SUNIL KUMAR Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
STATE OF UTTARAKHAND
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Alok Singh, J. -
(1.) THIS is a jail appeal filed by the convict appellant assailing the judgment and order dated 07.02.2008 passed by the Sessions Judge, Tehri Garhwal in Sessions Trial No. 19 of 2006 thereby convicting and sentencing the appellant to undergo imprisonment for life and to pay fine of Rs. 5,000/ - failing which to further undergo 6 months rigorous imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC and further convicting and sentencing him to serve 3 years rigorous imprisonment and to pay fine of Rs. 1,000/ - failing which to serve 2 months' additional rigorous imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 201 IPC. Brief facts, inter alia, are that appellant herein married to Smt. Sushma Devi in the month of October, 1999; Smt. Sushma Devi found dead in a gorge in village Danara Patti Bharpur, District Tehri Garhwal on 18.07.2006; one Dinesh Kumar, son of Lalita Prasad informed the police telephonically that Smt. Sushma Devi had left the house in the morning for the jungle to collect the grass for the cattle and had committed suicide by jumping from hill into the gorge and her dead body was lying in the gorge. On the other hand, Chiranji Lal, father of deceased, on the next day i.e. on 19.07.2006, has given a written report to the police station Devprayag, District Tehri Garhwal alleging therein that Sunil Kumar, appellant herein, as well as his mother Prema Devi had murdered Smt. Sushma Devi as he failed to meet out the illegal demand of dowry; on the report of Chiranji Lal, a chik report was registered as case crime No. 574 of 2006 under Section 498A, 304B read with Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act against appellant and Prema Devi; post mortem was conducted by Dr. S.D. Uniyal on 18.07.2006 and as per post mortem report, cause of death of Smt. Sushma Devi was strangulation; having investigated the matter a charge -sheet was submitted against the appellant as well as his mother Prema Devi for the offence punishable under Sections 498 -A, 304B IPC read with Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
(2.) LEARNED Sessions Judge, having perused the entire evidence, came to the conclusion that there is no demand of dowry and since Smt. Sushma Devi was murdered few months before the expiry of 7 years of her marriage, therefore, no case under Section 498A IPC, 304B IPC or under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act is made out. However, he found appellant guilty for the offences punishable under Section 302 and 201 IPC and convicted & sentenced him, as mentioned hereinabove. Learned Sessions Judge did not find any material or evidence against Prema Devi (mother of appellant), hence, acquitted her. Feeling aggrieved, appellant has approached this Court by way of present appeal. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and have carefully perused the record.
(3.) UNDISPUTEDLY , dead body of Smt. Sushma was recovered from a gorge, which was at a distance of about 500 metres away from the appellant's house. None of the witnesses stated that there was any demand of dowry by the appellant soon before the death of Smt. Sushma Devi. Learned Sessions Judge has recorded finding of fact that there is absolutely no material on record to suggest that there was any demand of dowry by the appellant soon before the death of Smt. Sushma Devi. Dead body was recovered on 18.07.2006 at about 08.50 a.m. and postmortem was conducted on 18.07.2006 at 04.00 p.m. As per the postmortem report as well as statement of PW2 Dr. S.D. Uniyal, death of Smt. Sushma could have been caused between 12 -24 hours prior to the postmortem.;
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