SANDEEP MEHTA,J. -
(1.) Reportable The appellants herein have been convicted and sentenced as below vide judgment dated 02.09.2013 passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge No.2, Hanumangarh in Sessions Case No.38/2012 :
Name of the accused Offence for Sentence awarded appellant which convicted
1. Gandhi Ram @ 302/34 IPC Life imprisonment Mahendra alongwith a fine of
2. Sahab Ram Rs.3000/- and in default of
3. Sheokaran payment of fine, further to
4. Smt. Chandrawali undergo imprisonment of one year 302/120-B Life imprisonment IPC alongwith a fine of Rs.3000/- and in default of payment of fine, further to undergo imprisonment of one year 498-A IPC Simple imprisonment of three years alongwith a fine of Rs.1000/- and in default of payment of fine, further to undergo imprisonment of six months All the substantive sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
Being aggrieved of their conviction and sentences, the appellants have preferred the instant appeal under Section 374 (2) CrPC. Brief facts relevant and essential for disposal of the appeal are noted hereinbelow.
(2.) Chunniram (P.W.2) lodged a typed report (Ex.P/1) with the SHO, Police Station Nohar on 12.09.2008 at 10.00 a.m. alleging inter alia that his daughter Rajbala was married to Gandhi Ram @ Mahendra, son of Sheokaran, by caste Jat, resident of Kharsandi about 3-4 years ago. He had given wholesome dowry in the marriage, but Rajbala's husband, Jeth Sahab Ram, father- in-law Sheokaran and mother-in-law Smt. Chandrawali were not happy with the articles given in dowry and thus, just two months after the marriage, they started harassing, humiliating and torturing Rajbala and started demanding a motorcycle and a sum of Rs.50,000/- from her. The complainant got two to three Panchayats convened, in which Khayaliram, resident of Bijarnia, Omprakash, resident of Ladam, also participated. In the presence of these persons, the matrimonial relatives of Smt. Rajbala, including her husband, persisted with their demands. However, the Panchayat counselled the accused and advised them to keep Rajbala happy in the matrimonial home. After every Panchayat that was convened, Rajbala would be sent back to her matrimonial home and the accused would refrain from the demands for some time, but thereafter they would again resume their cruel behaviour with the deceased. About 4 months ago, Rajbala's husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and Jeth beat her up and turned her out of the matrimonial home alongwith the minor child Kanhaiya Lal in only the clothes worn by them warning that she would be allowed to return to the matrimonial home only if her father agreed to give a sum of Rs.50,000/- and a motorcycle to them and if she returned to the matrimonial home without bringing these valuables, she as well as her son would be killed. Rajbala returned to her maternal home and shared her plight with the informant, on which he went to village Kharsandi and met Rajbala's matrimonial relatives, who persisted with their demand of a motorcycle and Rs.50,000/- in cash. The complainant again convened a Panchayat, in which ex-Sarpanchas Hanuman and Dungar Chahar were present. They assured that the complainant's daughter would not be maltreated in future. The complainant asked them to take responsibility, but both the ex- Sarpanches shirked. Two days after Rakshabandhan, Rajbala's husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, Jeth, uncle-in-law Indraj came to the complainant's house with Patram Burdak and made a request to send Rajbala back to the matrimonial home assuring that she would not be maltreated in future. Rajbala expressed an apprehension in the presence of these persons that she would be killed no sooner she was taken back upon which, Indraj and Patram gave an assurance that they would ensure the safety of Rajbala affirming that she would not face any inconvenience in future. After assuring the complainant in this manner, Rajbala's husband took her back to Kharsandi. During the night of 11.09.2008, the complainant received information that Rajbala and her son had been killed by her husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law (Jeth) and uncles-in-law (Kaka Sasur) Indraj and Patram after hatching a conspiracy. The complainant reached the village Kharsandi in the morning, accompanied by Sahab Ram S/o Khetaram, Amichand and Khayaliram and saw the dead bodies of Rajbala and her son Kanhaiya Lal lying in the house with numerous visible injuries. Rajbala's Jeth Sahab Ram, father-in-law Sheokaran and mother- in-law Chandrawali were present near the dead bodies. The complainant and his companions asked them as to how the incident had happened, on which, they blurted out that they had conspired and killed Rajbala and Kanhaiya Lal because their demand for a sum of Rs.50,000/- in cash and a motorcycle had not been satisfied.
(3.) On the basis of this report, an FIR No.453/2008 (Ex.P/2) was registered at the Police Station Nohar for the offences under Sections 498-A/302, 304-B/120-B and 34 IPC. The investigation was assigned to the Circle Officer Nohar. After concluding investigation, a charge-sheet came to be filed against the accused appellants for the offences under Sections 302, 498- A, 406/34 and 120-B IPC. As the offences were Sessions triable, the case was committed to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track) No.2, Hanumangarh, Headquarter Nohar for trial.;