Decided on May 21,2013

Surendra Singh Nath And Others Appellant


- (1.) The prosecution case emerging at the trial, shorn of unnecessary details, was that marriage of Smt. Lalita, daughter of the complainant Vikram Singh Rawat, was solemnized with Surendra Singh in the year 2004. After sometime of the marriage, husband and in-laws of Smt. Lalita made a demand of dowry asking her to bring Rs. 50,000/- from her parents. Her husband and in-laws started harassing her for their said demand of dowry. She was even being denied the food and clothes in her matrimonial house. When the atrocities crossed the tolerable limits, Smt. Lalita left her matrimonial house and came to her maternal house, where she lived for almost a year and also gave birth to a child meanwhile. Accused appellants, who are respectively the husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law of Smt. Lalita, remained adamant on their demand of dowry. Ultimately, some settlement took place between the two families on giving Rs. 30,000/- to the accused persons, whereupon Smt. Lalita returned to her matrimonial house. However, it could not satisfy the lust of dowry nurtured by the accused appellants, and they continued to press their said demand and the harassment of the bride therefor. One week prior to the incident, Smt. Lalita had incidentally met Brijmohan Rawat in Barethi market, where she had told him that her in-laws were not giving food to her since the last few days nor they were taking any care of her. She had requested him to inform her parents accordingly and ask them to take her back from her matrimonial house, otherwise they would not see her alive. Ultimately, on 21.8.2007, the complainant received information that her daughter Smt. Lalita was no more. On this information, the complainant, who was working as a Security Guard at some other place, returned to his house in the night of that very day, where he came to know from his wife that she had sent his younger son Bhagwan Singh Rawat on 20.8.2007 to take back Smt. Lalita from her matrimonial house.
(2.) Hence, a First Information Report was lodged on 22.8.2007 by Vikram Singh Rawat, father of the victim, reporting the above incident, wherein he also averred that his younger son Bhagwan Singh Rawat had told him after the incident that when he (Bhagwan) reached at the matrimonial house of his sister (deceased), then Smt. Lalita narrated her entire ordeal to him regarding her harassment by her in-laws for the dowry. He also told that when he reached there, her in-laws also quarralled with him for the dowry, and in the night of 20.8.2007, her sister was forced to drink a glassful of milk and she died in the same night in the house of accused appellants in very suspicious circumstances.
(3.) Criminal justice machinery was set into motion on the FIR of the complainant. Investigation resulted in submission of chargesheet against the accused appellants, who, having denied the charges, were put to trial. On completion of the trial, learned Sessions Judge, Uttarkashi, vide his judgment and order dated 10.8.2009, passed in Sessions Trial No. 13/2007, found the accused appellants guilty of the offences punishable under Section 498A, 304B IPC and one punishable under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, and sentenced them appropriately.;

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