Decided on December 13,2012

MAN SINGH Respondents


- (1.) Present Government Appeal was preferred by the State of Uttaranchal against the Judgment and Order dated 24.05.2004 passed by learned Sessions Judge, Pithoragarh in Sessions Trial No. 25 of 1998, whereby accused-respondent Man Singh was acquitted of the charge of offences punishable under Sections 498-A IPC and 304-B IPC.
(2.) A complaint (Ext. Ka-4) was written by Pooran Singh on 30.01.1998 to Patti Patwari Tripura Devi, Tehsil Didihat, District Pithoragarh, regarding killing of his niece Leela Devi by her in-laws. According to the informant, his niece Leela Devi d/o Trilok Singh was married to Man Singh s/o Dilip Singh in the year 1997. Leela Devi's husband Man Singh along with her brother-in-law and mother-in-law ill-treated her. They harassed Leela Devi for the sake of dowry. On 13.01.1998, accused persons set her on fire. Leela Devi was admitted in military hospital. When Pooran Singh (informant) came back to home on 17.01.1998, he came to know of such gruesome killing. The report of the incident could not be submitted earlier. When Pooran Singh visited the place of incident, only then he addressed the complaint to Patti Patwari. The same was got registered in Patti Circle Tripura Devi, as case crime no. 01/1998, for the offences punishable under Sections 498-A & 307 IPC. Investigation began on the basis of said first information report. After completion of the investigation, a charge-sheet against accused Man Singh, who was the husband of the victim, was submitted in respect of offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.
(3.) When the trial began and prosecution opened it's case, charge in respect of offences punishable under Section 498-A IPC and Section 304-B IPC, and in the alternative, charge for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC was framed against the accused, to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Eight witnesses, viz., PW 1 Dr. H.S. Khadayat, PW 2 Smt. Heera Devi, PW 3 Pooran Singh, PW 4 Major A.A.Pradhan, PW 5 Trilok Singh, PW 6 Dipendra Singh Negi (Tehsildar), PW 7 Bhagwati Prasad Pant (Patwari) and PW 8 Constable Hansa Dutt Bhatt were examined on behalf of the prosecution. The substance of prosecution evidence was put to the accusedrespondent under Section 313 Cr.P.C., in answer to which, he said that his wife was cooking meals. Her clothes caught fire while cooking food. The stove was burst. The accused took the victim to Military Hospital. Initially she (victim) did not give the statement against the accused. Later on, when the mother and uncle of victim came, she changed her version. PW 6 Dipendra Singh (Tehsildar) was again examined as DW 1. After considering the evidence on record, learned court below did not think it proper to hold the accused guilty. Accused-respondent was, therefore, exonerated of the charge framed against him. Aggrieved against the judgment and order dated 24.05.2004, present Government Appeal was preferred on behalf of the State.;

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