(1.) Suresh Suri (PW3) wrote a complaint (Ex. Ka. 6) on 03.11.1995 to Station Officer, Police Station Sri Nagar, Garhwal, regarding the death of his Sali (sister-in-law), namely, Poonam Kohli (the victim). It was written in the complaint that Poonam Kohli was married to Chandra Mohan Kohli about 8 years ago. After a year of her marriage with Chandra Mohan Kohli, her inlaws started harassing her for not brining sufficient dowry.
Chandra Mohan Kohli used to beat her and all her in-laws used to castigate Poonam Kohli that she did not bring adequate dowry. It was stated that Poonam Kohli was ousted from her matrimonial home in May, 1989 with the avowed object that she will bring Rs. 50,000/- from her parental home. Poonam Kohli came to her parental home at Lucknow. After six months, Chandra Mohan Kohli came to Lucknow and took Poonam Kohli back to her matrimonial home, with a promise that such an occurrence will not be repeated. In December, 1991, Chandra Mohan Kohli and the other in-laws of Poonam Kohli, again, started harassing her.
Poonam Kohli, again, went back to her parental home. After about five months, Chandra Mohan Kohli again went to the parental home of Poonam Kohli at Lucknow and, with the intervention of some relatives, persuaded Poonam Kohli to join her matrimonial home. Thereafter, in January, 1993, Poonam Kohli was again beaten-up and ousted from her matrimonial home. Poonam Kohli, again, came back to her parental home at Lucknow. During the said period, her elder son died due to an electric shock. Thereafter, Chandra Mohan Kohli, with the intervention of few wise people, again brought Poonam Kohli back to her matrimonial home. On 02.11.1995, at about 04:00 a.m., all the accused people (Chandra Mohan Kohli and the respondents herein) strangulated Poonam Kohli and killed her.
Thereafter, her dead body was burnt with the use of Kerosene.
(2.) On the basis of the said complaint, lodged by PW3, a First Information Report was registered against Chandra Mohan Kohli (husband of Poonam Kohli); respondent Ram Lal Kohli (father-inlaw of Poonam Kohli); respondent Shakuntala Kohli (mother-inlaw of Poonam Kohli); respondent Jyoti Kohli (sister-in-law of Poonam Kohli); and respondent Om Prakash Kohli (brother-inlaw of Poonam Kohli), for commission of the offences punishable under Sections 498-A, 302, 201 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
After completion of the investigation, a charge-sheet was filed against all of them under the said Sections.
(3.) When the case was committed to the court of Sessions, trial commenced. It may be mentioned at the very outset that Chandra Mohan Kohli, husband of Poonam Kohli, died during the pendency of trial and, therefore, the case against him stood abated.
Charges for commission of offences punishable under Sections 498-A/149, 302/149 and 201/149 of the Indian Penal Code were framed against the respondents herein. They pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. As many as 06 prosecution witnesses were examined on behalf of the prosecution and, thereafter, incriminating evidence was put to the respondents in statements under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. All of them denied their participation in the incident in question and said that they were falsely implicated in the case. No evidence was tendered on behalf of the defence. After hearing both the sides, the learned court below, by the judgment and order under appeal, acquitted respondents Shakuntala Kohli, Om Prakash Kohli and Jyoti Kohli of all the offences punishable under Sections 302/149, 498-A/149 and 201/149, as were levelled against them.
Respondent Ram Lal Kohli was also acquitted of the offences punishable under Sections 302/149 and 498-A/149 of the Indian Penal Code. However, respondent Ram Lal Kohli was convicted under Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code and was, accordingly, sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for six months, with fine of Rs. 1,000/-, and, in default of payment of fine, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a further period of three months.;