Criminal Appeal No. 657 of 2004. Case: Darbar Singh Vs State of Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh High Court

Case Number:Criminal Appeal No. 657 of 2004
Party Name:Darbar Singh Vs State of Chhattisgarh
Counsel:For Petitioner: N. K. Chatterjee, Adv. and For Respondent: Sushil Dubey, Adv.
Judges:Radhe Shyam Sharma, J.
Issue:Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) - Sections 306, 107, 489A
Citation:2013 CriLJ 1612
Judgement Date:December 12, 2012
Court:Chhattisgarh High Court


1. This appeal is directed against judgment dated 5-8-2004 passed by 9th Additional Sessions Judge (FTC), Bilaspur in Sessions Trial No. 459/2003. By the impugned judgment, appellant Darbar Singh has been convicted and sentenced in the following manner with a direction to run the sentences concurrently and co-accused Smt. Jamunabai and Manohar have been acquitted of the charges framed against them:

Conviction Sentence

Under Section 498-A IPC Rigorous imprisonment for 2 years and to pay fine of Rs. 300/-, in de- fault of payment of fine, to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for 1month.

Under Section 306 IPC Rigorous imprisonment for 5 years and to pay fine of Rs. 700/-, in de- fault of payment of fine, to further undergo rig-orous imprisonment for 3 months.

2. Case of the prosecution, in brief, is as under:-

Appellant Darbar Singh is husband, acquitted accused Jamunabai is mother-in-law and Manohar is jeth (brother-in-law) of deceased Indirabai. Marriage of deceased Indirabai was solemnized with the appellant 3 months prior to the date of incident. Deceased Indirabai committed suicide in her matrimonial house by pouring kerosene on her person and setting herself on fire on 13-8-2003. Gajpal Singh (PW-1, father of the deceased) had given sufficient dowry including TV and jewellery at the time of marriage. Within a few days after the marriage, the appellant and acquitted accused persons started ill-treating the deceased and caused severe mental torture to her telling that she had brought substandard quality of TV and such articles should be taken back. Instead of TV they demanded Rs. 10,000/-. Deceased Indirabai narrated the incident to her father Gajpal Singh (PW-1), brother Ravi Singh (PW-2) and other members of the family. The appellant wanted Rs. 10,000/- from them and therefor physical and mental torture was given by the appellant and other acquitted accused persons to the deceased, as a result of which, the deceased committed suicide by pouring kerosene on her person and setting herself on fire. Deceased Indirabai was admitted in CIMS, Bilaspur where she died on the same day at about 9:05 p.m. Intimation was sent to Police Station Kotwali, Bilaspur where merg intimation (Ex. P-13) at 0/2003 was registered. Investigating Officer reached CIMS hospital, gave notice (Ex. P-3) to Panchas and prepared inquest (Ex. P-2) on the dead body of the deceased. The dead body of the deceased was sent to CIMS, Bilaspur for post mortem examination vide Ex. P-6. Dr. A. K. Shukla (PW-8) conducted post mortem examination on the dead body of the deceased along with Rs. Smt. K. Mittal and they gave their report (Ex. P-6), in which, they mentioned that the cause of the death was complicating extensive burn.

In further investigation, panchnama (Ex. P-1) of the place of occurrence was prepared. A burnt stick of match-box, a match-box and pieces of burnt saree were seized from the place of occurrence vide Ex. P-5. Site map (Ex.P-9) was prepared. First Information Report (Ex. P-8) was registered in Police Station Kotwali, Bilaspur. Thereafter, regular First Information Report (Ex. P-7) was registered in Police Station Masturi.

After completion of the investigation, charge sheet was filed against the appellant in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bilaspur, who, in turn, committed the case to the Court of Session, Bilaspur, from where, it was received on transfer by the 9th Additional Sessions Judge (FTC), Bilaspur, who conducted the trial and convicted and sentenced the appellant as mentioned above and acquitted co-accused Jamunabai and Manohar of the charges framed against them.

3. In support of its case, the prosecution has examined Gajpal Singh (PW-1), Ravi Singh (PW-2), Ratna (PW-3), Prahlad Singh (PW-4), Chandan Singh (PW-5), Raju Singh (PW-6), Subhash Singh (PW-7), Dr. A. K. Shukla (PW-8), Harwindra Khunte (PW-9), Dr. Swati Somawar (PW-10), Inspector (Rtd.) C. R. Tandiya (PW-11), DSP M. L. Sandilya (PW-12), Sub-Inspector D. Singh (PW-13), ASI S. R. Bhagat (PW-14) and ASI Lallan Pandey (PW-15). The appellant examined Head Constable Sharda Singh (DW-1) as a defence witness in support of his case.

4. Shri N. K. Chatterjee, learned counsel for the appellant, argued that the prosecution has utterly failed to prove the case against the appellant. Co-accused persons have been acquitted by the trial Court, therefore, on the basis of same set of evidence the appellant cannot be convicted. Dying declaration (Ex. D-7) recorded by Police Officer is not admissible and reliable. The prosecution has failed to prove that the deceased was subjected to cruelty or harassed by the appellant. The prosecution has not established that prior to death of the deceased she had been either subjected to cruelty or harassment for any demand of dowry. Evidence in this respect is wholly insufficient to convict the appellant under Sections 306 and 498A IPC. The prosecution has utterly failed to establish the ingredients of Sections 306 and 498A IPC against the appellant.

5. On the other hand, Shri Sushil Dubey, learned Government Advocate for the State/respondent, supporting the impugned judgment, submitted that the conviction and sentence awarded...

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