True Court CopyTM English


Criminal Appeal No. 1097 of 2016 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 9718 of 2014)

Decided On: 18.11.2016

Appellants: Baijnath and Ors. Vs. Respondent: State of Madhya Pradesh

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy


Amitava Roy, J.

1. The Appellants, the in-laws of the deceased Saroj Bai, being aggrieved by the conversion of their acquittal into conviction by the High Court Under Sections 498A and 304B of the Indian Penal Code (for short hereinafter referred to as the "Code") seek defeasance of this verdict in the present appeal.

2. Heard Mr. Siddhartha Dave, learned Counsel for the Appellants and Mr. Naveen Sharma, learned Counsel for the Respondent.

3. The genesis of the prosecution case lies in the information lodged by Appellant Baijnath, the elder brother of the Appellant No. 2, Shivraj, the father-in-law of the deceased. The information disclosed that on 09.06.1996 at about 8 p.m. the family had dinner together and after watching television, retired to the respective rooms for the night. The deceased was married to Rakesh, son of Appellant No. 2. According to the informant, in the next morning she was found dead, hanging from the fan by a ligature.

4. On this information Merg No. 20/1996 was registered with the Chanderi Police Station and on the completion of the investigation charge-sheet was laid against the Appellants together with Rakesh, husband of the deceased and Prem Bai, wife of the Appellant No. 1 Under Sections 302, 304B, 498A, 201 read with Section 34 of the Code. According to the prosecution, the investigation revealed that the husband of the deceased along with the Appellants had been demanding dowry and in pursuit thereof had subjected the deceased to harassment and torture in the proximate past of the incident.

5. At the trial, the learned Additional Sessions Judge concerned framed charges against the accused persons Under Sections 304B and 498A of the Code, which were denied by the accused persons. Subsequent thereto Rakesh committed suicide on 09.06.1998 by consuming poison and therefore he was deleted from the array of the persons indicted.

6. The prosecution at the trial examined 12 witnesses including the Investigating Officer and the Doctor who had performed the postmortem examination. The defence, after the recording of the statements of the Appellants Under Section 313 Code of Criminal Procedure., examined 4 witnesses.

7. The Trial Court on an exhaustive assessment of the evidence adduced, acquitted the accused persons of the charges against which the Respondent/State preferred appeal before the High Court. The impugned decision has been rendered thereby upturning the acquittal.

8. The learned Trial Court while recording the admitted fact of