Dowry Death; Rakesh Vs. State of U.P. [Allahabad High Court, 08-09-2016]

Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 – Ss. 3, 4 – Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Ss. 498A, 304B, 342, 201 – Dowry Death – Perusal of the evidence available on record makes it crystal clear that neither there is evidence of unnatural death of the deceased nor there is any evidence of demand of additional dowry, nor there is any evidence of cruelty for demand of dowry “soon before her death”. The evidence of the witnesses have major contradictions and the prosecution story is shaky, unreliable, not worthy of credence. Thus, the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case against the appellants and the appeal is liable to be allowed.


HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH

Hon’ble Mrs. Ranjana Pandya, J.

08.09.2016

CRIMINAL APPEAL No. – 532 of 1996 Appellant :- Rakesh & Others Respondent :- State Of U.P Counsel for Appellant :- Alok Kapoor Counsel for Respondent :- Govt. Advocate With Case :- CRIMINAL APPEAL No. – 516 of 1996 Appellant :- Rajaipal Hammad @ Guddu & Others Respondent :- State Of U.P Counsel for Appellant :- Alok Kapoor Counsel for Respondent :- Govt. Advocate

1. Challenge in these appeals is to the judgment and order dated 30.11.1996 passed by Special Judge, Unnao, in Sessions Trial No. 875 of 1994 (State vs. Rakesh and others), arising out of Case Crime No. 108 of 1994, under Sections 498A, 304B, 342, 201 I.P.C. and Section 3/4 of the D.P. Act, Police Station Asiwah, District Unnao, whereby the accused persons were found guilty and sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment and Rs. 2000/- as find under Section 3/4 D.P. Act, 1 year rigorous imprisonment under Section 498A and 10 years rigorous imprisonment under Section 304 B I.P.C with default stipulation.

2. The prosecution story as unfolded as per statement of the prosecution witnesses and the first information report is that the informant Prabhu Dayal has lodged the first information report on 22.04.1994 stating that his daughter Guddy was married 11 months ago to Rakesh, the accused. Guddy has come to her paternal house five times after her marriage. He has given sufficient dowry in the marriage but the accused persons were not satisfied with the dowry and they used to assault the deceased and used to torture her and demanded a T.V. and a cycle as additional Dowry. The deceased narrated the whole incident to her parents, her sister, uncle (Foofa) Ram Asray and Shiv Balak. The informant talked to the accused persons in the matter and promise to give a T.V. and cycle after obtaining loan from somewhere. On 18.04.1994 one Radhey Lal informed him that the deceased was suffering from Cholera. When the informant went to the matrimonial house of the deceased, he saw one eyeball of the deceased was missing. She was bleeding. He suspected that the deceased was killed by the accused due to non fulfillment of dowry. The informant was going to the Police Station Rasoolabad to give information in the matter. Suddenly, Heera Lal, Siya Dulari, Rakesh his brother and sister-in-law took him into a room. Heera Lal pointed a country made pistol at him and threatened him not to go to lodge the report. He was compelled to sign on some blank papers. The dead body of the deceased was taken by the accused persons on some unknown place. On 19.04.1994, at 04:00 A.M., the hands and mouth of the informant were tied and he was left outside the village. Since then the informant was feared and tainted about the death of his daughter. He was perturbed. On 22.04.1994, he went with his brother-in-law to the police station and lodged the report.

3. On the basis of this first information report, PW-6 Constable 117 C.P. Abdual Gaffar scribed the chik report which proved by this witness as Exhibit Ka-4. further the witness scribed the copy of the G.D. which was proved by him as Exhibit Ka-5.

4. Investigation was entrusted in the matter to Pw-5 C.O. Lallan Ray. He copied the chik and G.D. in the case diary. Further, he recorded the statement of Vasudeo on 22.04.1994. He recorded the statement of informant Prabhu Dayal on the same day. He recorded the statements of Mishri Lal and Rajeshwari. Further he inspected the spot, prepared the site plan which was proved by this witness as Exhibit Ka-2. On 10.05.1994, he tried to trace the accused but they could not be traced. Since the accused Heeral Lal and Rakesh had surrendered on 16.05.1994 before the C.J.M., Unnao. Thereafter, the accused Siya Dulari and Mina Devi were apprehended and their statements were recorded. Further on 01.08.1994, the statements of the accused Heera Lal and Rakesh were recorded in jail. On 06.08.1994, the statement of the accused Brijpal was recorded in the court of C.J.M. On 29.04.1994, the statement of Mishri Lal was recorded. Since the dead body of the deceased was flown in the river by the accused, hence the body could not be recovered. The investigation was ended into a charge sheet which was proved by this witness as Exhibit Ka-3.

5. The prosecution proceeded to examine 6 witnesses in support of its case. PW-1 is Prabhu Dayal, the informant who proved the first information report as Exhibit Ka-1. PW-2 is Ram Asray. PW-3 is Rajeshwari, the mother of the deceased. PW-4 is Mishri Lal, uncle of the deceased. the statement of PW-5, C.O. Lallan Ray and PW-6 constable Abdul Gaffar has earlier been discussed.

6. After close of the prosecution evidence, the statement of the accused persons were recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C. who denied the occurrence. However, the marriage 11 months prior to the incident was admitted but all the accused have stated that the deceased died the natural death due to Cholera.

7. The accused persons examined Rama Shankar Pal, DW-1 who is said to have treated the deceased prior to her death.

8. After perusal of all the evidence available on record and hearing the counsel for the parties, the learned trial court has passed the impugned judgment as specified in para one of the judgment.

9. I have heard Sri Alok Kapoor, counsel for the appellants, learned A.G.A. and perused the material available on record.

10. Counsel for the appellants while castigating the judgment in appeal has submitted that this is a case of no evidence. There is neither any circumstantial nor any documentary evidence to support the prosecution case. The judgment of the trial court is perverse, illegal and not based on the evidence on record, hence the appeal is liable to be allowed.

11. Per contra learned A.G.A. has submitted that the findings of the learned lower court are based on the evidence on record which needs no interference.

12. The following points were raised before the court during the course of arguments :-