BALASAHEB S/O SAHEBRAO KOLTE Vs. THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AT: AURANGABAD)
Balasaheb Sahebrao Kolte
THE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
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(1.) In Sessions Case No.41/2001, the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Ahmednagar by judgment dated 30.3.2002 held accused no.1 Balasaheb guilty under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to imprisonment for life and to pay fine of Rs.500/-, in default rigorous imprisonment for three months, but acquitted accused no.2 - Sumanbai of offence punishable under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code . He held accused nos.1 and 2 guilty for the offence punishable under Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code and sentenced them to rigorous imprisonment for two years and to pay fine of Rs.500/-, in default rigorous imprisonment for two months each. The aggrieved accused no.1 Balasaheb has preferred Criminal Appeal No.225/2002 and accused no.2 Sumanbai has preferred Criminal Appeal No.228/2002.
(2.) Accused no.1 Balasaheb, husband of deceased Swati and accused no.2 - Sumanbai, mother-in-law have been prosecuted on the basis of dying declaration of Swati recorded by P.W.5 - Ramchandra Dimale, Special Judicial Magistrate on 18.1.2001 at 5.45 p.m. It was registered as F.I.R. at C.R. No.10/2001 under Sections 498-A , 302 read with Sec.34 of Indian Penal Code at Pathardi police station. The dying declaration shows that the Special Judicial Magistrate had taken opinion of Medical Officer on duty that the patient was conscious and fit to give statement. The dying declaration shows that Swati had sustained 65% burns and was admitted in the hospital by her husband. Her marriage was solemnised two years back (it must be three years). She had a son aged two years. Her husband was serving in a hotel, but since Deewali of year 2000, he was not doing any work, while she was working under a mason. She used to accost him why he was not doing any work and he used to abuse her. On 18.1.2000, when she asked him as to why he is not going on work, he poured kerosene from a stove on her person and attempted to set her on fire, but his first attempt failed and the match stick was extinguished by Swati, but he lit another match stick and set her on fire. Her saree and blouse caught fire and clinged to her body. Her mother-in-law was standing there. She instigated accused no.1 - Balasaheb stating that 'let her die as she had given lot of trouble'. Swati raised shouts, Thereafter she came out of the house and poured water on herself. Her husband and mother-in-law did not help her to extinguish the fire. But, they admitted her in the hospital. Then the neighbours gathered there. Both husband and mother-in-law of Swati left the hospital without intimation. She was studied upto 7th Standard and she held her husband and mother-in-law responsible for the incident. After recording dying declaration, P.W.5 - Special Executive Magistrate Dimale obtained her thumb impression and again obtained certificate about her consciousness from the Medical Officer. This F.I.R. (Exh.40) recorded in Civil Hospital, Ahmednagar was sent to Pathardi and crime was registered at Police Station, Pathardi at 11.10 p.m.
(3.) The investigation revealed that deceased Swati was married to accused no.1 three and half years before the incident. After initial good treatment, she was subjected by the accused to dowry demand for construction of house and accused no.1 used to abuse and assault her. Whenever she was visiting her maternal house, she was disclosing these facts to her maternal relatives. During investigation, spot panchnama was drawn and statements of material witnesses were recorded. The deceased succumbed to the burn injuries on 2.2.2001, i.e. after fourteen days. Then, inquest and post mortem were conducted. Accused no.2 had brought orders of anticipatory bail. The accused were arrested and after completion of investigation, charge-sheet was submitted in the Court of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Pathardi.;
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