Difference between revisions of "SHER SINGH AND ANR V STATE OF HARYANA"

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CASE DETAILS:- 1991 AIR 2048 1991 SCR (1) 1 1991 SCC (3) 335 JT 1991 (1) 149 1991 SCALE (1)25 ACT:-Land Acquisition Act, 1984-Section 25-Compensation Enhancement-Not permissible when evidence not brought on record. CASE No: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO 1592/2011 COURT: SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: PUNJAB & HARYANA) BENCH: ANKUR MITTAL, RAO RANJIT AUTHOR OF JUDGEMENT: J. VIKRAMAJIT SEN, J. KURIAN JOSEPH DECIDED ON: 09.01.2015 CATEGORY: CRIMINAL APPELLANT LEGAL PARTY: SHER SINGH@PARTAPA RESPONDENT LEGAL PARTY: STATE OF HARYANA


FACTS OF THE CASE:- The marriage between the deceased, Harjinder Kaur and the accused-Appellant took place on 22.2.1997. The case of the prosecution is that two months prior to her death on one of her visits to her parental home, the deceased informed her two brothers of cruelty connected with dowry demands meted out to her by her husband and his family members. They, thereafter, conveyed this information to their uncle-Complainant, Angrej Singh viz. that the accused and his family have been harassing her with a demand for a motorcycle and a fridge. The Complainant advised her to return to her matrimonial house with the assurance that a motorcycle and a fridge would be arranged upon the marriage of her brothers. On 7.2.1998, one Rajwant Singh informed the Complainant that the deceased had committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at her matrimonial house in village Danoli. The Complainant, along with the brothers of the deceased and other members of the village, rushed to the matrimonial house of the deceased and after confirming her death, lodged an FIR on the next day i.e., on 8.2.1998. SUMMARY AND JUDGEMENT OF THE CASE his Appeal has been filed against the Judgment dated 16.12.2010 passed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana dismissing the appeal and affirming the conviction and sentence passed against the Appellant by the Trial Court under Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code. After considering the material on record the learned Sessions Judge had convicted all the accused and sentenced them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years under Section 304B; and to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years and to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- and, in default of payment of such fine, to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of six months under Section 498A. The Trial Court, the High Court construed even Section 304B requires the prosecution to 'prove' beyond reasonable doubt in contradistinction to 'show' the participative role of the husband's relatives as a prelude to the deemed guilt kicking in. It was also observed by the High Court that in such cases there is a tendency of roping in all the family members disregarding the fact that they resided separately. However, the Appeal filed by the Appellant was dismissed holding that it was for the accused/Appellant to explain that the unnatural death of his wife Harjinder Kaur was not due to cruelty meted out to her in the matrimonial home and that he has failed in doing so. It is further submitted that the High Court, on same set of pleadings and evidence, was not justified in acquitting the other accused persons, namely, Devinder Singh and Jarnail Singh, while convicting the Appellant. The deceased woman's body has to be forwarded for examination by the nearest Civil Surgeon. The consequences and ramifications of this 'deeming' will be that the prosecution does not have to prove anything more, and it is on the husband or his concerned relative that the burden of proof shifts as adumbrated in Section 113B, which finds place in Chapter VII of the Evidence Act. In cross-examination, the complainant has admitted that the deceased never spoke to him about her domestic problems or regarding demand of dowry by the accused except once, on the last occasion of her visit. He has further admitted that even her brothers had not conveyed any information to him in this regard. On the fateful day PW4 stated that he reached the village where the deceased resided and where she had committed suicide at about 7.00 pm on 7.2.1998 and that he immediately left for that place along with several others after ascertaining facts; the following morning he lodged the report at P.S. Assandh. What is important from his deposition is that he has deposed of only one alleged demand of dowry. We may only observe that in his examination under Section 313 Cr.P.C. the accused has proffered details of his defense. This is not a case where he has merely denied all the questions put by the Court to him. As already stated above, because of the insufficiency or the unsatisfactory nature of the facts or circumstances shown by the prosecution, the burden of proving his innocence has not shifted to the Appellant, in the present case. In this analysis, the Appeal is allowed and the impugned Judgment convicting and punishing the Appellant is set aside.