KISHAN LAL SETHI Vs. JAGAN NATH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA)
KISHAN LAL SETHI
Jagan Nath And Another
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K. Jayachandra Reddy, J. -
(1.)This appeal on special leave being granted by this Court is directed against the judgment of the Punjab and Haryana High Court acquitting the accused, the respondents herein.
(2.)The accused were tried for offences punishable under Sections 302/34,120-B and 506, I.P.C. The learned Sessions Judge, Karnal convicted all the three and sentenced them to undergo imprisonment for life under the first two charges and sentenced to six months' rigorous imprisonment under the third charge. The High Court reversed the same.
(3.)The prosecution case is that the deceased Smt. Kanchan was the wife of one Arun Kumar, second respondent. The first respondent is his father and the third respondent is his mother. Arun Kumar's sister Prem Lata was also tried along with them but she was acquitted by the trial Court. It is alleged that the deceased did not bring with her the necessary dowry and on that account the accused were ill-treating her and bore grudge against her. On 28-6-1983 at about 6.30 a.m. all the accused conspired to do away with the life of Smt. Kanchan. Consequently they sprinkled kerosene oil on her and set her to fire and shut her up in the bathroom. The deceased cried for help whereupon the neighbours reached and the accused said to them that there has been a short circuit and a towel has been burning and he insisted that it was their household affair. About half an hour later the deceased was brought on a cot in a burnt condition and was taken to the hospital, where her dying declaration was recorded by the Judicial Officer at about 9 a.m. P.W. 1, Dr. A. N. Bajaj who admitted her in the hospital, treated her. Later she succumbed to the burn injuries. The police, who was already in the picture., continued the investigation and held the inquest. One Dr. O. P. Chugh, P.W.8 Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory, Haryana also inspected the spot and prepared a rough site plan and took photographs. After completion of the investigation the charge-sheet was laid. The prosecution examined 14 witnesses. The accused denied the offence. Their plea was that it was an accident.
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