STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Vs. RAJENDRA S/O KASHIRAO BHUJADE
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AT: NAGPUR)
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
Rajendra S/O Kashirao Bhujade
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S.B.SHUKRE, J. -
(1.) This is an appeal preferred against the judgment and order dated 3.2.2004 passed in Sessions Trial No. 116/2002 by the learned Additional Session Judge, Amravati, whereby this respondent as well as his close relatives/co-accused Ravindra Bhujade, Chhaya Bhujade and Sushilabai Bhujade, have been acquitted of the offences punishable under Sections 498A and 306 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code.
(2.) Deceased Archana was the wife of the respondent. Their marriage was solemnized in the year 1998. At that time, respondent was residing in a joint family consisting of himself, his mother Sushilabai and brother Rajendra and Chhaya, wife of Ravindra. After the marriage, deceased Archana joined the company of respondent and started cohabiting with the respondent. She was well treated initially for 3 to 4 months, but it appears that differences arose between deceased Archana on the one hand and the respondent and his close relatives on the other. In order to find solution, the respondent took a decision to have a separate residence and mess and, therefore, he together with deceased Archana moved out of the joint family house at village Dawargaon, District Amravati. However, the differences between the two did not dissipate, rather, there was increase in them. It is alleged that respondent used to demand amount of Rs. 20,000/-, from deceased Archana and her father in order to finance digging of well in his agricultural field and his close relatives used to support him in such a demand. It was further alleged that on failure of deceased Archana and her father to meet illegal demand, respondent and his close relatives used to harass and illtreat deceased Archana. Deceased Archana was also allegedly illtreated by the respondent and his close relatives for the reason of her inability to bear a child. Fed up with the illtreatment, deceased Archana put an end to her life by consuming poison on 31.1.2002 in the late afternoon hours, in her house at village Dawargaon. Information of the death was passed on to the police and A.D. inquiry was instituted. Postmortem Report revealed the cause of death to be poisoning. Necessary panchanamas were drawn out.
(3.) The matter was about to be closed as a case of suicidal death when on 3.2.2002, at about 1.45 p.m., Santosh-brother of the deceased visited Police Station and lodged his report against the respondent and his close relatives. The report was reduced into writing and police registered offences punishable under Sections 498A and 306 r/w Section 34 of Indian Penal Code against the respondent, his brother, brother's wife and mother. Further investigation was carried out. After completion of investigation, a charge-sheet came to be filed against the respondent and his said close relatives. As one of the offences involved was exclusively triable by the Sessions Court, the learned Magistrate committed the case to Sessions Court for trial against all of the accused including the respondent, in accordance with law. Accordingly, they were tried for the said offences by the learned Additional Sessions Judge and on merits of the case, the learned Sessions Judge, found that the prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt the illtreatment and harassment as contemplated under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code and consequently, the facts necessary for proving the charge of abatement of suicide and so acquitted the respondent, his brother, brother's wife and mother of all the offences i.e. offences punishable under Sections 498A and 306 r/w Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, with which they were charged and tried. The judgment was rendered on 3.2.2004. Not being satisfied with the judgment of acquittal against the present respondent, the State is before this Court in the present appeal.;
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