17 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Bombay

Satish and Ors. Vs. The State of Maharashtra (Neutral Citation: 2024:BHC-AUG:5953)

MANU/MH/1811/2024

18.03.2024

Criminal

Sole admission under Section 313 of CrPC in absence other corroborative piece of evidence, cannot be made basis of conviction

Judgment and order passed by Additional Sessions Judge, thereby convicting husband and in-laws (Appellants) for offence punishable under Section 498A read with section 34 and recording guilt of husband accused no.1 alone for offence punishable under section 494 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), is assailed by filing instant appeal. Appellants submits that, prosecution failed to establish the charges beyond reasonable doubt. Secondly, there is no independent evidence and only interested witnesses are examined. That, testimonies of witnesses are full of inconsistencies, variances, material omissions and contradictions.

On taking overall survey of prosecution witnesses on the point of 498A of IPC, apparently witnesses are not consistent about since exactly when ill treatment began. Evidence on the point of cruelty and ill treatment is weak or fragile. It has also come in the evidence that some of the accused are residing separately. Therefore, it was expected of prosecution to give specific instances, but evidence to that extent is missing.

There is no distinct evidence regarding performance of second marriage. For such charge, independent evidence could have been readily available, if there had been second marriage being performed. Law is fairly settled that, sole admission under Section 313 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) in absence other corroborative piece of evidence, cannot be made basis of conviction.

There is little, weak or no evidence on the point of ill treatment. Learned trial court has already acquitted accused for 306 of IPC. There is no iota of evidence whatsoever in support of charge of 494 of IPC. Therefore, as none of the charges are cogently proved, case of prosecution cannot stand.

Learned trial court has not properly appreciated the evidence as well as law. Therefore, interference is called for. The conviction awarded to appellantsfor the offences punishable under Sections 498A read with 34 and section 494 of Indian Penal Code is set aside. Appeal allowed.

Tags : Conviction Evidence Credibility

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