Decided on July 12,1991



D.P.Sood, J. - (1.) The present appeal is at the instance of the State of Himachal Pradesh against the order of acquittal recorded by the learned Sessions Judge, Kangra at Palampur, on October 14, 1983, in Sessions Case No. 6/83.
(2.) Smt. Pawna Devi, since deceased, is the victim. Smt. Chin Devi (P.W. 1) is the mother, whereas Partap Singh (P.W. 3) is her father and Munshi Ram (P.W. 5) is her paternal uncle. P.Ws.1 and 3 belonged to village Paleta, whereas P.W. 4 was carrying his business in village KhuhChadiar. The deceased was married to accused Bhawani Singh whose mother Brahmi Devi also stands trial as his co-accused for the commission of the offence under Section 306 read with Section 34 of the I.P.C.
(3.) The prosecution case in nut-shell is that Smt. Pawna Devi compiled suicide on or about the night intervening 11/12-6-1982 at Tike Katherine Maura Chadha and both the accused abetted the commission of this offence by advancing threats in furtherance of their common intention and thus they committed the offence as indicated above. Both the accused faced trial, which was the outcome of the un-natural death of Pawna Devi, wife of accused Bhawani Singh and daughter-in-law of his co-accused Brahmi Devi. The unfortunate incident as per the material emerging from the prosecution evidence can be conveniently divided into two stages detailed as under: FIRST STAGE: Dead body of the aforesaid deceased was noticed in a bowli at village Katheru on 13-6-1982 by Jaswant Singh, Pradhan, Gram Panchayat Mongal who informed the police of Police Station, Palampur at 7.15 P.M. vide his report Ex.PJ. It was sent to Police Station Baijnath as the case pertained to that police station. Another daily diary report was recorded on the same day at 9.05 p.m. (Ex. PK) wherein the report received at Police Station Palampur has been reproduced. Shri Mohinder Singh, S.H.O. (P.W. 17) then proceeded to the spot. He stayed for the night at Chadihar and covered the distance to Katheru village on foot in the morning. On 14-6-1982 he visually inspected the dead body, prepared the inquest report EX.PB and PB/I in the presence of P.Ws. 3 to 5, referred to above. The facts mentioned in the inquest only disclose that the dead- body of Pawn a was round in bowli which was taken out and no external injury was found on her person and to ascertain the cause of death, the dead body was sent for post-mortem. Dr. S.C. Kapila (P.W. 2) in Civil Hospital, Palampur conducted the autopsy on the dead body on the same day and handed over the postmortem report EX.PA. According to his opinion, the cause of death of Pawna was due to dry drowning and the time which elapsed between the death and the post mortem was stated to be 24 hours to 72 hours. He had sent the viscera to the Chemical Examiner but nothing was found. The police on 16-6-1982 recovered the D.D.T. from the house of the accused vide recovery Memo. EX.PE and one letter EX.PF alleged to have written by the deceased to one Pradhan Singh in the year 1980. It was taken into possession vide Memo, EX.PD. The dead body after post-mortem was handed over to the accused who cremated it. SECOND STAGE: Later on, the investigating officer claims that he recorded the statement Ex.PG, of the mother of Pawn a, Chin Devi (P.W. 1) under Section 154 Cr.P.C. on 25-6-1982 and on the basis of this statement, the present case was registered and formal F.I.R. Ex. PH was recorded on that day. At this stage, it may also be noticed that there is dispute between the statement of Chin Devi (P.W.1) and Investigating Officer (P.W.17) about the actual place where statement Ex. PG of P.W.1 was recorded. P.W.1 states that she had gone to the police station and at the place her statement was recorded and thumb marked by her, whereas P.W. 17 claims that he had gone to the house of P.W.1 and recorded her statement. On the registration of this case codal formalities regarding the collection of material regarding the cruel behaviour and constant taunts and harassment caused by the accused person to Pawna deceased ultimately leading her to commit suicide was collected by recording the statements of prosecution witnesses. Report of the Chemical Examiner was also received and on completion of investigation both the accused were prosecuted for the commission of the aforesaid offence.;

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