The high court of Uttarakhand passed a judgement on 11th January 2019 in the case Rajesh v. state of Uttarakhand (Criminal Appeal No. 01 of 2015). this case was presided by Honourable justice Mr. Sudhanshu Dhulia and Honourable justice Mr. Ravindra Maithani
FACTS OF THE CASE
The deceased Smt. Rinku was married to the appellant on 15.04.2009, but ever since her marriage deceased Rinku was subjected to cruelty. She was beaten, harassed and taunted for demand of dowry from her parents. The deceased Rinku informed her parents many a times about this treatment. On 03.05.2010, deceased Rinku made a call to her father i.e., the informant Rang Lal and informed him that she is being beaten by her in-laws and they are pressurizing her to bring Rs.50,000/- from her father. Phone was disconnected and again on the same day at 12:00 noon, when informant called his daughter, the phone was picked up by the appellant, who disconnected the phone, but before that, the informant could hear the cries of his daughter from the other side. On the same day, in the afternoon, the informant was told about the death of his daughter Rinku. When the informant reached his daughter’s matrimonial house, he found that there were various injuries on the body of the deceased Smt. Rinku. A report of it was given on 03.05.2010 at 7:45 p.m. against Rajesh and four other members of his family. Inquest of the body was prepared. There were various injury marks on the body of the deceased. Post-mortem was conducted on 04.05.2010. According to the post-mortem report, deceased died of asphyxia due to ante-mortem strangulation. After investigation, chargesheet under Section 498-A, 304-B and 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 was submitted against the appellant and four other members of his family namely Om Prakash, Jyoti, Mukesh and Smt. Meera Devi, who are father, sister, brother and mother of the appellant respectively. Charges under section 302, 498-A, 304-B I.P.C. and 3/4 D.P. Act were framed against the appellant and others on different dates, to which they denied and claimed trial.
Appellant was examined under section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. According to the appellant Rajesh, he has been falsely implicated in the case. He has never harassed or tortured the deceased. According to him, the deceased had fallen near the water tap and received some minor injuries, therefore, he had brought her in the courtyard. Learned trial court, after considering the evidence and materials on record, acquitted all the accused, including the appellant, under section 498-A, 304-B I.P.C. and 3/4 D.P. Act and also acquitted all other accused, under Section 302 I.P.C. except the appellant. The learned trial court convicted the appellant under section 302 I.P.C. and sentenced him, as stated hereinbefore. Aggrieved, the instant appeal had been filed
In view of the foregoing discussion, this Court is of the view that the trial court committed an error in acquitting the appellant under section 304-B, 498-A of I.P.C and 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and convicting him under section 302 I.P.C. Therefore, the impugned judgment and order dated 19.12.2014 is set aside. Appellant Rajesh is acquitted of charge punishable under section 302 I.P.C. But he is convicted under section 304-B, 498-A I.P.C and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. Appellant Rajesh is sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment under section 304-B I.P.C., two years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.10,000/- under section 498-A I.P.C. and one-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.5000/- under section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. In default of payment of fine, appellant shall further undergo simple imprisonment for a period of two months. All the sentences shall run concurrently.
With the above modification in the conviction and sentence, this appeal is disposed of. Appellant is in jail. Let a copy of this judgment be sent to the trial court to make the appellant Rajesh serve out the sentence, modified by this Court.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED ANANTH PAI