Decided on March 22,1999

SHEELA DEVI Respondents


- (1.) ORDER :- One Suresh Kumari daughter of Amar Nath was married to respondent No. 2-accused. For the last 5 years she remained issueless as a result of which her mother-in-law, husband and brother-in-law who are respondents/accused respectively used to taunt her with an intention to drive her from the house or to compel her to dissolve the marriage with respondent No. 2. On 9-9-1997 also she was nagged by the accused as a result of which she drenched herself with kerosene oil and committed suicide. Concerned police station registered a case against the respondents under S. 306, RPC and after the investigations, found the accused guilty of offence under S. 306, RPC. The case was committed to the Sessions Judge, Kathua for trial. Sessions Judge, Kathua, discharged all the accused persons from the charge levelled against them and charge was not framed against any of the respondents. Learned Sessions Judge, Kathua in his judgment held :- "On the reading of this section the presumption as to abetment of suicide is drawable against husband of such a woman who committed suicide or relation of the husband if there is material on the file to indicate that the husband or a relation of husband having subjected such a woman to cruelty of any kind as defined under S. 498-A of RPC before her death. There must be reasonable nexus between the cruelty and the suicide and the cruelty must be such as is likely to drive a woman to suicide. As indicated that from the statement of witnesses there is nothing to show that besides taunting and nagging Suresh Kumari deceased for being unproductive and unfortunate for their family, never ill-treated or harassed her. This behaviour on the part of the accused towards the deceased cannot be taken as 'cruelty' as contemplated u/S. 498-A which means a wilful conduct of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or danger to her life, limb or health or harassment with a view to coerce her relative to meet unlawful demand of any property. As a result of which no presumption is drawable in the case in hand against the accused that they abetted Suresh Kumari deceased (the wife of the accused No. 2) to commit suicide.)"
(2.) The above order was passed by the Sessions Judge, Kathua, on 18-4-1998 which is assailed before this Court by way of criminal revision petition.
(3.) Heard learned counsel for the parties. Cases relied on by them are as follows :- (1) 'Bansiya v. State of Rajasthan', 1995 (3) Crimes 75 : (1996 Cri LJ 1393). (2) 'Dhanna Ram v. State of Rajasthan', 1995 (3) Crimes 108 : (1995 AIHC 4699) (Raj). (3) 'Satish Mehra v. Delhi Administration', 1996 (9) SCC 766. (4) 'Protima Dutta v. State', 1977 Cri LJ (NOC) 96 (Cal). (5) 'Gurcharan Singh v. Sat Pal Singh', AIR 1990 SCC 209 : (1990 Cri LJ 562).;

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