OM KRISHAN Vs. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
LAWS(HPH)-1997-1-14
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Decided on January 07,1997

OM KRISHAN Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

6. KISHORI SINGH AND ANR,V. THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH [REFERRED TO]
4. GURDIP SINGH AND ANR. V. STATE OF PUNJAB [REFERRED TO]
3. MD. ISAK MD. AND ORS. V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. BHAGWANT KISHORE JOSHI [REFERRED TO]
DULAL CHANDRA GHOSH VS. STATE [REFERRED TO]
PICHAPILLAI VS. STATE [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

ARUN KUMAR GOEL,J. - (1.)This appeal has arisen out of the judgment passed by Shri Janeshwar Goel, Sessions Judge, Sirmour district at Nahan. Vide impugned judgment dated 4 -6 -1996 in Sessions Trial No. 35 -N/7 of 1994, the appellant has been held to be guilty under Sections 302 and 304 -B of the! Indian Penal Code and has been convicted for life imprisonment as also to pay fine of Rs.3,000/ - under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, no separate sentence has been inflicted under Section 304 -B of the Indian Penal Code, in default of payment of fine the appellant has been directed to undergo further rigorous imprisonment for 6 months. It has also been ordered that the period during the inquiry as well as trial when the appellant was in custody will be set off against his sentence under Section 428 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It is this conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court which has been assailed by the appellant in the present appeal who has prayed for his acquittal.
(2.)The brief facts of the case, out of which the present appeal has arisen, are that Lalita Devi -deceased was married to the appellant on 7 -6 -1993 at Pipliwala. Lalita Devi while residing in the house of appellant at Devi Nagar (Paonta Sahib) died on 22 -3 -1994. The prosecution had lodged the case against the appellant as well as his mother Smt. Pushpa Devi but the latter has been acquitted of the charges and as informed during the course of arguments by the learned Additional Advocate General, no appeal had been filed against such acquittal although, the appellant was convicted as detailed hereinabove. On the statement of Smt. Vidya Devi, mother of deceased, made vide Ex. PB, a case was registered under Section 304 -B of the Indian Penal Code at Police Station Paonta Sahib. Investigation revealed that the marriage between the appellant and deceased was solemnized on 7 -6 -1993 and the appellant as well as his mother started making demands of dowry from her. First demand of a golden chain was made after 5/6 months of the marriage which was fulfilled by Smt. Vidya Devi, mother of the deceased. Further, illegal demand was made by both, mother and son to the tune of Rs.10, 000/ - but the mother of the deceased was not in a position to meet the same which annoyed both of them. Further case of the prosecution was that on the night of 22 -3 -1994, Smt. Vidya Devi received a message about the death of her daughter -Lalita Devi as such, she along with other persons reached the house of the appellant at Devi Nagar in the morning of 23 -3 -1994 where she found her daughter lying dead on the floor, which was having injuries on her head and other parts of the body and blood was oozing out from her nostrils as well as mouth. Post -mortem on the person of deceased was performed by Dr. Kastoori Lal Bhagat on 24 -3 -1994, when it was found that death was due to head injuries. The police after recording the statements of witnesses and collecting other materials, filed the challan under Sections 302 and 304 -B of the Indian Penal Code against the appellant as well as his mother in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Paonta Sahib. Since the offences were exclusively triable by the court of Sessions, as such both the accused were committed to the court of Sessions. The trial court after being satisfied that there exists a prima facie case under Sections 302 and 304 -B of the Indian Penal Code against the appellant and under Section 304 -B of the Indian Penal Code against his mother, Smt, Pushpa Devi (Since acquitted), framed charges against both of them to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
(3.)In order to sustain charges against the respondents, the prosecution examined as many as 16 witnesses as also placed on record number of documents. The appellant as well as his mother in their statements recorded under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code, while admitting the factum of marriage of the deceased with the appellant on 7 -6 -1993 as also her having died in their house at Devi Nagar on 22 -3 -1994, denied other incriminating circumstances put to them. Illegal demands of dowry including of a golden chain as well as Rs.10, 000/ - and the deceased having died unnatural death were specifically denied by both of them. Smt. Pushpa Devi, mother of the appellant, pointed out that she had gone to Rajpura and then to Anandpur Satsang Ashram, Manimajra on 13 -3 -1994 and then came back on the evening of 22 -3 -1994 and in these circumstances she showed her ignorance as to how Smt. Lalita Devi had died. Whereas the appellant pointed out that the deceased was suffering from epilepsy and thus was using medicine on that account. According to the appellant when he got up on 22 -3 -1994 in the morning, he did not find the deceased on the bed, he thought probably she may be in the kitchen, but she was also not there. However, she was found in an unconscious state in front of the bath -room near the stairs. Then the appellant brought her to the bed, but the deceased did not regain consciousness. According to the appellant, he showed her to Dr. Amarjit Singh at Paonta Sahib and then took her to Christian Hospital, Herbatpur, who advised him to take the deceased to Post Graduate Institute, Chandigarh and while he was taking the deceased to Post Graduate Institute, Chandigarh, she died on the way. According to the appellant, Lalita Devi -deceased might have taken excess dose of medicine of epilepsy resulting in her collapse. The appellant further denied that the deceased had any injuries much less those found on her head or that she died because of said injuries, possible cause of death was stated to be due to over -dose of medicine as aforesaid. The appellant examined four witnesses in defence.


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