Decided on December 19,2012

Gopi Singh @ Govind Singh And Ors Appellant
State of Uttaranchal (Now Uttarakhand) Respondents


- (1.) This appeal, preferred under section 374 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short Cr.P.C.), is directed against the judgment and order dated 02.05.2001, passed by learned Sessions Judge, Tehri Garhwal, in Sessions Trial No. 3 of 1996, whereby said court has convicted accused/appellant Gopi Singh @ Govind Singh and Ratan Dei under section 498A and 306 IPC. Each one of them has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years and directed to pay fine of Rs. 2,000/- under section 498A IPC, and rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years and directed to pay fine of Rs. 5,000/- under section 306 IPC.
(2.) Heard learned counsel for the parties, and perused the lower court record.
(3.) Prosecution story, in brief, is that Smt. Beena @ Pheonla got married to accused/appellant Gopi Singh @ Govind Singh. It is alleged that she was subjected to cruelty for non fulfillment of demand of dowry by accused/appellant Gopi Singh @ Govind Singh, his mother Ratan Dei (appellant No.2) and his brother Dayal Singh (since acquitted). It is stated that after about one and half year of her marriage on 15.06.1995, Beena @ Pheonla committed suicide by hanging, in her village Dhungi within the limits of Patti Patwari Gozil (Bangarh) Tehsil Deoprayag, District Tehri Garhwal. The matter was reported to the Patwari of the area. (In certain areas of Uttarakhand hills Revenue Officials has been given police powers). The dead body was taken into possession of Patwari of the area who got prepared inquest report (Ex. A2) and got sent the dead body in a sealed condition for post mortem examination. P.W.3 Dr. J.P. Chamoli with Dr. A.K. Pathak conducted post mortem examination on dead body of the Beena @ Pheonla on 16.06.1995. They prepared autopsy report (Ex. A3) in which ligature mark found around the neck was mentioned. It was opined by the team of the Doctors that the deceased had died of asphyxia due to hanging. Three days after the incident, on 18.06.1995 P.W.1 Ram Singh (grand father of the deceased) lodged first information report (Ex. A1) with Patwari Gozil (Bangarh) who on its basis registered crime no. 5 of 1995, against accused Gopi Singh @ Govind Singh (husband of the deceased), Dayal Singh (brother-in- law of the deceased) and Ratan Dei (mother-in-law of the deceased) in respect of offences punishable under section 498A, 304B and 306 IPC. P.W.5 Sheeshram Mamgai, the then Naib Tehsildar of the area investigated the crime. On completion of investigation P.W.5 Sheeshram Mamgai submitted charge sheet (Ex. A14) against accused/ appellants Gopi Singh @ Govind Singh, Ratan Dei and Dayal Singh (since acquitted) for their trial in respect of offences punishable under section 304B, 498A and 306 IPC.;

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