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Parvati Devi and Anr. Vs. State of Jharkhand - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtJharkhand High Court
Decided On
AppellantParvati Devi and Anr.
RespondentState of Jharkhand
Excerpt:
1 criminal appeal no. 804 of 2003 with criminal appeal no. 902 of 2003 (against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 14.5.2003 passed by sri. chandra prakash asthana, learned 9th additional sessions judge, hazaribagh in s.t. no. 119 of 2001). ---------- cr.appeal no. 804 of 2003 1.parvati devi, wife of shanakar mahto 2.shankar mahto, son of late thannu mahto, both residents of village jaipahari p.s barkiatha district hazaribagh. ...... appellants versus the state of jharkhand ...... respondent cr.appeal no. 902 of 2003 nageshwar prasad son of sri. shankar mahto village jaipahari p.s barkatha district. hazaribagh ….... appellant - versus - the state of jharkhand … respondent for the appellants :- mr. kripa shankar nanda, advocate for the state :- mr. ajimuddin, a.p.p.....
Judgment:

1 Criminal Appeal No. 804 of 2003 With Criminal Appeal No. 902 of 2003 (Against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 14.5.2003 passed by Sri. Chandra Prakash Asthana, learned 9th Additional Sessions Judge, Hazaribagh in S.T. No. 119 of 2001). ---------- Cr.Appeal No. 804 of 2003 1.Parvati Devi, wife of Shanakar Mahto 2.Shankar Mahto, son of late Thannu Mahto, Both residents of village Jaipahari P.S Barkiatha District Hazaribagh. ...... Appellants Versus The State of Jharkhand ...... Respondent Cr.Appeal No. 902 of 2003 Nageshwar Prasad son of Sri. Shankar Mahto village Jaipahari P.S Barkatha District. Hazaribagh ….... Appellant - Versus - The State of Jharkhand … Respondent For the Appellants :- Mr. Kripa Shankar Nanda, Advocate For the State :- Mr. Ajimuddin, A.P.P For the Informant :- Mr. A.K.Sahani Advocate Mr. Sahdeo Choudhary Advocate PRESENT HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE Ratnaker Bhengra C.A.V On 20.6.2016 Delivered on 28- 10- 2016 Ratnaker Bhengra,J.

These Criminal appeals are directed against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence dated 14.5.2003 in S.T. No. 119 of 2001 passed by the learned, 9th Additional Sessions Judge, Hazaribagh whereby the appellants above named have been found guilty for the offence punishable under section 304B of the Indian Penal Code. The appellants Shankar Mahto and Nageshwar Prasad have been further found guilty for the 2 offence punishable under sections 201/34 of the Indian Penal Code and accordingly, they have been further convicted under the above sections. The convicts Shankar Mahto, Nageshwar Prasad and Parvati are directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven year for the offence punishable under sections 304(B) of the Indian Penal Code and convicts Shankar Mahto and Nageshwar Prasad are also directed to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years for the offence punishable under sections 201/34 of the Indian Penal Code .Both the sentences are directed to run concurrently.

2. The prosecution case in brief, as per written report of Chhoti Mahto dated 3.11.1999 is that his daughter Manti Devi was married to Nageshwar Prasad of Gayapahari in the month of Baisakh in the same year (1999). After marriage his daughter went to her matrimonial house and lived with her husband. But after marriage Manti Devi's (deceased) father-in-law Shankar Mahto, mother-in-law Parvati Devi, husband Nageshwar Prasad, one of her sister in-law(Gotni) and wife of Narayan Mahto and brother-in-law (Dever) Meghan Prasad began demanding Rs.10,000/- as Tilak. This matter was told by Manti Devi to her family members. After the karma festival in the month of Asin he returned with his daughter to her matrimonial home. The informant promised before the appellants that he will give the money after selling potatoes. But in-laws family still troubled Manti Devi. So his daughter came back to her parental house. It is further alleged that informant once again accompanied his daughter to her sasural on 22.10.1999 and in the next week on Sunday dated 31.10.1999 he once again went to Manti Devi's Sasural to ask about his daughter's well being and after having food the informant returned to his house. On Monday morning dated 1.11.1999 he left for his own in-laws place(Sasural) in Koderma districts. It is further alleged that he went on Monday and returned home around 5 P.M on Tuesday. On reaching home his wife, who was weeping, told him that his daughter was killed and then cremated. The he came to know from his neighbors and the mohalla people of Manti Devi's Sasural that on Monday his daughter was cremated. It is further alleged that informant's cousin brother Dina Mahto, Hemal Mahto and his neighbours, told him that why would the accused inform about her death because after her death blood was coming out of her ears, nose and mouth and her tongue bore cut marks. Hence after hearing the above mentioned facts the informant was sure that his daughter 3 has been killed.

3. On the basis of written report of the informant Barkatha P.S Case No. 86 of 1999 was registered under sections 304B/201/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Investigation of the case was taken up and after completion of Investigation chargesheet was submitted against the accused persons and accordingly, cognizance of the offence was taken and the case was committed to the court of Sessions and registered as S.T. No. 119 of 2001. Charges were framed under section 304B,201 of the Indian Penal Code against which the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried.

4. The prosecution has examined altogether 15 witnesses i.e. P.W1 Khublal Mahto,P.W2 Lokan Mahto(uncle of the deceased ) P.W3 Dina Mahto, P.W4Chhoti Mahto, P.W5 Hemal Mahto P.W6 Rajendra Prasad(Brother of deceased),P.W7 Prayag Prasad(relative of the informant)P.W8Laliya Devi who is the mother of the deceased, P.W9Chohani Devi who is the aunty of the deceased,P.W10Kedar Prasad (declared hostile), P.W11Chhoti Mahto, who is the informant and the father of the deceased, P.W12Jagana Mian(declared hostile) P.W13is Jagdish Prasad, P.W14Hiralal Prasad and P.W15Shiv Prasad.

5. Trial was held and the trial resulted in conviction of the appellants and they were sentenced as aforesaid.

6. Now I shall deal with the depositions of the P.Ws 7. P.W.1 is Khublal Mahato . He deposed that he went to the place of occurrence and found that Manti Devi is lying dead in the house of Shankar Mahto. He saw the body of deceased lying on a cot. He also stated that Manti Devi died in Sasural after six months of her marriage. He has fully supported the prosecution case. He saw the floor cleaned and smoothened. In his cross-examination he has said that the deceased's father and uncle did not demand Rs.20,000/- from her in-law after the incident nor threatened them about lodging a case.

8. P.W2Lokan Mahto is the elder brother of the informant and has deposed that Nageshwar Mahto, Shankar Mahto and Shankar Mahato's wife were fighting with deceased Manti Devi for demand of dowry of Rs. 10,000/-.In Karma festival when she came, he came to know of this from her. He came to know in the morning of Monday that the girl has died then he along with Girdhari Mahto and others went to the house of Shankar Mahto and they saw that the girl was lying dead on the cot and blood was 4 oozing from her ear, nose and mouth. He had told Shankar not to cremate the body till her younger brother came, but they did otherwise. He also stated that he received information about death of the deceased from Chotan Mahto.

9. P.W.3 Dina Mahto has stated that after getting information about the death of Manti Dev, he went to the House of Shankar Mahto and saw deceased Manti Devi lying dead inside the house and saw that blood was oozing out from her ear, nose and mouth. He further stated that the accused persons have burnt the dead body before arrival of deceased's father. He has also said that the deceased was being put to great stress over the remaining Rs. 10,000/-. 10 P.W.4 Choti Mahto is the Shamdi of the informant. He has deposed that when he went to the place of occurrence, the deceased was breathing slowly and and then she died. He saw the ground was cleaned and smoothened. On asking the mother-in-law said that deceased had vomited, hence it was cleared. He also saw blood was oozing out from her nose.

11. P.W5 Hemal Mahto has deposed that deceased died in her laws house. He saw that blood was oozing out from her mouth and nose. He requested the appellant Shankar Mahto not to burn the dead body and he will be informing the deceased's father. Inspsite of that appellant burnt the dead body.

12. P.W6Rajendra Prasad who is the brother of the deceased. He said that Nageshwar, Shankar, Parvati and Narayan used to fight with Manti Devi for the Rs.10,000/- Deceased's father had even gone to the appellant's Shankar's house to explain. He said that dead body was burnt by the accused persons without giving any information to them.

13. P.W.7 Prayag Prasad has said that appellant Shankar had informed him at 1.30 at night that Manti Devi is ill. He saw that there was no life in the body of Manati Devi. Later he saw blood oozing out from the mouth and nose of Manti Devi. He became suspicious and returned home on Monday itself. Later on they came know that the body was cremated.

14. P.W8Smt. Laliya Devi,who is the mother of the deceased, deposed that when her daughter came for Karma Festival, her daughter informed that appellants demanded Rs. 10,000/- from the deceased. Later on she also came to know that food and drink was not given to her and 5 they used to fight with her. She also deposed that when she was informed about the death of her daughter she went to the house of the accused and saw that the dead body of her daughter was lying in the courtyard and blood was oozing out from the ear and mouth.

15. P.W.9 Chohani Devi has deposed that the deceased was her niece. She has deposed that marriage took place two years ago. She deposed that when the deceased had come at Karma festival then she had told that her father-in-law, mother-in-law, Gotni, husband and “nanad” used to fight with her and demanded Rs. 10,000/-.Money could not be arranged. She was sent back, then she was assaulted and killed. She saw the dead body in the courtyard of Shankar Mahto and blood was oozing out from her nose and ears. In her cross-examination she has denied that the informant ( Choti) demanded Rs.20,000/- and on refusal he had lodged the case 16. P.W10Kedar Prasad has been declared hostile. At para 1 of his deposition he said that he saw the dead body of the victim lying on the cot in the courtyard of the appellant Shankar Mahto.

17. P.W11Choti Mahto (informant), is the father of the deceased and informant,He has deposed that his daughter was married around two years,10 months ago with Nageshwar. She died on 1.11.1999.On receiving the information about the incident then his cousin brother Dina Mahato own brother Lokan and Heman Mahto and others went to Shankar Mahto's house and found the girl dead. His wife had informed him that the girl has been killed and cremated. He has deposed that in “Aashad” when after marriage the girl had gone to her in-law's house then Shankar Mahato and his family members demanded Rs. 10,000/-That in Karma festival time, when he had gone to get his daughter,then Shankar Mahato, Nageshwar and his mother asked for Rs. 10,000/-.He had expressed his difficulties even then. Then he had told them that at the season time he will sell the potatoes and then be able to fulfill their demand. He has proved his signature on written report marked as Ext.1 In his cross-examination regarding the written report, he said, he got it typed at the block and it was read out to him by Durga Mahato.

18. P.W.12 is Jagan Mian. He has been declared hostile. He has deposed that the marriage had been solemnized about four years ago and that deceased died about one year after the marriage. He does not know how 6 deceased died. But he says that he had seen the body in the Varandah in the house of the deceased's in -laws. In his cross examination he has said that the relationship of the deceased with her in-laws was cordial.

19. P.W13is Jagdish Prasad. He deposed that marriage of Manti and Nageshwar had taken place around five years ago and her death took place in her in-laws place. He was instructed by Shankar Mahto to give the news of the death of Manti to Shankar's elder son, Narayan in Hazaribagh and accordingly he had done so . When he and Narayan went to the house, then at 3-4 .M he saw that the body is being cremated. In his cross-examination he has deposed that the relationship between Manti and her father and mother in -law were cordial and had never heard of any fight between them. He has further deposed that the body was cremated by the in- law of Manti, the neighbour and even Choti Mahto was also present.He has also said that the informant had demanded Rs.20,000/-from the accused for not filing the case against them.

20. P.W14is Hiralal Prasad and he has been declared hostile. He has also deposed that marriage between Manti and Nageshwar had taken place 3-4 years ago. He has admitted that he is related to appellant Nageshwar. He deposed that Manti died about 3 years ago and at the time of her death she was suffering from diarrhoea due to which she died. However, he has admitted that he had not told this to the police in their investigation. He has deposed that on the day she died,he had gone to accused Nageshwar Prasad's house during the day time but was not there at night. He said that the deceased died of diarrhoea and she was being treated for it. He has said that the police had taken his statement but that he did not tell to the police, how she died. . In his cross-examination he has said that during the cremation the deceased-girl's father, mother, Lokan and others had participated. Even Hemlata and Prayag Prasad also attended. He has further deposed that before the death of Manti, the relationship with her husband and with her in-laws was good. That no panchayat was ever held for dowry and such.

21. P.W15Shiv Prasad is Advocate Clerk. He has deposed the Farebeyan was typed in front of him it was read out aloud to the informant Choti Mahato and then he put his signature to it. He has proved the typed written report, marked as Ext 2 and endorsement on it, marked as Ext 2/1 7 22. The learned counsel for the appellants submitted that P.Ws 1 to 8 and 11 are the interested witnesses and they are relatives with each other. It is a natural death not accidental death. He has referred to ingredients of Section 304 B of the Indian Penal Code and said death had not occurred within seven years of her marriage. The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that victim was not tortured for demand of dowry. Regarding point of unnatural death counsel for the appellant has submitted that this was thought up interpolation made and FIR was lodged. He has gone through the written report of the informant, father of the deceased and pointed out that it is clear that on 31.10.1999, he had gone to the house of the accused Shankar Mahato and even had good there and everything was normal, so it is not possible that then under suspicion or criminal circumstances death took place. Admittedly, at 8.30 P.M on 31.10.1999 P.W11informant took food with appellant and then returned. However, regarding incident it was conveyed in the night itself condition of the deceased was precarious. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the appellant that P.W1had been informed about the death of the informant. The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that it is a case of natural death and witnesses have supported the vomiting of the deceased which indicated about illness of the victim. The learned counsel for the appellants has stated that FIR was lodged after two days of death on 3.11.1999. He has also submitted that I.O was not examined in this case which has caused serious prejudice to the case of the appellant. I.O could have expressed reasons regarding delay in lodging the FIR. He has also submitted that father-in-law and mother-in-law should not be implicated in this case because they are living separately and nothing is mentioned regarding father-in-law and mother-in-law torturing the victim in relation to the demand of dowry. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there was delay in lodging the FIR as incident took place between 31.10.1999 to 1.11.1999, this delay was to manufacture a story.

23. Defense has also sought to rely on the deposition of P.W10and P.W12who have been declared hostile and P.W13who have not supported the prosecution case. P.W13Jagdish Prasad has deposed that marriage between the decesed Manti Devi and Nageshwar Prasad took place five years ago. He has deposed that on the instruction of appellant Shankar, he had gone to give information about the death to his elder son Narayan at Hazaribagh. When he returned with Narayan then he saw the body being 8 brunt at around 3-4 p.m.

24. Learned counsel for the appellants further submitted that in the cross examination P.W13has said that the relationship of Manti Devi with her father-in-law and mother-in-law was good.That he had never heard of quarrel or fight between Manti Devi and her father and mother-in law. He has also deposed that the cremation was done with the participation of both the families and Chhoti Mahto ( Father of girl and the informant) was also there. Choti Mahto had demanded Rs. 20,000/- for not lodging the case. Counsel for the appellant has said that P.W13is independent witness and not declared hostile and he is a credible witness and weakens considerably the case of the prosecution. Counsel has also said that P.W.10 and P.W12who were declared hostile have not supported the case of the prosecution. P.W10has deposed that he had not seen the bleeding from the ear and nose and that cremation was done together by Choti and Shankar. P.W13has also mentioned about the good relations between the deceased Manti Devi and her family(in-laws).

25. The learned counsel for the appellants has also relied upon the deposition made by the defence witnesses. D.W1is Lalmani Mahato and D.W.2 is Devilal Prasad. Counsel has submitted that both D.W1and D.W2have said that the relations between deceased Manti Devi and her father- in-law and mother-in-law including her husband was good. Both have deposed that the deceased died due to diarrhoea and that she was treated by one Dr. Kalyan Chatterjee of Hazaribagh. Both have deposed that Nageshwar used to live separately with his grand-mother and even a ration card/ book has been produced to establish this and which is marked as Ext X. Both have said that marriage took place in 1991. Both have deposed that during cremation Choti Mahto, his wife and brother of girl, Rajendra Prasad were present. Both have further deposed that Rs.20,000/- was demanded by the informant from the accused for not lodging the case. Counsel has deposed both are also resident at Gaya Pahari and their depositions are credible and convincing and contradictory to that of the prosecution witnesses,hence benefit should be given to the appellants.

26. One line of argument by the appellants is that the deceased's family knew of the illness of the deceased and they were also informed and due to information being given to them they attend the cremation. P.W.13 says that he saw Choti Mahato at cremation and P.W.14, 9 who is declared hostile says that he saw the deceased persons father, Lokan and others at the cremation 27. On the other hand,the learned counsel for the informant has stated that this is a case of dowry death and the learned court below has rightly convicted and sentenced the appellants under section 304B of the Indian Penal Code. The learned counsel for the informant has stated that death of the victim took place within 7 year of her marriage. He has referred to Section 113B of the Indian Evidence Act which is presumption of dowry death. He has stated that ingredients throughly compell presumption of dowry death. He has also stated that victim girl was not taken to the Doctor and Doctor has not examined the victim. Regarding demand after marriage he has gone through the deposition of various witnesses namely P.W.2 in para-1, P.W.3 in examination-in-chief, P.W6in para 3 P.W8in para 1 in which they have deposed about demand for money or demand of Rs.10,000/-. Regarding attending of cremation, counsel for the informant has said that P.W2told appellant Shankar not to cremate but they did otherwise. P.W3also told that dead body was cremated before arrival of the father of the deceased. P.W. 5 had also requested not to burn the body, but cremation was performed by appellants. P.W6has said the dead body was burnt without informing them or the deceased person's family. P.W7says that they came to know later on that the body was cremated. Hence, the question is not so much about who attended or not, but the haste at which cremation was done. Therefore, there is no inquest report or post mortem report and this is so to hide their misdeeds.

28. The learned counsel for the State has stated that it is obvious that Manti did not die due to diarrhoea because many witnesses have seen the injury on face and various part of the body. P.W24,5,7 and 8 all have deposed that they have seen the blood oozing out from the nose, ear and mouth. The learned counsel for the State has submitted that death took place in the year 1999 which has also been supported by all the prosecution witnesses to be at least within seven years of marriage. Death was not natural because it was within seven years of the marriage . REASONING29 Regarding the ingredients of Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code with respect to burns or bodily injury not under normal circumstances the reference to the blood oozing out from the ear,nose and 10 mouth is indicative of the injury being not under normal circumstances. At least 3 persons, P.W2P.W3P.W9have said that they saw blood oozing out from the mouth,ear and nose of the deceased person's body .

30. Regarding the ingredient of death of a woman that it has to be within 7 years of marriage, P.W.1 P.W2 P.W11 P.W.12 P.W13and even P.W14have deposed that the marriage took place well within 5 years at the time of deposition. so within 7 years of marriage criteria is also applicable in this case.

31. Regarding ingredients of cruelty/harassment soon before death for demand of dowry, P.W9and P.W11have said that around Karma Festival it was known to them even from the deceased Manti herself that the demand for Rs. 10000/- was being made.

32. Regarding the element of cruelty or harassment of Manti there is reference to beatings, torture and fights in the deposition of P.W3P.W6and P.W9 and the fact that these harassment ,beating and torture were in relation to the demand of Rs. 10000/- has come out in the deposition and P.W2P.W3P.W6P.W8P.W9and P.W11 In fact even P.W11the informant and the father of the deceased had to plead to wait for selling potatoes in season so that he could meet their demand. The element of fighting, harassment and torture for Rs. 10,000/- are imputed to all the three appellants, herein.

33. One of the arguments that has been advanced by the learned counsel for the appellants is that the deceased died due to diarrhoea and even referred to one Dr. Kalyan Chatterjee who was treating Manti and there is also reference to a certificate issued by him. The question, then remains if the appellants took this line of argument, then why he was not produced before the court as a defence witness. A doctor's evidence would surely have addressed the cause of death also. Moreover, witnesses have consistently deposed that they saw bleeding from the nose, ear and mouth and though stressing that a doctor's opinion was vital or necessary, diarraheoa is usually associated with a somewhat different bodily discharge. Coupled with the fact that no information was given to the police so that inquest and post-morten are lacking, a simple diarrhoea being raised as a line of defense raises reasonable doubts about this line of argument.

34. One of the defense pleaded is that the appellants no. 1 and 2 of the Cr. Appeal No.804 of 2003 are the mother-in-law and father-in- 11 law of the deceased Manti Devi they are old persons and that appellant Nageshwar Prasad used to live separately with his grand mother and even the ration card/book was referred to wherein the consumers indicated are the grand mother and her grandson but the body was found in the house/or house premises of apellant Shankar Mahato. Moreover, whenever the accusation of harassment ,beating or torture is made, it is also made against Nageshwar Mahato, Shankar Mahata as well as Parvati Devi, so it would be difficult to separate them from the apellant husband. Also it does not seem to appear that appellant Nageshwar was living in a totally different village or town. In fact the ration card mentioned the consumer's address as Gayapahari. Age has often been used to plead for lesser punishment or even acquittals, but here the circumstances seem so that it is difficult to extricate them from their predicament .

35. Regarding the reliance on a certificate from one Doctor. Kalyan Chatterjee “Milan”, if the defence could raise the point about the doctor and his certificate, they could very well produce the said doctor in court, but he was not produced so. So the aspects of the doctor and certificate are not reliable.

36. Regarding the issue of cremation and whether family members of the deceased person had attended or not, the question will be why no inquest report or post mortem was done. The appellant has argued that cremation was done at around 3.00-4.00 p.m, so there was no hurry. But from the record it seems that not every one from the deceased girl's family was there, or some of them may have arrived but they were not informed as to the timing of the cremation. Since the other circumstances, the fact that there is no inquest report or post mortem report to help absolve the appellants, this may only further point towards their complicity in the death of the deceased 37. Regarding the period on delay of lodging the FIR it has been deposed by the informant that he had gone to his own Sasural or in-laws place, hence the slight delay of one more day. The delay, however, is not too long and his claim that he had gone to his in-laws place does not seem to be contradicted, so the question of delay is not questionable.

38. Counsel for the appellants has also cited the case of Bhajan Singh @ Harbhajan Singh &Ors Vs. State of Hariyana(2011) 7 S.C.C421 which deals with delay in lodging F.IR and delay in forwarding report to 12 the Magistrate, may not be applicable in this instance since the death is of 31.10.1999 and the FIR is of 3.11.1999,hence the two days delay in lodging FIR is explained by the fact that the informant had gone to his in-law's place and also the delay is not significant.

39. The learned counsel for the appellant has cited the decision reported in para 11 of Kunhiabdullah and another Vs. State of Kerala reported in 2004 (4) SCC13wherein the Hon'ble Apex Court has observed:- “ …..'Soon before' is a relative term and it would depend upon circumstances of each case and no straitjacket formula can be laid down as to what would constitute a period of 'soon before' the occurrence. It would be hazardous to indicate any fixed period and that brings in the importance of a proximity test both for the proof of an offence of dowry death as well as for raising a presumption under Section 113-B of the Evidence Act. The expression “soon before her death” used in the substantive section 304-B IPC and section 113-B of the Evidence Act is present with the idea of proximity test. No definite period has been indicated and the expression “soon before” is not defined. A reference to the expression “soon before” used in section 114 illustration(a) of the Evidence Act is relevant. It lays down that a court may presume that a man who is in the possession of goods “soon after the theft”, is either the thief, or has received the goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he can account for its possession. The determination of the period which can come within the term' soon before' is left to be determined by the courts, depending upon facts and circumstances of each case. Suffice, however, to indicate that the expression,'soon before' would normally imply that the interval should not be much between the cruelty or harassment concerned and the death in question. There must be existence of a proximate and live link between the effect of cruelty based on dowry demand and the death concerned. If alleged incident of cruelty is remote in time and has become stale enough not to disturb the mental equilibrium of the woman concerned, it would be of no consequence.” In the case on hand, the demands of dowry and harassment of the deceased were not so distant so as to not pose any harassment to her. One could say the live link was very much existing and sadly it ended in disastrous consequence for Manti and her parental family.

40. The learned counsel for the informant has also cited the decision in the case of Rash Bihari Pal Vs.State of Jharkhand reported in [2011(1) East Cr. Case 447 (Jhr)] and Rajesh Bhatnagar Vs. 13 State of Uttarakhand reported in [2012(3) East Cr. Cases 73(SC) to indicate that the ingredients or characteristic like unnatural death within 7 years of marriage and where there is demand of dowry accompanied by harassment or torture, where the dead body was found in the floor of the house of the in-laws and where the witnesses corroborate each other regarding dowry demand harassment prior to death, unerringly point towards the involvement and guilt of the accused. In this case on hand also, the ingredients are sufficiently existing to point towards the guilt of all the appellants herein.

41. So having heard the arguments of all the counsels, having gone through the records in hand and the evidences placed, in the facts and circumstances of the case, appellant Nageshwar Mahato's conviction and sentence dated 14.5.2003 for the offence under sections 304B and section 201 r/w 34 is upheld and he will have to serve out the remaining sentence. Appellant Shankar Mahato's conviction and sentence dated 14.5.2003 for the offence under section 304B and section 201 r/w 34 is also upheld and he will also have to serve out the remaining sentence. Appellant Parvati Devi's conviction and sentence dated 14.5.2003 for the offence under section 304 B is also sustained and she will also have to serve out the remaining sentence. Appellants' bail bonds are accordingly cancelled. The learned convicting or successor court is, therefore, directed to take appropriate steps to for processing the arrest of the appellants for serving out the remaining of their sentence.

42. Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed. (Ratnaker Bhengra,J) Jharkhand High Court,Ranchi Dated 28 -10-2016 /SD(AFR)


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