(1.) This appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 6th December, 2001 delivered in Sessions Case No.29 of 1999 by the 1st Ad hoc Additional Sessions Judge, Jalgaon. By the impugned judgment and order, the learned Additional Sessions Judge has convicted appellant - original accused No.1 for the offence punishable under Section 306 of IPC and sentenced him to suffer R.I. for four years and to pay a fine of Rs.1000/-, in default of payment of fine, to suffer R.I. for two months.
(2.) In brief, the facts of the prosecution case as unfolded during the course of trial are summarized as under : (a) The appellant (original accused No.1) along with co-accused Waluba Sandu Jadhav (accused No.2) and Chandrakala @ Jijabai Waluba Jadhav (accused No.3), father and mother of accused No.1, were tried for the offences punishable under Sections 306, 498A r.w. 34 of IPC. On conclusion of the trial, the learned Additional Sessions Judge has acquitted them for offences under Section 498A of IPC. The accused Nos.1 and 2 were also acquitted for offences under Section 306 r.w. Section 34 of IPC. However, the accused No.1 was convicted for the offence punishable under Section under Section 306 of IPC. (b) On 6.4.1998, Hari Bhika Danke, (PW1), father of Chhayabai (herein after referred to as the deceased) lodged complaint with Police Station Pachora, district Jalgaon, alleging therein that his daughter Chhayabai was married with accused No.1 about two years prior to lodging of the complaint. After marriage, she started cohabiting with accused Nos.1 to 3 at their matrimonial house at village Anturli. Accused Nos.1 to 3 used to ill-treat and harass her. After 15 days of marriage, he visited the house of accused to fetch his daughter. However, the accused refused to sent her and made grievance against his daughter that she is not able to do household work. When he brought his daughter to his house, she disclosed that her husband and in-laws used to taunt her since she could not do the household work and her husband beat her as watch was not given in marriage. When her father-in-law came to fetch her, he gave him watch of his brother. After 2 to 3 months thereafter, the complainant went to the house of accused to fetch his daughter. But the accused did not allow her to talk to him. Her husband and in-laws demanded money for construction of house. He told them that he has no money to pay them. The accused refused to send his daughter with him. In the previous month, he received inland letter from father-in-law of his daughter. By that letter, he was informed that his daughter is suffering from typhoid and she may not survive more than 45 days and asked him to immediately come to see her. He, therefore, went to the house of the accused along with his wife to see his daughter. At that time, accused No.1 told them that he and Chhayabai (deceased) would come to their house to attend marriage of his cousin brother. Accordingly, on 20th March, 1998, accused No.1 and his daughter came to their house and they stayed there for four days. At that time, Chhayabai disclosed that accused continued to ill-treat her. She asked him to give Rs.3000/- to her. He told her that he has no money to pay to her. Thereafter, the accused and his daughter went to their matrimonial house. Thereafter, he received letter from accused No.1 wherein, he asked him to urgently pay him Rs.5000/- and by money order or bring it personally. A few days thereafter i.e. on 5.4.1998, the accused No.2 and two persons came to his house and enquired as to whether his daughter had come to his house. They disclosed that Chhayabai was found missing from their house since Friday. On next day, he along with family members and relatives went to Anturli when he came to know that the dead body of his daughter was found in a well in the village. After performing the last rites on the dead body of his daughter, the complainant visited the police station on 6.4.1998 and lodged complaint alleging therein that the deceased committed suicide due to continuous ill-treatment, at the hands of accused. On the basis of the complaint lodged by P.W.1, the offence punishable under sections 306, 498A r/w 34 IPC came to be registered vide C.R. No.33 of 1998 against accused with Police Station, Pachora. (c) Ashok Karpe (PW5), PSI attached to Pachora Police Station conducted the investigation. Prior to registration of offence, on the basis of information received from Police Patil of village Anturli, Accidental Death No.23 of 1998 was registered. After registration of the offence, investigating officer made inquest panchanama of the dead body of deceased and referred the dead body of deceased for postmortem. The investigating officer visited the spot of incident and made Panchanama. From the spot of incident, he seized one plastic tin, used for the purpose of latrine. He recorded the statements of the witnesses such as Laxmibai Danke (PW2) mother of the deceased, Ukhardu Narayan Danke (PW3) - uncle of the deceased, Kaduba Bhika Danke (PW4) - uncle of the deceased. During the course of investigation, the complainant produced four letters which he had received from the accused persons. He seized those letters. He arrested the accused. After completion of investigation, the investigating officer prepared a charge sheet and filed it in the Court of J.M.F.C. Pachora. In due course, the case was committed to the Court of Sessions. On committal of the case, charge under sections 306, 498A r/w 34 of IPC came to be framed against the accused. All of them pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. In this view, the case proceeded against the accused.
(3.) In order to prove its case, prosecution has examined five witnesses and proved certain documents. The defence of accused appears to be of total denial and false implication at the instance of the complainant and other family members. On conclusion of the trial, the learned Additional Sessions Judge has reached to the conclusion that prosecution has failed to prove the charge under section 498A r/w 34 of IPC against the accused Nos.1 to 3. However, the learned additional Sessions Judge found accused No.1 alone to be guilty of offence punishable under section 306 of IPC and convicted him to undergo sentence as stated above. Being aggrieved, the appellant has preferred this appeal on the various grounds set out in the memo of appeal.;