Decided on December 21,2020

KIRPAL SINGH Respondents


SANJAY DHAR, J. - (1.)The applicant/State seeks leave to file appeal against the judgment dated 29.04.2017 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Kathua (hereinafter referred to as 'the trial Court') in File No. 11/60/55/39/Sessions whereby the non-applicants/accused Kirpal Singh, Shankri Devi, Satya Devi, Sudesh Kumari and Nirmala Devi were acquitted of the charges for offences under Sections 302/201/34 RPC. Accused Shankri Devi is stated to have died during the trial of the case.
(2.)In brief, the case of the prosecution is that on 06.10.2003, telephonic information was received at Police Station, Billawar that dead body of a lady namely Bimla Devi is hanging on a tree in the forest located near Bakhatpur. On receiving the information, the police swung into action, took the dead body of the deceased in their custody, got its post-mortem conducted and handed over the same to the relatives of the deceased. The police initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 Cr.P.C. Post-mortem report of the dead body revealed that death of the deceased had occurred due to strangulation. Accordingly, FIR No.142/2003 for offences under Sections 302/201/147 RPC was registered at Police Station, Billawar.
(3.)During the course of investigation, it came to fore that about 10 years back, marriage of the deceased lady was solemnised with Sagar Singh, a resident of Bakhatpur. It was found that relations between the couple were cordial, but mother-in-law of the deceased, accused Shankri Devi, her brother-in-law accused Kirpal Singh, her sisters-in- law, accused Satya Devi, Sudesh Kumari and Nirmala Devi used to harass her. It further came to surface that about four years after the marriage of the couple, the deceased lady and her husband had started residing separately from other family members, but they were deprived of their ornaments and share in the family property. It was also found that on 30.10.2003, the marriage of non-applicant/accused Kirpal Singh was scheduled and on 05.10.2003, a pre-marriage function was arranged. In that connection, all the accused had gathered at Bhakhatpur. The deceased also attended the said function and during the function, ornaments of the deceased were snatched by her mother- in-law accused Shankri Devi from her. As a result of this, on 06.10.2003, a quarrel had taken place between the deceased and the accused and the same had to be settled with the intervention of the Panchayat. It is the further case of the prosecution that thereafter, all the accused in pursuance of a criminal conspiracy, strangulated the deceased to death.

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