Decided on January 10,2012

Som Dutt Sharma Appellant


- (1.) Allegedly, it is a case of dowry death in which parents and relatives of husband have been arraigned as accused persons. Of course, husband is the prime accused. Criminal law was set into motion by unfortunate father of victim. FIR was belated. Two dying declarations were recorded - first one at PGI, Chandigarh where victim was admitted by her in-laws and second one at parental house of victim. When we proceed to discuss evidence on record, we will find that both dying declarations are non est in the eye of law. There are oral evidences from both the sides. Following paragraphs will reveal that oral testimony of prosecution witnesses is not convincing, death of woman within 7 years of marriage in unnatural circumstances notwithstanding. Cruelty and harassment to ill-fated woman soon before her death could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of evidence on record.
(2.) Prosecution story is that a written complaint was lodged by the father of deceased Mohan Lal Sharma s/o Mangat Ram Sharma r/o Kaithal (Haryana) at P.S. Vikasnagar, Dehradun that his daughter Smt. Sunita was married to accused Devender Kumar Sharma s/o Som Dutt Sharma on 09.12.1990 according to Hindu religion and customs. He made expenses in the marriage as per his status. Immediately after the marriage, the accused persons started harassing his daughter for not bringing sufficient dowry. The complainant fulfilled the same from time to time according to his capacity, but the accused persons were not satisfied. His daughter was not happy in her matrimonial home and always made complaints of ill-behaviour of the accused persons. The complainant always persuaded her to remain in her matrimonial home. Two children - one son aged 4 1/2 years and the other daughter aged about 2 years were born out of wedlock. On 28.03.1996 he got information that his daughter sustained burns and was admitted to P.G.I. Chandigarh. He alongwith his wife and son immediately rushed to Chandigarh. On reaching Chandigarh, he found her daughter with burn injuries. He was told that the girl sustained 95% burns and there was no possibility of her survival. They also found that her in-laws were not taking any interest in her treatment. Finding her in neglected condition and as per her wishes they brought her to Kaithal. He also requested her inlaws to accompany the girl to Kaithal, but they refused. Ultimately, he brought daughter to Kaithal where on 30.03.1996 she succumbed to burn injuries. Even before the said incident, her in-laws called the complainant to Vikasnagar after giving telegram of illness of her daughter. There was a family dispute, complainant resolved that dispute and came back to Kaithal.
(3.) On the basis of written report chik FIR (Ext.Ka-3) was lodged. A case under Section 498-A/304-B of IPC was registered against the accused persons. Investigating Officer prepared site plan (Ext. Ka-7). After completing the investigation, Investigating Officer submitted charge-sheet against the accused persons. Trial began. Finding a prima facie case, charges against all the six accused persons were framed for the offences punishable under Sections 304-B (2) / 498-A of IPC to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.;

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