Prafulla C. Pant, J. -
(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 13.10.1999/15.10.1999, passed by Additional Sessions Judge/Special Judge Anti Corruption, Dehradun, in Sessions Trial No. 141 of 1994, whereby said court has convicted the accused/appellants Aditya Pratap Singh, Smt. Kalawati and Manvendra Singh under section 304B of I.P.C., and sentenced each one of them to rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years. Said court has also convicted the accused/appellants under section 498A of I.P.C., and sentenced each one of them to rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and directed to pay fine of Rs. 500/ -. The trial court has further convicted the accused/appellants under section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, and sentenced each one of them to rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and directed to pay fine of Rs. 500/ -. Heard learned counsel for the parties, and perused the lower court record.
(2.) PROSECUTION story, in brief, is that on 05.05.1992, accused/appellant No. 3 Manvendra Singh got married to Usha Devi (deceased), and after the marriage she started living in his matrimonial house in Dehradun, with her husband Manvendra Singh, and his parents Aditya Pratap Singh (father in law) and Smt. Kalawati (mother in law). It is alleged in the First Information Report that after the marriage the three accused/appellants and Sangeeta Devi (sister in law of the deceased) started harassing to Usha Devi, as they were not satisfied with the dowry given in the marriage. Prosecution has further alleged that Usha Devi was beaten several times by her husband and in laws whereafter she left her matrimonial house, and after staying for sometime with her uncles in District Sultanpur U.P., she went to Ahmedabad where her mother and brother used to live. After some days of reaching her there, the accused/appellants went to Ahmedabad, they promised that they would not commit any cruelty against her and brought Usha Devi back to Dehradun. However, in the intervening night on 28th and 29th of June 1994, Usha Devi died of burn injuries in her matrimonial house. The police from nearest police outpost on receiving information went to the spot took the dead body in their possession, and prepared inquest report (Ex -A24) on 29.06.1994. The police further prepared police form No. 13 (Ex A -20), sketch of the dead body (Ex A -19), letter to Chief Medical Officer (Ex A -23) requesting for post mortem examination. Pw10 Dr. Jaydeep Dutta of Doon Hospital alongwith Dr. R.S. Gupta conducted post mortem examination on the dead body of Usha Devi on 30.06.1994 and prepared autopsy report (EX A -14), the team of doctors opined that deceased had died due to extensive ante mortem burn injuries suffered by her. It appears since the relatives of the parental side of the deceased were either in District Sultanpur (U.P.), or in Ahmedabad (State of Gujrat). The First Information Report (Ex -A1) could be lodged only 03.07.1994, by Pw2 Jantri Singh (uncle of the deceased). On the basis of said report Crime No. 23 of 1994 was registered relating to offence punishable under section 302 of I.P.C., against accused/appellants namely Manvendra Singh (husband), Aditya Pratap Singh (father in law) and Smt. Kalawati (mother in law) and Sangeeta (sister in law). Investigation was conducted by Pw14 Om Prakash Yadav Deputy Superintendent of Police, who interrogated the witnesses and on completion of investigation submitted charge sheet (Ex -A25) against the accused/appellants Aditya Pratap Singh, Manvendra Singh and Smt. Kalawati, and also as against Km. Rajshree @ Sangeeta (sister in law of the deceased), for their trial in respect of offences punishable under section 498A and 304B of I.P.C., and one punishable under section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
(3.) THE Magistrate, on receipt of the charge sheet, after giving necessary copies to the accused as required under section 207 of Cr.P.C., appears to have committed the case to the court of Sessions for trial. On 05.01.1995, after hearing the parties the trial court framed charge of offences punishable under section 498A and 304B of I.P.C., and one punishable under section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, against the accused namely Aditya Pratap Singh, Manvendra Singh, Smt. Kalawati and Sangeeta to which on them pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. On this prosecution got examined PW1 Shobha Gupta (declared hostile), PW2 Jantri Singh (informant and uncle of the deceased), PW3 Shiv Kumar (another uncle of the deceased), PW4 Smt. Prema Devi (mother of the deceased), PW5 Daan Bahadur (brother of the deceased), PW6 Smt. Saroj Bhatnagar (neighbour of the accused/appellants), PW7 Anoop Kumar Mishra (another neighbour of the accused/appellants, who was also witness of the recovery memos prepared by the police), PW8 Rajeev Kumar Goyal (a fair price shop licensee who sold kerosene oil, partly hostile), PW9 Dr. Dalip Kumar Mishra (another neighbour of the accused/appellants), PW10 Dr. Jaydeep Dutta (who conducted the post mortem examination on the dead body of the deceased), PW1 1 Constable Ved Prakash (who made entry in the General Diary at the police outpost on receiving information in the morning at about 5.30 a.m. on 03.06.1994 about the incident of unnatural death of the deceased), PW12 Amit Jain (scribe of the F.I.R.), PW13 Sub Inspector Ram Surat Singh Yadav (who prepared the inquest report) and PW14 Om Prakash Yadav (Circle Officer/Deputy S.P., who investigated the crime).;