Criminal Appeal No. 969 of 2009

Decided On: 12.03.2013

Appellants: Bakshish Ram and Ors. Vs. Respondent: State of Punjab

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
P. Sathasivam and J.S. Khehar


P. Sathasivam, J.

1. This appeal has been filed against the judgment and order dated 26.03.2008 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in Criminal Appeal No. 487-SB of 1994 whereby the learned Single Judge of the High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the Appellants herein and confirmed the judgment and order dated 21.09.1994 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Jalandhar convicting the Appellants herein under Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as "Indian Penal Code") and sentencing them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years.

2. Brief facts:

(a) The marriage between Surinder Kaur (deceased) and Bakshish Ram - Appellant No. 1 (A-1), was solemnized 1½ years prior to the date of occurrence. Appellant No. 2 (A-3) is the mother-in-law of the deceased and mother of A-1. Khushia Ram (A-2), is the father-in-law of the deceased and father of A-1, who died during the pendency of the appeal in the High Court.

(b) As per the prosecution case, on 06.07.1992, Bikkar Ram (since deceased) - the father of Surinder Kaur (deceased) went to meet her daughter at her matrimonial home where she informed him about the harassment and mal-treatment meted out by her husband - Bakshish Ram (Appellant No. 1 herein), her father-in-law, Khushia Ram (since deceased) and her mother-in-law Dalip Kaur (Appellant No. 2 herein). She also informed him that her in-laws were pressurizing her to bring more money from her parents as they wanted to purchase a Cooler. It was alleged by Bikkar Ram that about four months before the incident, the deceased was sent to her parents house to bring money for purchasing a Cooler and he gave her Rs. 800/- for the same, which he borrowed from one Sarwan Singh, who was a resident of his village. Again, on being asked by her, he gave two electronic Harmoniums, which were brought by the brother of the deceased from abroad.

(c) On the next day, i.e., on 07.07.1992, at about 10.30 p.m., one Parminder Singh informed Bikkar Ram that his daughter has been set on fire by her in-laws and she has been admitted to Civil Hospital, Nawanshahar. On hearing this, he along with his wife Sibo (PW-2) rushed to the Civil Hospital where they found that their daughter was completely burnt. On being enquired, he was informed by the villagers that her daughter was set on fire by her in-laws by pouring kerosene oil. He gave a statement before the police narrating the incident. Based on his statement, a case under Section 304-B read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code was registered against Bakshish Ram - the husband, Khushia Ram - father-in-law and Dalip Kaur - mother-in-law of the deceased at Police Station, Banga. After the investigation, the case was committed to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Jalandhar.

(d) The Additional Sessions Judge, by order dated 21.09.1994, by amending the charges convicted all the three accused persons for having committed an offence punishable under Sections 304B and 498-A Indian Penal Code and sentenced them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 7 years.

(e) Aggrieved by the said judgment, all the three accused filed an appeal being Criminal Appeal No. 487-SB of 1994 before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana. During the pendency of the appeal, Khushia Ram (A-2), died on 21.07.2006 and therefore, the proceedings against him were dropped. By impugned ord........