Decided on May 08,2012

Sunil Kumar Dhasmana Appellant


Prafulla C. Pant, J. - (1.) THIS appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 07.07.2009, passed by learned Sessions Judge Pauri Garhwal, in Sessions Trial No. 46 of 2007, whereby said court has convicted the accused/ appellant Sunil Kumar Dhasmana under section 304B, 498A IPC. He has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years and directed to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/ - under section 304B IPC, and further sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years under section 498A IPC. Heard learned Amicus Curiae for the appellant, learned counsel for the State, and perused the lower court record.
(2.) PROSECUTION story in brief is that accused/appellant Sunil Kumar Dhasmana got married to Lata Devi (deceased) on 12.10.2005. It is alleged by the prosecution that Lata Devi was subjected to cruelty for non fulfillment of demand of dowry, and committed suicide on 22.04.2007 by hanging herself. A First Information Report (Ex. A 1) was lodged by P. W. 1 Maheshi Devi (mother of the deceased) stating that accused/appellant demanded Rs. 1,00,000/ - as dowry on 15.04.2007. It is further stated by the complainant/informant that since she was a poor widowed lady, she could not fulfill the demand and consequently her daughter Lata Devi was harassed by the accused/appellant, and she died unnatural death on 22.04.2007. On the basis of said report crime no. 1 of 2007, was registered with Patwari of the area i.e., Bichla Badalpur. (In Uttarakhand Hills certain revenue officials are given police powers). P.W. 3 Maharaj Singh, Patwari Bichla Badalpur, went to the spot to take dead body of the deceased Lata Devi into his possession and prepared inquest Report (Ex. A2) in the presence of the witnesses, sealed the body and sent it for post mortem examination, P.W. 4 Dr. Mahesh Bhatt conducted post mortem examination on dead body of Lata Devi on 23.04.2007, and prepared autopsy report (Ex. A7). He opined in the report that deceased had died of asphyxia due to ante mortem hanging. The investigation was taken up by P.W. 6 Birbal Singh Mandai, Naib Tehsildar, who interrogated the witnesses and submitted charge sheet (Ex. A 12) against accused/appellant Sunil Kumar Dhasmana and his mother Rama Devi. It appears that Judicial Magistrate, on receipt of the charge sheet, after giving necessary copies to the accused as required under section 207 Cr.P.C., committed the case to the court of Sessions for the trial. Learned Session Judge, Pauri Garhwal, on 23.07.2007, after hearing the parties framed charge of offences punishable under section 498A/34, 304B/34 IPC, and one punishable under section 3/4 Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, against both the accused Sushil Kumar and Rama Devi. They pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. On this prosecution got examined P.W.1 Maheshi Devi (informant and mother of the deceased), P.W. 2 Trilochan Prasad (a relative of the appellant as well as of the deceased), P.W. 3 Maharaj Singh (Patwari who prepared inquest report), P.W. 4 Dr. Mahesh Bhatt (who conducted post mortem examination), P.W. 5 Kailash Ravi (who registered the case and prepared the site plan) and PW.6 Beerbal Singh Mandai (who investigated the crime). The oral and documentary evidence was put to the accused under section 313 of Cr.P.C., in reply to which the accused admitted that the deceased was his wife. However, he alleged that evidence adduced against him was false. It is also pleaded by him that since his wife had repeated miscarriages as such, she was frustrated and committed suicide. But, no evidence in defence was adduced. Learned trial court after hearing the parties found accused/appellant Sunil Kumar Dhasmana guilty of charge of offences punishable under section 498A, 304B IPC, and convicted him accordingly. The another accused Rama Devi was acquitted of the charge. After hearing on sentence the convict was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a period of ten years and directed to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/ - under section 304B IPC, rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years under section 498A IPC. Aggrieved by said judgment and order this appeal is got sent by the convict from jail.
(3.) SECTION 304B of Indian Penal Code provides that where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called "dowry death", and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death. Word "shown" used by the legislature connotes milder form of proof as compared to that of expression "proved".;

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