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Acquittal of petitioner for offences U/S.3 /4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act on technical ground, create no effect on his conviction U/S.498 of IPC: High Court of Jharkhand

The mere fact that the petitioner was acquitted for the offence under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act on the technical ground of lack of sanction for prosecution has no bearing or effect on the aforementioned concurrent findings leading to the petitioner’s conviction under Section 498 A of the IPC. The judgment was passed by The High of Court Jharkhand in the case of Munna Ansari @ Md. Munna Ansari vs The state of Jharkhand [Cr. Revision No. 298 of 2012] by Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary.

Facts of the case are that it is alleged that at the time of settlement of marriage, the accused persons had again demanded an amount of Rs.50,000/- like cash, which could not be fulfilled by the father of the informant, and she was treated with cruelty both mentally and physically. Accordingly, the complaint was filed, which was sent to the concerned police station for investigation under Section 156 (iii) C.r.P.c and the charge-sheet was submitted under Section 498A/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 / 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Learned Counsel on behalf of the petitioner has submitted that most of the witnesses are the relative of the lady and accordingly, the learned court below has not scrutinized the evidence of the prosecution witnesses properly.  She has submitted that although there is an allegation of harassment, the demand of dowry has not been proved before the learned court below. She submits that as the demand of dowry was not proved, therefore, the learned appellate court had acquitted the petitioner for an alleged offence under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Learned Counsel submits that the acquittal was done by the learned appellate court on the technical ground that the sanction for prosecution was not available and therefore the conviction under Section 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 could not be sustained, although the basic ingredients for the offence were present. He submits that in the case records, the basic ingredients for an offence under Section 498A of IPC is made out and the present criminal revision application is fit to be dismissed.

While partly allowing the petition, this Court finds that “the learned courts below in their concurrent findings, found that demand of dowry of Rs.50,000/- was made by the petitioner and there was torture of the informant on account of non-fulfilment of the demand from her parents’ side. This Court is of the considered view that merely because the petitioner has been acquitted for the offence under Section 3 /4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act on the technical ground of absence of sanction for prosecution, the same does not create any impact or doubt on the aforesaid concurrent findings leading to the conviction of the petitioner under Section 498 A of IPC.” This Court is of the considered view that there is no illegality or perversity in the impugned judgements calling for any interference in revisional jurisdiction, so far as the conviction of the petitioner under Section 498 of IPC is concerned.

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