Decided on October 05,2012

Anand Lal S/O Santoo Lal Appellant
State Of U P (Now State Of 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 20.07.2000, passed by Sessions Judge, Pauri Garhwal, in Sessions Trial No. 39 of 1995, whereby said court has convicted the accused/appellant Anand Lal under section 498A of I.P.C., and sentenced him to imprisonment till rising of the court and directed to pay fine of Rs. 5,000/-. In default of payment of fine the convict was directed to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of three months.
(2.) Heard Learned Amicus Curiae for the appellant, and Learned counsel for the State, and perused the lower court record.
(3.) Prosecution story, in brief, is that Maheswari Devi (deceased) got married to accused/appellant Anand Lal about eight years before the incident in question. It is alleged in the First Information Report (Ex-A9) by PW1 Kundan Lal (father of the deceased) that accused/appellant Anand Lal used to beat his wife after getting drunk. It is further alleged that fed-up with the behavior and cruelty committed by accused/appellant Anand Lal, the complaint was made to the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Thalisen, by the father of the deceased. The accused/appellant Anand Lal, who was a Patwari, on 27.05.1991, gave undertaking in writing (Ex-A4) that he would never beat his wife in future, and will not go to his house in a drunken state in future. However, the behavior of the accused/appellant Anand Lal remained unchanged and he even after giving aforesaid undertaking continued to commit cruelty against his wife Maheshwari Devi. On 22.12.1991, PW1 Kundan Lal (father of the deceased) got information that his daughter (Maheshwari Devi) has suffered burn injuries. On 23.12.1991, at 9.30 a.m., PW1 Kundan Lal again went to Sub Divisional Magistrate, Thalisen, who told him Maheshwari Devi has died of burn injuries and her dead body has been sent for post mortem examination. On this PW1 Kundan Lal went to District Hospital, Pauri, where after dead body was said to have been kept, but there he came to know that the accused/appellant Anand Lal had taken the dead body and consigned the same to flames without informing the complainant (PW1). Thereafter, on 24.12.1991, First Information Report was given by PW1 Kundan Lal before Superintendent of Police, Pauri Garhwal, who got the matter inquired into through Sub Divisional Magistrate, and only thereafter First Information Report could be registered as Crime No. 01 of 1992, by Patwari police, Dhaijuli, of District Pauri Garhwal (In Uttarakhand Hills certain Revenue Officials are given police powers). The investigation was taken up by PW5 Mohan Singh, who was the then Naib Tehsildar of the area. The said Investigating Officer after interrogating the witnesses, collected the copies of inquest report, post mortem examination report, letters etc., inspected the spot and submitted charge sheet (ExA7) against accused/appellant Anand Lal for his trial in respect of offences punishable under section 498A and 306 of I.P.C.;

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