Decided on October 04,2013

Smt. Santoshi Devi and Anr. Appellant


Umesh Chandra Dhyani, J. - (1.) ACCUSED -appellant Santoshi Devi, wife of deceased Samarpal set the criminal law into motion by writing a complaint (Ex. Ka -5) to Patti Patwari, Patti Langoor Walla, District Pauri Garhwal on 14.08.2006 at 2:00 P.M. She wrote that she came to her parental home at Village Odal Bara, Patti Langoor Walla on 03.07.2006. Her matrimonial home was at Village Jasala, District Muzaffarnagar. She wrote that she came to her parental home with her brother -in -law (devar). Her husband Samarpal (since deceased) came to her maternal home on 12.08.2006. On 14.08.2006, at around 7:00 -8:00 A.M., when she went to serve her husband with tea, she found that her husband was beheaded and she did not know as to who killed her husband. After registration of FIR, the crime was investigated by the Investigating Officer. I.O. submitted charge -sheet against Smt. Santoshi Devi, wife of deceased and Dinesh Chand, brother -in -law of deceased for the offences punishable under Sections 302 & 201 I.P.C. The case was committed to the Court of Sessions. When the trial commenced and prosecution opened it's case, charge(s) for the offence punishable under Section 302 I.P.C. read with Section 34 I.P.C. were framed against the accused persons, to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
(2.) P .W. 1 Kapotri Devi, P.W. 2 Vishveshwar Prasad, P.W. 3 Ganesh Chandra, P.W. 4 Birendra and P.W. 5 Chandi Prasad Juyal (kanoongo) were examined on behalf of the prosecution. Incriminating evidence was put to the accused persons under Section 313 of Cr.P.C., in reply to which they said that the case against them was false. Thereafter, CW 1 Harish Chandra and CW 2 Vijay Singh were examined as court -witnesses. Statements of the accused persons were again taken under Section 313 Cr.P.C., in which they affirmed their earlier statements. No evidence was given in defence. After considering the evidence on record, accused persons Santoshi Devi and Dinesh Chand were convicted under Section 302 I.P.C. read with Section 34 I.P.C. and were directed to undergo imprisonment for life alongwith a fine of Rs. 10,000/ - each, vide judgment and order dated 06.04.2009. Aggrieved against the impugned judgment and order, present criminal appeal was preferred by the convicts.
(3.) PW 1 was the mother of appellants. She said that her daughter Santoshi Devi was married to Samarpal some 14 -15 years ago. Her daughter came to her parental home on 12.08.2006. Her husband (Samarpal) came there to take her back alongwith him. On 13.08.2006, P.W. 1 went to her parental home alongwith other family members, including the appellants. Only Samarpal remained there on 13.08.2006. She denied that she saw Santoshi Devi and Dinesh Chand talking to each other on 13.08.2006 at around 2 -2:30 in the night. She explained that Santoshi Devi and Dinesh were alongwith her in her parental home. She also denied that she found beheaded dead body of Samarpal. P.W. 1 was declared hostile by the prosecution and was permitted to be cross -examined by the learned D.G.C. (Criminal). In the cross -examination, she admitted that Samarpal came on 12.08.2006 to take back his wife. Samarpal was present at her residence on 12.08.2006. She denied the suggestion of learned D.G.C. (Criminal) that she did not take Santoshi Devi and Dinesh Chand to her parental home on 13.08.2006. Her parental home was situated at a distance of 14 kilometres from her matrimonial home. Although she admitted her signatures on recovery memo (paper No. 16 ka), but denied recovery of incriminating articles from the possession of the appellants. The testimony rendered by P.W. 1 is of no help to the prosecution.;

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