Criminal Appeal No. 335 of 2016 and I.A. No. 3032 of 2016. Case: Niranjan Sharma and Ors. Vs The State of Jharkhand. Jharkhand High Court

Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 335 of 2016 and I.A. No. 3032 of 2016
CounselFor Appellant: Ranjan Kr. Singh, Advocate and For Respondents: Pankaj Kumar, A.P.P
JudgesRatnaker Bhengra, J.
IssueDowry Prohibition Act, 1961 - Sections 3, 4; Indian Penal Code 1860, (IPC) - Sections 302, 304B, 306, 328, 34, 489A
Judgement DateMarch 03, 2017
CourtJharkhand High Court


Ratnaker Bhengra, J.

  1. This Criminal appeal is directed against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 10.3.2016 passed in S.T No. 40 of 2013/266 of 2013 by the learned, District and Additional Sessions Judge-II Godda whereby the appellants above named have been convicted for the offence punishable under section 498(A) of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to undergo R.I for three years subject to set off the period undergone by the appellants.

  2. The prosecution case, according to the written report of Ram Prasad Sharma, is that his daughter, namely, Neha Sharma, was married with one Niranjan Sharma son of Bhagwan Sharma of Mahagama police station district Godda in July, 2011. Initially, his daughter was living cordially in her matrimonial home. About two months ago in-laws of his daughter had, after conducting farewell (Bidai), had taken his daughter to Mahagama at their home. About one week ago he had gone to Mahagama to take his daughter for appearing in her B.A examination but in- laws refused, then his daughter informed that her husband namely Niranjan Sharma, used to assault her mercilessly and in between even his son had gone to take his daughter but they did not allow so. On 30.7.2012 at about 3 a.m. in the morning, he received a call through mobile phone from his son-in-law that his daughter's health was not well and she was suffering acute pain in stomach and therefore, they had taken her to Mahagama hospital for her treatment. When he reached at Mahgama hospital he found that his daughter was struggling in acute pain and was asking for water. On being asked, she told that on 29.7.2012 at about 8 p.m., her husband Niranjan Sharma, brother- in-law Ranjeet Sharma, Father-in-law Bhagwan Sharma and mother-in-law Sunita Devi had locked the door inside the room and all of them caught hold of her and thereafter she was compelled to consume tablet type of substance. The moment she had consumed the tablet, her condition became serious and at that time her stomach was aching and she started vomiting and thereafter she was rushed to the Hospital. During treatment she came to know that she had been brought to Mahagama Hospital. Looking to the serious condition of the girl, the Doctor, for better treatment, referred the girl to Bhagalpur hospital where his daughter, during the course of treatment his daughter told him that her husband Niranjan Sharma, his brother-in-law Ranjeet Sharma, Father-in-law Bhagwan Sharma, mother-in-law Sunita Devi and sister-in-law Nirmala Devi always used to assault and torture her for dowry but for the respect of her in-law family she did not complain about this before the police. During treatment on 31.7.2012 at 8.45 A.M his daughter passed away. His claim is that above mentioned persons used to always torture his daughter for dowry and when he was not able to give the money and article demanded for dowry then the aforesaid persons caught hold of her and his daughter was poisoned and thereafter murdered her. He had given the aforesaid complaint on 31.7.2012 to the police (darogaji) of Barari Thana, at J.L.N.M C. Hospital Bhagalpur but it has not been received at Mahagama Thana.

  3. On the basis of written report of the informant Mahgama P.S Case No. 120 of 2012 dated 8.8.2012 was registered against the accused persons under sections 304(B)/34 of the Indian Penal Code. After investigation, the police submitted chargesheet under sections 304B/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibiting Act and thereafter cognizance of the offence was taken and case was committed to court of sessions wherein charge was also framed under section 302/34, 304B/34 and 328/34 of the Indian Penal Code against the appellants. The accused pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.

  4. The prosecution has examined altogether 14 witnesses to make out the prosecution case, apart from the certain exhibits. Trial was concluded and at the conclusion of the trial, the learned Trial judge acquitted other four accused persons but convicted the appellants for the offence under section 498A of the India Penal Code. Hence, this Criminal Appeal.

  5. Now I shall deal with the depositions of the P.Ws

  6. P.W.7 is Ram Prasad Sharma (Informant).In para-1 he has deposed that after marriage, her daughter stayed in her in-laws place for one week and thereafter he brought her to his home. He had not given any thing as dowry. So Niranjan Sharma, husband, Bhagawan Sharma, father-in-law and Sunita Devi mother-in-law and four other accused, they used to daily abuse, harass and torture her and make demands for dowry. That on May, 2012, the accused wanted to take her to their home, but due to their behaviour he was not inclined, but due to their assurance that nothing untoward would happen, he allowed his daughter to go. But the in-laws again started abusing and assaulting her. On 20.7.2012, his daughter phoned and told him that the accused have assaulted her badly and are threatening to kill her. Then he again came on 21.7.2012 to Mahagama and asked his daughter about her well being and the assault. He has further deposed that on 28.7.2012 his daughter was due to give B.A Part II examination and he wanted to take away his daughter for the examination, but the appellants and other accused refused. On 26.7.2012, his younger son Shiyanshu Kumar Sharma went to the matrimonial home of his sister with her examination admit card and pleaded with the accused to take her home but the accused again refused. He has further deposed that on 28.7.2012 Niranjan Sharma, her husband, took her to give examination and later in the evening told her to prepare food, but his daughter said that since she is not well, therefore, she will not be able to prepare the food. Then her husband said that when I will come from duty, I well get you treated properly. He has further deposed that on 29.7.2012, at night, the appellants along with Ranjeet Sharma forcefully closed the door and made her eat some tablet like poisonous substance. On 29.7.2012 at 4. a.m. Niranjan Sharma gave missed call to the informant who called back, then Niranjan Sharma informed that Neha has a lot of pain in her stomach and she is admitted in Mahagama Hospital. He went to Mahagama Hospital where he saw his daughter was struggling in pain and asking for water. Seeing him the accused fled away. On asking her, she informed that at 8.00 O'Clock in the night, her husband Niranjan Sharma, her father and mother -in-laws and Ranjeet forcefully fed her with some poisonous substance as a result she got pain in her stomach and started vomiting. Then he got his daughter referred to and started treatment in J.L.N.M.C Hospital Bhagalpur and on 31.7.2012, during treatment at 8.45 she passed away. He has further deposed that on 29.7.2012 his daughter had sent a letter to his younger son, Shiyanshu Kumar Sharma in which her torture and threatening of her life has been mentioned, and the letter has been marked as Ext. 3. While going to Bhagalpur on hearing the voice of her maternal-uncle(Mama),Vijay Sharma, his daughter said " Mama Message" and fell unconscious. When Vijay Sharma checked his mobile, it was seen that message was there regarding giving of threats to kill her. He further said that after death, he had given fardbeyan in Bhagalpur in which he had signed and his signature is marked as Ext 1/1, though with objection. After this, he gave a written report to Mahagama Police Station which was marked as Ext. 5.

  7. P.W. 3 Shiyanshu Kumar is the younger son of the informant and has deposed that after the marriage of his sister, she stayed one week at her in-laws place and then she came back. During the Durga Puja time appellant Niranjan Sharma took his sister to her in-law place. He also went there and stayed for 2-3 days. Nehas's mother- in-law and bhabi demanded for a T.V and...

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