Decided on February 27,2012

Darshan Lal And Two Others Appellant


Barin Ghosh, J. - (1.) IN the instant case, appellants were tried on the charge framed under Sections 304 -B and 498 -A of the Indian Penal Code read with Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The appellants have been convicted by the judgment and order under appeal. Appellant No. 3 is the husband of the deceased, whereas appellant nos. 1 & 2 are father and mother, respectively of appellant No. 3. The death of the deceased took place within seven years from the date of marriage of the deceased with the appellant No. 3. The death was caused by burning. Appellants have been convicted under all those sections, whereunder, they were charged. The case of prosecution was that the deceased was compelled to commit suicide for she was unable to withstand the harassment /torture that was meted out to her for inability on her part or on the part of her family in meeting the dowry demands of the appellants. The fact that the victim committed suicide was accepted. It was also accepted, ignoring the authenticity of the suicide note relied by the prosecution also, that the victim committed suicide on being unable to withstand the harassment for non -fulfillment of dowry demand.
(2.) THE learned Additional Government Advocate referred to the evidence of the Doctor, who conducted postmortem, for the purpose of insinuating that the case of suicide is doubtful and suggests to be more of homicidal. The fact remains that the prosecution through P.W. -3 led evidence to record that the victim committed suicide. The said witness was not declared hostile. Furthermore, the charge was under Section 304B and, not under Section 302 IPC for which the appellants were arraigned to face trial. Therefore, from the facts as above, it is clear that two limbs of Section 304 -B IPC stands satisfied, namely that the death was within seven years from the date of marriage of the victim and, such death was caused by burning/an unnatural death.
(3.) THE victim is said to have left a suicide note. In the suicide note she did not indicate that the reason for committing suicide is her inability to withstand any further harassment and torture for inability to fulfill dowry demands of the appellants, instead she purported to have recorded in the suicide note that she had been defamed by her husband for an incident referred to in the suicide note and for that reason she is committing suicide. In the event, the third limb of Section 304 -B is put home, the contents of the suicide note may loose its significance. In the instant case, however, for some other reason, the learned Judge ignored the contents of the suicide note.;

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