High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Tarsem Singh v. State of Haryana - CRA-74-SB-2003  RD-P&H 10725 (17 November 2006)
CRL.A.No.74-SB of 2003
DATE OF ORDER: 23.11.2006
State of Haryana
CORUM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE M.M. AGGARWAL .*.*.*.
Present: Mr. Ashok Khubbar, Advocate.
Mr. S.S. Yadav, AAG, Haryana.
This is an appeal against judgment dated 30.9.2002 passed by Additional Sessions Judge, Panchkula whereby accused-appellant was convicted for the offence under Sections 304-B/498-A/210 IPC. He was sentenced to undergo RI for seven years for the offence under Section 304- B IPC, to undergo RI for two years and to pay a fine of Rs.5000/-, in default of payment of fine, he was to undergo RI for one year for the offence under Section 498-A IPC and to undergo RI for three years and to pay a fine of Rs.3000/-, in default of payment of fine, he was to further undergo RI for one year for the offence under Section 210 IPC.
CRL.A.No.74-SB of 2003 #2#
Prosecution case against the accused-appellant is that Geeta Rani got married to Tarsem Singh accused-appellant in the year 1997.
Accused had been demanding dowry and had been harassing Geeta Rani.
She died on 3.4.2001 but accused, without waiting for the relatives from the parents side of the deceased, had cremated the dead body and had committed offences. Case was registered against him on the statement of Bala Rani, mother of the deceased, accused-appellant was arrested. Matter was investigated. After trial, case was found to be proved. Accused- appellant was convicted and sentenced as aforesaid.
Counsel for the accused-appellant had argued that it was a false case and that there was no evidence that any demand of dowry was made immediately before the death.
PW1 Prithvi Singh is father's brother of the deceased. He had stated that sufficient dowry was given at the time of marriage of Geeta Rani in 1997. Father of Geeta Rani died 8-9 years back and he had performed kanyadan. About one and half months prior to death of Geeta Rani, they had gone to village Kakrali and met father of Tarsem Singh in connection with the demand of dowry. Naresh Pal and Bala Rani had accompanied.
Tarsem Singh demanded Rs.15,000/- and they had gone to protest regarding this fact to the father of Tarsem Singh. Tarsem Singh was asking Geeta Rani and his mother-in-law that the share of the land of his wife should be transferred in his favour. This witness had stated that on 3.4.2001, they had got a telephonic message that Geeta Rani is sick and when they went to the village Kakrali, they found the house of accused locked. Tarsem Singh was not available. They learnt that Geeta Rani had died. When they reached cremation ground, they saw that cremation was already there. PW6 Bala CRL.A.No.74-SB of 2003 #3#
Rani is mother of the deceased. She had stated that just after 15 days of the marriage, accused Tarsem Singh had started demanding more dowry.
However, no payment could be made as she had no capacity to pay and that she was persuading Tarsem Singh that she has two other daughters and therefore she cannot meet the demand. She stated that under these circumstances, her daughter had been killed. In her statement, Ex.PH from which FIR was registered, Bala Rani had stated that after 6-7 months of the marriage, Tarsem Singh had demanded Rs.10-15,000/- and she had said that she did not have money and that two other daughters were to be married.
Then Tarsem Singh was asking that share of the land of Geeta Rani be transferred and was pressing her. Then she had told all the facts to her husband's younger brother and then one month prior to the occurrence, they had gone to the father of the accused and made efforts to make the accused understand but Tarsem Singh had been troubling Geeta Rani mentally and physically and Geeta Rani had been telling her about all these facts but she could not help Geeta Rani and was saying that Geeta Rani should have patience. Then on 3.4.2001, she got message that Geeta Rani was sick.
When she along with other relatives reached village Kakrali, they learnt that Geeta Rani had died and accused had cremated the dead body without waiting for them.
It was argued that there was no evidence that any cruelty was caused in connection with demand of dowry soon before death. It was argued that there had been no complaint of any demand or cruelty to any person during four and half years of marriage.
For an offence under Section 304-B IPC, following ingredients are to be established:
i) CRL.A.No.74-SB of 2003 #4#
ii)Death of a woman should be caused by burns or bodily injury or otherwise than under normal circumstances.
iii)Such death should occur within seven years of her marriage.
iii)The woman must have been subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or relatives of her husband.
iv)Cruelty or harassment should be for or in connection with demand of dowry.
Here is a case, where death took place within four and half years of the marriage. It admittedly took place in the house of the accused.
The accused did not wait for the police and other relatives of the deceased t come. The dead body was cremated without waiting for them. From the statement of PW1 Prithvi Singh, it is quite clear that even one and half months prior to the death of Geeta Rani. they had gone to village Kakrali i.e the house of the accused and protested that Tarsem Singh was demanding money and he should be made to understand. PW6, who is mother of the deceased had also stated that accused had been making demands and she had told her husband's brother Prithvi Singh and when Geeta Rani died, the report was made to the police.
Appellant in his statement under Section 313 Cr.P.C, had stated that Geeta Rani was sick and died as natural death but there had been no record from any Doctor that Geeta Rani was under treatment and was so sick that she will die a natural death.
Accused-appellant, who happen to be husband of the deceased, did not render any explanation as to why the body of Geeta Rani was cremated without waiting for the parents and other relatives of the deceased.
Under these circumstances, only conclusion, which could be CRL.A.No.74-SB of 2003 #5#
arrived, was that Geeta Rani had died as unnatural death due to cruelty having been practised, as demand of dowry was not met. Trial Court had, therefore, rightly convicted and imposed the sentenced on the accused- appellant for the offence under Sections 304-B/498-A/210 IPC.
There is no merit in the appeal and the same is dismissed.
November 23, 2006 ( M.M. AGGARWAL )
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