Cr. Appeal No. 369 and 378 of 2000. Case: Dileshwar Matho and Others etc. Vs The State of Bihar. Jharkhand High CEGAT & CESTAT High Court

Case NumberCr. Appeal No. 369 and 378 of 2000
CounselFor Appellants: B. M. Tripathy, K. S. Nanda and N. Kumar, Advs. and For Respondents: Alok Lal, APP.
JudgesD. P. Singh, J.
IssueIndian Penal Code (45 of 1860) - Sections 304B, 201
Citation2006 CriLJ 3562
Judgement DateApril 25, 2006
CourtJharkhand High CEGAT & CESTAT High Court


  1. All the appellants stand convicted for the offence under Sections 304B and 201 of the Indian Indian Penal Code and sentenced to serve imprisonment for seven years and one year respectively by the Additional Judicial Commissioner, Khunti (Ranchi) in Sessions Trial No. 180 of 1997. Since both the appeals arise out of the same judgment, they are taken up together for disposal on merit.

  2. Briefs facts leading to their conviction are that the informant Shatrughan Mahto in the night of 20-9-1996 stated before Bundu Police along with the dead body of his sister's daughter that deceased Sharthi Devi was married with appellant Bhuneshwar Mahto in the month of Baisakh of 1992 according to Hindu custom after giving dowry as per their capacity. However, after sometimes the appellant started asking for colour television, Godrej Almirah and further cash from said Sharthi Devi. According to the informant, these facts were reported to the parents of the deceased. It is further stated that in the evening of 20-9-1996, appellant Bhuneshwar Mahto came to the house of the informant in a Maruti Van and asked where about of his wife Sharthi Devi. Getting suspicious on the moves of appellant Bhuneshwar Mahto, the informant along with others proceeded in search of Sharthi Devi and during that course, her body was recovered from the well of the appellant. Further case of the prosecution is that the deceased was found having her neck tied with sari and one heavy stone, used as roller in flour making (Atta-chakki). The dead body was brought out in presence of the informant with the help of the villagers and the matter was reported to the police. According to the informant, Sharthi Devi was killed by the appellants just because he could not satisfy the demand of dowry and thrown in the well.

  3. The police after recording the statement, prepared the inquest report and lodged Bundu P.S. Case No. 125 of 1996 under Section 304B/34 of the Indian Penal code. The dead body was sent for post mortem examination and investigation was taken up. After completion of the investigation, the police finally submitted charge-sheet against all the appellants to face trial. Their case was committed to the Court of Sessions for their trial. The learned trial Court framed charges against all the appellants under Sections 304B and 201 of the Indian Indian Penal Code on 6-8-1999. The trial Court after examining the witnesses and considering the defence, found and held all the appellants guilty for the offences under Sections 304B/201/34 of the Indian Indian Penal Code and sentenced them to serve imprisonment for seven years and one year respectively.

  4. These appeals have been preferred on the grounds that the appellants were innocent. Further case of the defence is that the deceased Sharthi Devi has committed suicide and there is no evidence that the appellants used to demand dowry from the deceased. It is also asserted that the learned lower Court relying upon three letters said to be written by the deceased vide Ext. 3 series have not been brought on record properly. It is also asserted that in absence of any proof that the deceased was tortured in connection with dowry demands; conviction under Section 304B of the Indian Indian Penal Code deserves to be set aside. It is also asserted that when appellant Bhuneshwar Mahto was franticly searching his wife, false allegation by these appellants has been made. According to other appellants, they were living separately from appellant Bhuneshwar Mahto and they had no idea about the conduct of...

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