Ms.Bindu, his wife, to cruelty and harassment in connection with demand for dowry, due to which the deceased died an unnatural death within seven years of her marriage. Soon before her death, the deceased was subjected to cruelty and harassment for demand of dowry by New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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him.

IMPORTANT ISSUES

27.The issues that arise for consideration are whether accused Mr.Ram Gopal has treated his wife Ms.Bindu with cruelty for dowry, whether Section 107 of the IPC is attracted in the facts and circumstances of the present case and whether there is any proximity in the (mis)-conduct of accused Mr.Ram Gopal due to which Ms.Bindu died by hanging herself within seven years of her marriage so as to bring the present case within the purview of sections 498 A and 304-B of the IPC. The important issues and the points in dispute are being discussed hereinafter.

CATEGORIES OF PROSECUTION WITNESSES

28.The prosecution witnesses can be divided into four sets i.e. public witnesses-material; police witnesses-formal and official; police witnesses-material; and medical and forensic witnesses.

Public Witnesses-Material

29.The material public witnesses are Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) who is the father of the deceased Ms.Bindu, Ms.Munni Devi (PW2) who is the mother of the deceased, Mr.Naresh (PW3) who is the brother of the deceased, Ms.Ahilya (PW4) who is the sister in law of the deceased, Mr. Bhim Singh (PW14) who is the village neighbour of the father of the deceased and Ms.Vidya (PW15) New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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who is distant relative of father of the deceased as well as father of the accused.
Police Witnesses- Formal and Official
30.The police witnesses whose evidence is formal or official in nature are as follows:
i. Ct.Sandeep Kumar (PW5) who is the Photographer in Mobile Crime Team.
ii. ASI Ajeet Singh (PW6) who is the Incharge of Mobile Crime Team.
iii. Ct.Jagdish Kumar (PW7) who had deposited the viscera of deceased in the office of the FSL. iv. ASI Kailash Chand (PW8) who is the Duty Officer, who had recorded the DD entry. v. Ct.Pankaj (PW9) who had deposited the dead body to the mortuary of BSA Hospital.
                     vi.       Mr.Amit Kumar Singh (PW10) who is the
                               Executive Magistrate.
                    vii.       HC Sukram Pal (PW12) the Duty Officer, who had
                               recorded the formal FIR of the case.
                   viii.       HC Prahlad Singh (PW16) is the MHCM of the
                               case.


          Police Witnesses-Material

New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.
Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.
FIR No. 847/2014 , Police Station Begum Pur, Under sections 498A/304 B of the Indian Penal Code.
State v. Ram Gopal and anr. -:: Page 49 of 49 ::-
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31.The police witnesses whose evidence is very material are SI Rajesh Kumar (PW17) who is the first Investigation Officer of the case, Inspector Sudhir (PW18) who is the second Investigation Officer of the case and Inspector Rajesh Kumar (PW19) who is the third Investigation Officer of the case.
Medical and Forensic Witnesses
32.The medical witnesses are the doctors who had examined Ms.Bindu, prepared her MLC and post mortem report. The Forensic witness had examined the exhibits of the case and given the FSL report. They are as follows:
i. Dr.Mukesh Kumar (PW11) had conducted the post mortem on the body of deceased Ms.Bindu. ii. Dr.Brijesh Narayan Singh (evidence admitted by accused) had medically examined the deceased vide MLC (Ex.PX-1).
iii. Dr. Kanak Lata Verma (PW13) is the FSL Expert.
LATEST CASE LAW ON SECTIONS 498 A, 306 AND 304 B OF THE IPC
33.For understanding the law applicable to the facts of the present case, it is important to understand the latest case law on sections 498 A, and 306 of the IPC. The same is being elaborated now.

New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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34.The hon'ble Supreme Court of India very recently in the judgment of K.V Prakash Babu v. State of Karnataka, Criminal Appeal No(s). 1138-1139 of 2016 @ S.L.P. (Crl.) Nos. 5928-5929 of 2016 decided on 22.11.2016 has made the following observations:
14. In this regard, Mr.Singh has drawn our attention to the authority in Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal v. State of Gujarat. In the said case, the Court was dealing with as to whether relationship between the appellant and the second accused therein as extra-marital leading to cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A IPC and whether that would amount to abetment leading to the act of suicide within the meaning of Section 306 IPC. Dealing with the extra-marital relationship, the Court has opined that marital relationship means the legally protected marital interest of one spouse to another which include marital obligation to another like companionship, living under the same roof, sexual relation and the exclusive enjoyment of them to have children, their up-bringing, services in the home, support, affection, love, liking and so on, but extra- marital relationship as such is not defined in the IPC. The Court analyzing further in the context of section 498 A observed that the mere fact that the husband has developed some intimacy with another woman, during the subsistence of marriage and failed to discharge his marital obligations, as such would not amount to "cruelty", but it must be of such a nature as is likely to drive the spouse to commit suicide to fall within the explanation to Section 498A IPC. The Court further elucidated that harassment need not be in the form of physical assault and even mental harassment also would come within the purview of Section 498A IPC.
Mental cruelty, of course, varies from person to person depending upon the intensity and the degree of New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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endurance, some may meet with courage and some others suffer in silence, to some it may be unbearable and a week person may think of ending one's life. The court ruled that in the facts of the said case the alleged extra-marital relationship was not of such a nature as to drive the wife to commit suicide. The two-Judge Bench further opined that :
'Section 306 refers to abetment of suicide which says that if any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine. The action for committing suicide is also on account of mental disturbance caused by mental and physical cruelty. To constitute and offence under section 306, the prosecution has to establish that person has committed suicide and the suicide was abetted by the accused. The Prosecution has to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the deceased committed suicide and the accused abetted the commission of suicide. But for the alleged extra-marital relationship which if proved, could be illegal and immoral, nothing has been brought out by the prosecution to show that the accused had provoked, incited, or induced the wife to commit suicide.
15. Slightly recently in Ghusabhai Raisangbhai Chorasiya v. State of Gujarat, the court perusing the material on record opined that even if the illicit relationship is prove, unless some other acceptable evidence is brought on record to establish such high degree of mental cruelty the explanation (a) to Section 498A of the IPC which includes cruelty to drive the woman to commit suicide, would not be attracted. The relevant passage from the said authority is reproduced below :

New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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"True it is, there is some evidence about the illicit relationship and even if the same is proven, we are of the considered opinion that cruelty, as envisaged under the first limb of Section 498A IPC would not get attracted. It would be difficult to hold that the mental cruelty was of such a degree that it would drive the wife to commit suicide. Mere extra-marital relationship, even if proved, would be illegal and immoral, as has been said in Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal (SUPRA) but it would take a different character if the prosecution brings some evidence on record to show that the accused had conducted in such a manner to drive the wife to commit suicide. In the instant case, the accused may have been involved in an illicit relationship with the appellant no. 4, but in the absence of some other acceptable evidence on record that can establish such high degree of mental cruelty, the Explanation to Section 498A which includes cruelty to drive a woman to commit suicide, would not be attracted.
16. The concept of mental cruelty depends upon the milieu and the strata from which the persons come from and definitely has an individualistic perception regard being had to one's endurance and sensitivity. It is difficult to generalize but certainly it can be appreciated in a set of established facts. Extra-marital relationship, per se, or as such would not come within the ambit of Section 498A IPC. It would be an illegal or immoral act, but other ingredients are to be brought home so that it would constitute a criminal offence. There is no denial of the fact that the cruelty need not be physical but a mental torture or abnormal behaviour that amounts to cruelty or harassment in a given case.

It will depend upon the facts of the said case. To explicate, solely because the husband is involved in an New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

Old Sessions Case Number :10 of 2015.

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extra-marital relationship and there is some suspicion in the mind of wife, that cannot be regarded as mental cruelty which would attract mental cruelty for satisfying the ingredients of Section 306 IPC.
17. We are absolutely conscious about the presumption engrafted under section 113 A of the Evidence Act. The said provision enables the Court to draw presumption in a particular fact situation when necessary ingredients in order to attract the provisions are established. In this regard, we may reproduce a passage from Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal (supra):-
'Criminal law amendment and the rule of procedure was necessitated so as to meet the social challenge of saving the married woman from being ill treated or forcing to commit suicide by the husband or his relatives, demanding dowry. Legislative mandate of the section is that when a woman commits suicide within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that her husband or any relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty as per the terms defined in Section 498A IPC, the court may presume having regard to all other circumstances of the case that such suicide has been abetted by the husband or such person. Though a presumption could be drawn, the burden of proof of showing that such an offence has been committed by the accused under section 498A IPC is on the prosecution.
We have reproduced the aforesaid passage only to highlight that the Court can take aid of the principles of the statutory presumption.

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limpidly show, the wife developed a sense of suspicion that her husband was going to the house of Ashwathamma in village Chelur where he got involved with Deepa, the daughter of Ashwathamma. It has come on record through various witnesses that the people talked in the locality with regard to the involvement of the appellant with Deepa. It needs to be noted that Deepa, being not able to digest the humiliation, committed suicide. The mother and the brother of Deepa paved the same path. In such a situation, it is extremely difficult to hold that the prosecution has established the charge under section 498A and the fact that the said cruelty induced the wife to commit suicide. It is manifest that the wife was guided by the rumor that aggravated her suspicion which has no boundary. The seed of suspicion planted in mind brought the eventual tragedy. But such an event will not constitute the offence or establish the guilt of the accused-appellant under section 306 of the IPC.
35.In judgment reported as Amalendu Pal @ Jhantu v. State of West Bengal, Criminal Appeal No. 2091 of 2009 arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No.9483 of 2008, decided on 11.11.2009, Hon'ble Supreme Court of India observed as follows:
Thus, this Court has consistently taken the view that before holding an accused guilty of an offence under section 306 IPC, the Court must scrupulously examine the facts and circumstances of the case and also assess the evidence adduced before it in order to find out whether the cruelty and harassment meted out to the victim had left the victim with no other alternative but to put an end to her life. It is also be borne in mind that in cases of alleged abetment of suicide there must be proof of direct or indirect acts of incitement to the New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.
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commission of suicide. Merely on the allegations of harassment without their being any positive action proximate to the time of occurrence on the part of the accused which led or compelled the person to commit suicide, conviction in terms of section 306 IPC is not sustainable.
36.In the judgment reported as Sohan Raj Sharma v. State of Haryana, Criminal Appeal no. 1464 of 2007, decided on 07.04.2008, the hon'ble Supreme Court of India has made the following observation:
In State of West Bengal v. Orilal Jaiswal (AIR 1994 SC 1418) this Court has observed that the courts should be extremely careful in assessing the facts and circumstances of each case and the evidence adduced in the trial for the purpose of finding whether the cruelty meted out to the victim had in fact induced her to end her life by committing suicide. If it transpires to the Court that a victim committing suicide was hypersensitive to ordinary petulance, discord and differences in domestic life quite common to the society to which the victim belonged and such petulance discord and differences were not expected to induce a similarly circumstanced individual in a given society to commit suicide, the conscience of the Court should not be satisfied for basing a finding that the accused charged of abetting the offence of suicide should be found guilty.
37.In judgment reported as Salim @ Bhajju v. State, Criminal Appeal no. 202/2006 decided on 14.03.2014, the hon'ble Delhi High Court has observed:
The fundamental rule of criminal jurisprudence is that New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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the prosecution must stand on its own legs. There is no doubt that for an offence of abetment of suicide under section 306 of the IPC; once the initial threshold i.e. essential ingredients of the offence as contained in section 306 of the IPC have been established, the presumption contained in section 113 A of the Indian evidence Act gets attracted which is for the benefit of the prosecution. However, to avail of this benefit the initial threshold had to be crossed which has not been done in the instant case. The conviction of the appellant under section 306 is illegal; it is accordingly set aside.
38.In the judgment reported as Shri Kartar Singh & ors v.
Central Bureau of Investigation, 2006 Cri.L.J. 4099: 131 (2006) DLT 643, the hon'ble Delhi High Court has made the following observations:
This Court, considering the definition of 'abetment' under section 107 IPC found that the charge and conviction of the appellant for an offence under section 306 is not sustainable merely on the allegations of harassment to the deceased. This Court further held that neither of the ingredients of abetment are attracted on the statement of the deceased.
The Supreme Court further observed in paragraph 12 of the said decision that the word 'instigate denotes incitement or urging to do some drastic or unadvisable action or to stimulate or incite. Presence of means rea, therefore, is the necessary concomitant of instigation. It is common knowledge that the word uttered in a quarrel or in the spur of the moment cannot be taken to be uttered with means rea. It is in a fit of anger and emotional. The word expressed in the case before the Supreme Court were 'to go and die'. As a result of such an utterance, the deceased went and committed suicide.
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Yet, the Supreme Court was of the view that an offence under section 306 IPC was not made out because there was no element of means rea.
39.Similar observations have also been made in the judgments reported as Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal v. State of Gujarat (2002) 5 SCC 177; Ghusabhai Raisangbhai Chorasiya v. State of Gujarat (2015) 11 SCC 753 and Gurnaib Singh v. State of Punjab (2013) 7 SCC 108.

DISCUSSION ON MERITS

40.In order to succeed in charge under section 498-A of the IPC, 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 498-A of the IPC. The cruelty, so as to attract penal provisions, contained in section 498-A of IPC, 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 498-A of IPC 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 New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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his conduct is of such a nature, that causing injury to the life, limb or health can be 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 498-A of IPC. Of course, the expression "cruelty" would take 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 498-A of IPC.

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41.If the woman has harassed on account of her failure or the failure of her relatives to meet an unlawful demand for property or valuable security, that also constitutes cruelty, within the meaning of Section 498-A of IPC. The expression "harassment" has not been defined in Section 498-A of IPC, but its dictionary meaning is to subject someone to continuous vexatious attacks, questions, demands or other unpleasantness, etc. But, it is not harassment of every nature which is punishable under section 498-A 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.

42.Dowry would include that property or valuable security which is actually given or which is agreed to be given, in relation to the marriage of person in question. The property or valuable security may be given or may be agreed to be given before marriage or at the time of marriage or at any time after the marriage, so long as it is connected with the marriage. But, there has to be a link between the property given or agreed to be given and the marriage. If at any time before or at the time of or even during marriage, the parents of a woman or any other person related or connected to her agree to give some cash, New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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valuable security or property to her husband or in-laws after marriage, that also would be covered within the definition of dowry as the agreement or promise in such a case would be attributable to the marriage or proposed marriage and if there is demand for any cash property, valuable security etc. which is promised, but not given, it would constitute demand for dowry. If the husband of the girl or any other person related or connected to him, demands something from the girl or her parents or any other person related to or connected with her, saying that the article being demanded by them was expected to be given or ought to have been given in marriage, that also, to my mind, would constitute demand of dowry because even though such an article may not have been agreed or promised to be given by the girl or her family members, it might have been in the contemplation of the boy and/or his family members, on account of the expectation that such an article would be given at the time of marriage. Therefore, such demand would be considered to be a demand in connection with the marriage though made after the marriage has been solemnized. Even demand of articles such as T.V., fridge, jewellery, clothes, furniture, etc. which usually are given or expected in marriages in our country, would, considering the objective sought to be achieved by incorporating Section 304-B in Indian Penal Code and enacting Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 fall within the purview of Section 304-B of IPC. In fact, in Pawan Kr. & Ors.

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Vs. State of Haryana AIR 1998 SC 958, the Hon"ble Supreme Court has specifically held demand of T.V., Fridge, etc. though not agreed to be given or promised or even demanded prior to or at the time of marriage, to be a demand for dowry for the purpose of Section 304-B of IPC. If cash or some property, etc. is demanded by the boy or his family members, after marriage, saying that they were expecting such cash, property, etc. to be given in marriage, and the girl, or her parents or any other person related or connected to her promise to fulfill such a demand, that also may fall within the purview of dowry, as the promise though made after marriage, would nevertheless be referable to the marriage, having been made with a view to preserve the marriage. But, if the demand is made after marriage and it is in respect of a property or valuable security, which was not demanded, was not expected to be given and also was not in contemplation at any time up to solemnization of marriage, demand of such cash, property or valuable security, etc. cannot be said to be in connection with the marriage and, therefore, would not constitute demand of dowry.

43.The expression "abetment" has been defined under section 307 of the IPC. A person is said to abet the commission of suicide when a person instigates any person to do that thing as stated in clause firstly or to do anything as stated in clauses secondly or thirdly of section 107 of the IPC. Section 109 of the IPC New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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provides that if the act abetted is committed pursuant to and in consequence of abetment then the offender is to be punished with the punishment provided for the original offence.
44.Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) and Ms.Munni Devi (PW2), parents of the deceased as well as Mr.Naresh (PW3) and Ms.Ahilya (PW4), brother and sister in law respectively of the deceased have deposed that accused Mr.Ram Gopal has treated Ms.Bindu, his wife, with cruelty and harassed her for dowry and he is responsible for her death which was within seven years of marriage. He had made several demands from the deceased and as they were not fulfilled he used to harass her. She had come to her parental home with her father on the occasion of "Raksha Bandhan" on 08.08.2014 and when her parents had gone out of station to enquire about the welfare of the ailing brother of Ms.Munni Devi (PW2), accused Mr.Ram Gopal had come there in their absence and had taken her to the matrimonial home on 10.08.2014. On the next day, she committed suicide by hanging herself in the adjacent house.
45.Mr. Bhim Singh (PW14) who is the village neighbour of the father of the deceased and Ms.Vidya (PW15) who is distant relative of father of the deceased as well as father of the accused were examined by the prosecution to corroborate the testimonies of the parental family members of the deceased.

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46.It is revealed from the record that during the life time of Ms.Bindu, neither the deceased nor any of her parental members had made or filed any complaint to the police or any other authority regarding the demands for dowry made by accused Mr.Ram Gopal or that he was treating her with cruelty and harassing her for dowry.
47.In fact, Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1), father of the deceased, has deposed that at the time of marriage there was no demand for dowry from the side of the accused. He has admitted that her daughter remained happy in her matrimonial house for about 3- 4 months after her marriage. No explanation has come forth as to why all of a sudden, the accused had started cruelty for making demands of the dowry. Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) has also deposed that accused Mr.Ram Gopal had raised demand of gold bracelet on the date of incident i.e. 07.05.2013 at the time of refreshment after "Saptpadi" but he has earlier deposed that there was no demands dowry from the side of the accused. Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) has deposed that he has brought her daughter Ms.Bindu on 08.08.2014 for the festival of Raksha Bandhan. At that time, his daughter was happy, which shows that the accused was not treating his daughter with cruelty or harassing otherwise, she would not have been happy.

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48.It is all borne out from the evidence of the parents, brother and sister in law of the deceased that after the post mortem on the body of deceased Ms.Bindu, her dead body had been received by Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1), the father of the deceased. It is also clear that the last rites were performed by the accused and this fact indicates that the parents and other family members of the deceased did not have any grievance against the accused otherwise, they would not have handed over the dead body of the deceased to the accused and permit him to perform the last rites.
49.Further, several contradictions have comes forth in the evidence of the parents and family members of the deceased which remain unexplained.
50.One of the major contradictions is regarding when the demand was made by the accused Mr.Ram Gopal and what articles, he had demanded. Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) has deposed after 5-6 months of the marriage, accused Mr.Ram Gopal started demanding gold bracelet and one motorcycle from Ms.Bindu.

Ms.Munni Devi (PW2) has deposed that after one month, accused Mr.Ram Gopal had demanded gold chain of wrist watch and one motorcycle. Mr.Naresh (PW3) has deposed that after 10 days of her marriage, when Ms. Bindu had visited their New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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house, she had informed that her husband, accused Mr.Ram Gopal, had demanded a gold bracelet and a motorcycle. Ms.Ahilya (PW4) has deposed that after one month of marriage, when Ms.Bindu had visited their house, she had told that accused Mr.Ram Gopal was demanding a gold bracelet and a motorcycle. Accused Mr.Ram Gopal had made these demands at the time of marriage also.
51.It is clear that the parents, the brother and the sister in law of the deceased have made some contradictions regarding the time when the dowry demands were made by the accused and what articles accused Mr.Ram Gopal had demanded, as mentioned above. When Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) has deposed that there was no demand by the accused at the time of marriage, the same indicates towards the innocence of the accused. The prosecution has failed to furnish any explanation regarding these very material and major contradictions and the same gives a fatal blow to the prosecution case.
52.Another contradiction which is very major is regarding the name of the place where the parents of the deceased had gone.
53.Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) has deposed that they had gone to see his brother in law at Village Malihara, M.P on 08.08.2014.

Ms.Munni Devi (PW2) has also similarly deposed. However, New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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Mr.Naresh (PW3) and Ms.Ahilya (PW4) have deposed that the parents of deceased had gone on 8-9.08.2014 to Village Mahoba, U.P. to see his maternal uncle. The prosecution has not been able to furnish any explanation regarding this contradiction and the same also gives a fatal blow to the prosecution case.
54.As per, Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1), he had brought Ms.Bindu, his daughter, from her matrimonial home on 07.08.2014 to her parental home and thereafter in the absence of her parents, the accused Ram Gopal had come on 10.08.2014, which was festival of Raksha Bandhan and has taken Ms.Bindu with him.
55.It is clear from the record that neither the parents nor the brother nor the sister in law of the deceased had made any complaint to any authority regarding the accused Mr.Ram Gopal taking Ms.Bindu, in the absence of her parents, from the parental home on 10.08.2014.

56.The unnatural conduct of the family of the deceased is also revealed from their evidence. Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) has deposed that on 11.08.2014 at about 07:00 or 07:15 pm, he was informed by the brother in law (Behnoi) of accused Mr.Ram Gopal that Ms.Bindu had expired and her dead body was in New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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BSA Hospital, on which he and his wife went to the BSA Hospital and saw the dead body of Ms.Bindu. After the post mortem, the body was handed over to him. In his cross examination, he has deposed that neither he nor his family members had attended the cremation of his daughter. Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) has also deposed that his statement was recorded only by SDM and police did not record his statement.
57.Ms. Munni Devi (PW2), mother of the deceased, has deposed that on coming to know about the hanging by her daughter Ms.Bindu, she and her husband as well her son and daughter in law had gone to the hospital and after seeing the dead body they had returned to their house. She did not visit the matrimonial house of her daughter on the day when she hanged herself or thereafter. She did not know as to whether her daughter hanged herself in her matrimonial house or in the house adjacent to her matrimonial house.

58.Mr.Naresh (PW3), brother of the deceased, has deposed that he along with his parents and wife had gone to the hospital where he saw the dead body of Ms. Bindu and identified it. He has deposed that he had visited the house of the accused only once on the death of Mr.Rambir, the younger brother of accused Mr.Ram Gopal and there was no occasion for Ms.Bindu to talk about her condition with him. The police did not record his New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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statement on 11.08.2014 and had recorded the same on 12.08.2014. His statement was not read over to him. He and his father handed over the dead body of Ms. Bindu to the accused and his relatives for cremation as per their own wishes.
59.Ms.Ahilya (PW4), sister in law of the deceased, has deposed that when Ms. Bindu had visited their house for the first time after about the 8 days of her marriage, she did not inform anything about the demands by accused or his family members. She had informed about the demands after one month of the marriage when she had again came to their house. The police did not record her statement on 11.08.2014. She did not stay over night i.e. intervening night of 11/12.08.2014 in the hospital due to anger as no one in their house and she had left the children in the tender age in the neighbour's house. The police did not record her statement on 12.08.2014. She has admitted that her husband and father in law had handed over the dead body of Ms. Bindu to her husband and other family members of their own will for cremation.

60.The facts that Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) and Mr.Naresh (PW3), the father and brother respectively of the deceased, had taken the dead body of Ms.Bindu and apparently handed over the same to the accused Mr.Ram Gopal for the last rites and then the parental family of the deceased did not even care to attend New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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the last rites of Ms.Bindu is very strange and indicates that the parental family of the deceased did not have any grievance against accused Mr.Ram Gopal and that he is innocent. He had not treated the deceased with cruelty for dowry. They did not even attend the last rites. They also did not even stay in the hospital or later on visit the matrimonial home of the deceased.
61.Another contradiction has coming forth in the evidence of Ms.Ahilya (PW4) when she has deposed that on 10.08.2014, the accused was asking Ms.Bindu to go to the village as his sister was coming on the festival of Raksha Bandan. Accused Mr.Ram Gopal had requested to send Ms.Bindu with him. This part of the evidence has not been deposed by any other witness.
62.Mr.Bhim Singh (PW14), who was the mediator in the marriage of deceased with the accused, did not even remember their names as well as the date, month and year of the marriage. He has deposed that no demands for dowry was made by the accused or his family members from the deceased or her family members in his presence. Similarly, Ms.Vidya (PW15) did not remember the name of the deceased as well as the date, month and year of the marriage of the deceased with the accused. She has deposed that no one apprised her about any demands of the dowry by the accused from the deceased or her family members nor any demand was made in her presence.

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63.The evidence of Mr.Bhim Singh (PW14) and Ms.Vidya (PW15) is of no help to the prosecution as they have not deposed anything incriminating against the accused. In fact, their evidence shatters the veracity of the prosecution case against accused Mr.Ram Gopal and indicates that he has not committed any offence.
64.The investigation does not appear to have been properly conducted as the police and the Crime Branch Team had visited at H.No. E-119, Rajiv Nagar Extension, which is the residence of the accused and not H.No. E 118, the adjacent house, where the deceased had committed suicide. All the investigation has been conducted at E-119 and not E-118. The Investigation Officer has not examined any neighbour of the deceased to ascertain whether or not she was treated with cruelty by the accused. No explanation for this fatal lapse has been furnished by the prosecution.

65.The investigation also does not appear to have been properly made as the place of the incident, where the deceased had committed suicide was never inspected by the police or SDM or any other witness. The place of incident was neither inspected nor photographed by the police. It is clear from the record that the Crime Team and the police had visited the house of the New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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accused which is E-119 Rajiv Nagar Extension and not the place where the deceased had committed suicide which is E-118 Rajiv Nagar Extension, Delhi, which is the house adjacent to the house of the accused. The investigation conducted at E-119, the photographs had been taken and the site plan was prepared but the same do not help the prosecution in any manner. The Investigation Officer has failed to associate any neighbour of the deceased of her matrimonial home to ascertain whether or not there was any harassment of the deceased by the accused at any point of time.
66.The role of the SDM also requires to be considered. As per Mr.Amit Kumar Singh (PW10), the Executive Magistrate, he got the information about the incident late in the night while the incident occurred at about 06:55 pm.
67.SI Rajesh (PW17) has deposed that he has immediately shared the information of the incident with the senior officials as well as Mr.Amit Kumar Singh (PW10), the Executive Magistrate, which indicates towards the delay of several hours made by Mr. Amit Kumar Singh (PW10), the Executive Magistrate in reaching the spot and recording the statements of the family members of the deceased.

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(PW2), Mr.Naresh (PW3) and Ms.Ahilya (PW4), parents, brother and sister in law respectively of the deceased, that in the absence of Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1) and Ms.Munni Devi (PW2), the accused had come to their house from where he had taken the deceased. Apparently Mr.Naresh (PW3) and Ms.Ahilya (PW4) did not deem it appropriate to inform their parents (PWs 1 and 2) that the accused had taken the deceased from her parental home. The same indicates that apparently there was no dispute between the accused and deceased on any issue at that time. As per Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1), when the deceased had come to her parental home, she was happy which indicates that prior to that time there was no grievance against the accused.
69.The remaining prosecution witnesses are formal and official in nature and their evidence is of no help to the prosecution case.

70.In the present case under consideration, neither the details of the alleged cruelty by accused Mr.Ram Gopal nor the dates of the alleged cruelty have been spelt out nor the manner in which the same has been committed is elaborated nor it is explained which accused has committed which cruelty. The allegations are vague and unspecific and reliance cannot be placed on the same. More so, in view of the evidence of the family of the deceased, there does not appear to be any cruelty or any demand in connection with the marriage. It cannot be said that the accused inflicted New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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cruelty upon the deceased for dowry or that the accused is responsible for her death which is within seven years of marriage.
71.I find that the above overwhelming inconsistencies and blemishes and glaring contradictions in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses i.e. Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1), Ms.Munni Devi (PW2), Mr.Naresh (PW3) and Ms.Ahilya (PW4), parents, brother and sister in law respectively of the deceased, as well as Mr.Bhim Singh (PW14) and Ms.Vidya (PW15) remain unexplained by the prosecution and these blemishes are fatal to the prosecution version as they strike at the root of the case. The prosecution story does not inspire confidence and is not worthy of credence.
72.Therefore, it is clear from the above discussed evidence of the prosecution that there is nothing on the record which could indicate that Mr.Ram Gopal, the accused, has treated Ms.Bindu, the deceased, with cruelty for dowry or made any demands for which he inflicted cruelty upon her.

73.The suicide by Ms.Bindu cannot be attributed to the conduct of the accused. The deceased may have been hypersensitive to ordinary petulance, discord and differences in domestic life quite common to the society to which the victim belonged and New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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such petulance discord and differences were not expected to induce a similarly circumstanced individual in a given society to commit suicide, the conscience of the Court should not be satisfied for basing a finding that the accused charged of abetting the offence of suicide should be found guilty. It is clear that there is no cruelty and harassment meted out by the accused to the deceased which had left her with no other alternative but to put an end to her life. There is no proof of direct or indirect acts of incitement to the commission of suicide. Merely on the allegations of harassment without there being any positive action proximate to the time of occurrence on the part of the accused which led or compelled the person to commit suicide, conviction in terms of section 306 IPC is not sustainable. There is no denial of the fact that the cruelty need not be physical but a mental torture or abnormal behaviour that amounts to cruelty or harassment in a given case. It will depend upon the facts of the said case and the prosecution requires to prove the same.

74.It is clear from the evidence of the prosecution witnesses that the deceased has committed suicide but it cannot be related to any dowry related harassment by the accused person or his alleged extra marital affair as apparently there is no proximity or link between her death and the alleged misconduct by the accused. It is clear from the record, especially the evidence of the prosecution witnesses that there was neither any demand by New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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the accused for dowry at the time of the marriage of the deceased with accused Mr.Ram Gopal nor there was any demand for dowry subsequently. There is no harassment or cruelty by the accused in connection with the demand of dowry. Although the deceased has died under unnatural circumstances, by hanging, but it is apparently not due to any harassment for dowry or cruelty by the accused or his misconduct. This case is neither covered by section 498-A IPC and not even section 306 IPC. There does not appear to be any proximity or live reason between the death of the deceased and any overt act of the accused, as is clear from the evidence of the prosecution.
75.The prosecution has not been able to show that the accused has committed the offence under section 498 A of the IPC and he is not responsible for the suicide by Ms.Bindu, his wife as he has neither instigated nor abetted the same in any manner.

MENS REA / MOTIVE AND DEFENCE

76.Regarding the motive of crime, it may be observed that in a case based on evidence, the existence of motive assumed significance though the absence of motive does not necessarily discredit the prosecution case, if the case stands otherwise established by other conclusive circumstances and the chain of evidence is so complete and is consistent only with the New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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hypothesis of the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with the hypothesis of his innocence.
77.The motive has to be gathered from the surrounding circumstances and such evidence should from one of the links to the chain of evidence. The proof of motive would only strengthen the prosecution case and fortify the Court in its ultimate conclusion but in the absence of any connecting evidence or link which would be sufficient in itself from the face of it, the accused cannot be convicted. Motives of men are often subjective, submerged and un-amenable to easy proof that courts have to go without clear evidence thereon if other clinching evidence exists. A motive is indicated to heighten the probability that the offence was committed by the person who was impelled by the motive but if the crime is alleged to have been committed for a particular motive, it is relevant to inquire whether the pattern of the crime fits in which the alleged motive.

78.In the present case, a story has been projected that the accused has treated Ms.Bindu, his wife, with cruelty and has abetted her suicide. This version appears to be false as the prosecution has not been able to show from the evidence of Mr.Sant Kumar (PW1), Ms.Munni Devi (PW2), Mr.Naresh (PW3) and Ms.Ahilya (PW4), parents, brother and sister in law New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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respectively of the deceased, as well as Mr.Bhim Singh (PW14) and Ms.Vidya (PW15) that the accused has committed any offence.
79.In the present case, there is sufficient evidence on record to show that the accused did not have any motive to commit the offence. A witness is normally to be considered independent unless he or she springs from sources which are likely to be tainted and that usually means unless the witness has cause, such as enmity against the accused, to wish to implicate him falsely. However, there can be no sweeping generalization. Each case must be judged on its own facts. These observations are only made to combat what is so often put forward in cases as a general rule of prudence. There is no such general rule. Each case must be limited to and be governed by its own facts.
80.In his statement under section 313 of the Cr.P.C., the accused has stated that he is innocent and has been falsely implicated in this case. He has not examined any witness in his defence.
81.There is nothing on the record to show that the accused has committed the offence, as alleged by the prosecution. He is a mature man and capable of understanding the implications of his acts. He has completely denied committing the offence.

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82.In the judgment Partap v. The State of Uttar Pardesh, AIR 1976 Supreme Court 966 it has been observed that the burden is on the accused to establish a plea of self defence and that on the prosecution to prove its case. The burden on the accused is not as onerous as that which lies on the prosecution. While the prosecution is required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused can discharge his onus by establishing a mere preponderance of probability.
83.The defence of the accused is although is not proved but as the evidence of the prosecution suffers from overwhelming contradictions and glaring inconsistencies, the prosecution version is neither believable nor reliable nor trustworthy.
84.The case of the prosecution has to stand of its own legs and is required to prove all its allegations against the accused and all the ingredients of the offence alleged to have been committed by the accused.

85.Therefore, as the prosecution version is unreliable and unbelievable that the accused had inflicted cruelty for dowry upon Ms.Bindu and has abetted the suicide of Ms.Bindu, there does not appear to be criminal intention and mens rea on the part of the accused. The defence of the New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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accused appears to be plausible that he has not committed any offence.

FINAL CONCLUSION

86.The prosecution has failed to furnish any explanation in respect of the numerous inconsistencies in the statements of the witnesses of the prosecution. The inherent contradictions strike at the very root of the prosecution story making it unbelievable and improbable. In the instant case, the evidence and different statements of the witnesses of the prosecution suffer from such infirmities and the probabilities due to which the prosecution has come out with a story, which is highly improbable. The overwhelming contradictions are too major to be ignored and they strike a fatal blow to the prosecution version. In fact what emerges from the evidence of the prosecution witnesses is that the accused has not committed the alleged offences.

87.Prosecution must lead positive evidence to give rise to inference beyond reasonable doubt that accused had committed the offences.

88.Since the evidence of the prosecution is neither reliable nor believable as there are overwhelming contradictions and inconsistencies in the statements and evidence of the prosecution witnesses and the defence of the accused appears to New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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be plausible, the conscience of this Court is completely satisfied that the prosecution has not been able to bring home the charge against the accused. The prosecution story does not inspire confidence and is not worthy of credence.
89.In the case of Sharad Birdhichand Sarda v. State of Maharastra, AIR 1984 SC 1622, the Apex Court has laid down the tests which are prerequisites before conviction should be recorded, which are as under:
i. 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;
ii. The facts so established should be consistent onlywith 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;
iii. The circumstances should be of conclusive nature and tendency;
iv. They should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved; and v. 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.
90.Applying the above principles of law to the facts of present case, it stands established that the accused had neither treated New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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Ms.Bindu with cruelty nor abetted her suicide. There is no incriminating evidence against the accused. The gaps in the prosecution evidence, the several discrepancies in the evidence and other circumstances make it highly improbable that such incidents ever took place.
91.Consequently, no inference can be drawn that the accused is guilty of the charged offences as the testimony of the prosecution witnesses is unreliable and unworthy of credence.
92.Onus is always on the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused failing which the accused is entitled to the benefit of reasonable doubt. Case of the prosecution is to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and cannot take support from weakness of case of defence. In case the evidence is read in totality and story projected by the prosecution is found to be improbable, prosecution case becomes liable to be rejected.
93.If the prosecution evidence is read and considered in totality of circumstances along with other material on record, in which offence is alleged to have been committed, the deposition does not inspire confidence and is unreliable and unworthy of credence and in the absence of special circumstances, no conviction can be based on such evidence. Prosecution has not disclosed true genesis of crime.

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94.It is a case of heinous crime of dowry death or murder or suicide which carries grave implication for the accused, if convicted. Therefore, for convicting any person for the said offence, the degree of proof has to be that of a high standard and not mere possibility of committing the said offence. In a criminal case, the prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused. The prosecution story does not inspire confidence and is not worthy of credence. The gaps in the prosecution evidence, the several discrepancies in the evidence and other circumstances make it highly improbable that such incidents ever took place.
95.The prosecution has failed to prove that it is accused Mr.Ram Gopal and none else who is culprit and has treated Ms.Bindu with cruelty for dowry, abetted her suicide and is responsible for her dowry death.
96.The prosecution has miserably failed to prove that between 06.05.2013 to 11.08.2014 at House No. E-119, Rajiv Nagar Ext.

Delhi, and at other places on different dates and times, particularly, the time soon before 11.08.2014, accused Mr.Ram Gopal had subjected deceased Ms.Bindu, his wife, to cruelty and harassment in connection with demand for dowry, due to which the deceased died an unnatural death within seven years New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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of her marriage. The prosecution has miserably failed to prove that soon before her death, the deceased was subjected to cruelty and harassment for demand of dowry by the accused.
97.All the above facts indicate that there is no veracity in the prosecution case in respect of the offences by accused Mr.Ram Gopal of cruelty and harassment of Ms.Bindu, his wife, for dowry and of causing her dowry death or abetment to suicide by hanging by Ms.Bindu, his wife and the accused merits to be acquitted for the offence punishable under sections 498 A and 304-B of the IPC.
98.Therefore, in view of above discussion, the conscience of this Court is completely satisfied that the prosecution has failed to bring home the charge against the accused Mr.Ram Gopal.
99.Accordingly, Mr.Ram Gopal, the accused, is hereby acquitted of the charges for the offences of treating Ms.Bindu with cruelty for dowry and causing or abetting suicide by her punishable under sections 498 A and 304-B of the IPC.

COMPLAINCE OF SECTION 437-AOF THE CR.P.C. AND OTHER FORMALITIES

100. Compliance of section 437-A Cr.P.C. is made in the order New Sessions Case Number : 52004/2016.

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sheet of even date.
101. Case property be confiscated and be destroyed after expiry of period of limitation of appeal.
102. One copy of the judgment be given to the Additional Public Prosecutor, as requested.
103. After the expiry of the period of limitation for appeal and completion of all the formalities, the file be consigned to record room.

Announced in the open Court on (NIVEDITA ANIL SHARMA) this 25th day of January, 2017. Special Judge (NDPS) North-West, Additional Sessions Judge, Rohini Courts, Delhi.

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