PANAKANTI SAMPATH RAO Vs. STATE OF A P
LAWS(SC)-2006-5-104
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ANDHRA PRADESH)
Decided on May 18,2006

PANAKANTI SAMPATH RAO Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.)Heard Mr. Baijoyonta Barooah, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant (A-1) and Mr. P. Vinay Kumar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent. This appeal is directed against the judgment and order dt. 18.04.2003 passed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in Criminal Appeal No. 81 of 2003 whereby the High Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant herein challenging his conviction under Ss. 498-A, 304-B of the Indian Penal Code read with Sec. 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The High Court has converted the conviction of the appellant u/s. 302 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment while acquitting the father and mother of the appellant (A-2 and A-3) from the convictions under Ss. 498- A and 304-B read with Ss. 2 and 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
(2.)The short facts are as follows :-
The appellant married Panakanti Kavitha. They lived together for three months in a rented house. According to the accused, he being a medical representative had to leave for Hyderabad on 06.08.2000 itself for official reasons. On 07.08.2000, the PW-8 pushed the door-wing of the house of Accused No. 1 and found Panakanti Kavitha lying dead by the side of the cot on the ground with injuries in the body. On the same day, at about 7.55 p.m., P.W. 1 (the father of the deceased) filed a complaint at Karimnagar police station. The same was registered as a case in Cr.No. 15/2000 for offences punishable under Sections 498- A, 302, 304-B of the Indian Penal Code. The police recorded the statements of PW 3 to PW 6, PW 9, LW 14, PW 12, LW 16, PW 13 and LW 18 on 08.08.2000. A chargesheet was filed against the appellant and his father and mother as accused No. 2 and 3 for the offences u/s. 498-A, 302, 304-B of the Indian Penal Code and Ss. 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The Additional Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Karimnagar registered the case as P & C No. 20/01 and committed the same to the Sessions Court, Karimnagar. The learned Sessions Judge, Karimnagar upon committal, registered the case as Sessions Case No. 36/2002. The Sessions Court examined 20 witnesses and the appellant, along with accused Nos. 2 and 3, were examined u/s. 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code wherein they denied their involvement in the offences alleged.

(3.)The trial court, after taking in view the evidence adduced, convicted the appellant besides Accused Nos. 2 and 3 under Ss. 498-A, 304-B of the Indian Penal Code and Sec. 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and sentenced each of them as follows :
"In view of the seriousness of the offence and with a view to curb the menace of the social evil dowry, I am inclined to sentence A-1 to A-3 to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years each and to pay fine of Rs.5,000 each in default of payment of fine, they shall undergo simple imprisonment for one month for the offence punishable U/s 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. 1 also sentence A-1 to A-3 to undergo imprisonment for life for the offence punishable u/s. 304-B of the Indian Penal Code. I also sentence A-1 to A-3 to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of two years each and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000.00 each in default of payment of fine, they shall undergo simple imprisonment for one month each for the offence punishable u/s 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act. All the sentences shall run concurrently. Out of the total fine amount of Rs. 45,000.00 if paid, an amount of Rs. 30,000.00 shall be paid to PW-2 who is the mother of the deceased as compensation. Mos. 1 to 4 shall be destroyed after expiry of appeal time. The unmarked property [non-valuable] if any shall be destroyed after expiry of appeal time."



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